They are shot, stabbed, beaten, and sometimes killed for doing their jobs. Law enforcement service animals endure a dangerous existence and little reward for their sacrifices. Ensure justice for these brave animals harmed or felled in the line of duty.
by: Care2 Team
recipient: West Mercia Police Department
I can’t imagine what this cop thought he was doing when he chose to leave his canine companion in a scorching hot car for hours. I can only assume he wasn’t thinking, but that neglect led to Ivy the police dog’s death and for that, he should be held responsible.
Sign on to ask the West Mercia Police Department to fire the police officer who left the dog in a hot car.
Police dogs are critical members of law enforcement, with their superior smelling abilities they are able to do jobs that we deem too dangerous for humans. Jobs like bomb sniffing and drug sniffing are especially good for dogs. But this means that dogs are putting their lives on the line to save human life. The least we could do is keep them safe from completely preventable deaths.
Ivy was a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois and she was left in the car in 26C (over 80 degree fahrenheit) for two hours while her handler did weapons training inside. The poor angel dog got heatstroke and was unresponsive when the irresponsible cop came back to her. She was rushed to the hospital but ultimately put down because her condition was so bad. On the bright side, Ivy’s death did lead to internal changes to the way police dogs are handled. But that doesn’t account for her needless death.
Please sign on if you want the police officer who is responsible for her death to be held accountable!
Copyright © 2019 Care2.com, inc. and its licensors. All rights
In 2016, constable Dave Wardell and his partner, a German shepherd police dog named Finn, chased down a 16-year-old boy who had robbed a taxi driver in Stevenage, England. But then the teenager pulled out a 12-inch hunting knife.
To protect Wardell, Finn lunged at the boy. He was stabbed in the chest and head.
The hero dog was almost fatally injured, and he required four hours of emergency surgery. But because police dogs were considered property, the teenager could only be charged with criminal damage, not animal cruelty. He was sentenced to only eight months in a juvenile offender institution, followed by eight months’ probation.
Finn with some of his get well cards.
He’s feeling more himself today & starting to get a little cheeky to – much more like his old self. pic.twitter.com/wfcs5Eu5nI
— BCH Police Dogs (@BCHPoliceDogs) October 13, 2016
Fortunately, as of this month, offenders like that brutal teenager will no longer be punished with what amounts to a slap on the wrist. The Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Act — aka Finn’s Law — went into effect on June 8, thanks in large part to over 100,000 people who signed a petition on the UK government’s website demanding that police animals be given protection reflecting their status when they are assaulted in the line of duty. More than 1,400 people also signed a similar Care2 petition started by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). Finn’s Law amends the existing Animal Welfare Act 2006 in regard to service animals, such as police dogs and police horses, in England and Wales. Under the new law, it is an offense to cause unnecessary suffering to these animals, and it will be more difficult for these abusers to claim they were acting in self-defense. In the United States, the Federal Law Enforcement Animal Protection Act of 2000 provides similar protections to police animals.
Hi Team Finn. We sent you a DM yesterday morning but you may have missed it. After speaking to the dog section, we can confirm the words property will no longer be included on any new dog tags. When current tags are replaced, the same will apply. pic.twitter.com/2vfQDAOeXQ — Surrey PCC (@SurreyPCC) April 25, 2019
Finn recovered from his injuries, and he was even able to return to work with the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Dog Unit just 11 weeks after he was attacked. He retired in 2017 at the age of 8.
“A little emotional, but so happy Finn has gone down in history,” Wardell said when Finn’s Law was approved by the House of Lords in April. “What a legacy for the job he absolutely loved doing every day of his career.”
Finn and Dave Become ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ Finalists
If you live in the UK and watch “Britain’s Got Talent,” you’re already well aware — and probably a fan — of Finn. He and Wardell won millions of hearts this season when they became finalists on the popular competition TV show.
Their talent? Not taking down bad guys, but showcasing Finn’s amazing “mind-reading” abilities. Finn even made Simon Cowell cry! You might also want to have a tissue or 10 handy before watching this video.
Creating a Care2 petition is easy. If you have an issue you care deeply about, why not start your own petition? Here are some guidelines to help you get started and soon the Care2 community will be signing up to support you.
Photo credit: @BCHPoliceDogs/Twitter
K9s United started this petition to K9s United K9s United Debbie Johnson and 1 other
FL current law states: Any person who intentionally and knowingly, without lawful cause or justification, causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or death to, or uses a deadly weapon upon, a police dog, fire dog, SAR dog, or police horse commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
This is unacceptable. Law Enforcement Canines are an extension of their human partners and put themselves in danger in place of their handlers, which sometimes leads to their death or serious injury. We need to be their voice and honor them in their ultimate sacrifice.
We feel it should at least be a second degree felony if you intentionally kill a law enforcement canine.
If you agree, please sign the petition. #RIPK9Baron #RIPK9Fang
Debbie Johnson-Founder K9s United
by: Care2 Team
recipient: Detroit Police Department
101,306 SUPPORTERS – 110,000 GOAL
The temperature in Detroit on June 28 only reached a high of 78 degrees, but it was hot enough to lead to the death of Vito a police German shepherd. Vito’s handler had left him in his patrol car with the air conditioner running while he went to pick up another car. But while he was out, the motor turned off and Vito began to overheat in the cab.
By the time the officer returned, Vito already showed signs of heatstroke. He was rushed to the vet but unfortunately, he died from cardiac arrest the next day.
Detroit Police K9 patrol cars are equipped with an emergency heat alert system. When officers leave their dogs in the car with the air on, the backup heat alert system is supposed to roll down the windows if the car’s motor turns off while running the AC. This did not happen. Tragically, in Vito’s case the heat alert system failed and he was left to die.
Detroit Police Department (DPD) says they are looking into the incident and that the officer, who is heartbroken, has been stripped of his dog handling duties. Officials believe both the emergency heat system and the officer are at fault. That’s because as an ultimate fail-safe, DPD requires their K9 officers to check on their dogs every 30 minutes — “no matter what.” Unfortunately, Vito’s handler didn’t do that, he arrived 10 minutes late and by that time Vito was too far gone.
Even with two fail-safes, Vito was doomed, and it isn’t just the Vito’s handler’s fault. According to RSPCA of Australia, a dog in a locked car can die in “just six minutes.” Even when it’s cool outside —like on the day Vito was locked in his car — a locked car with a dog inside can quickly turn into a hot box, where the temperature can spike up to 100 degrees in minutes. In that kind of heat, dogs can suffer. Animals can sustain brain damage or even die from heatstroke in just 15 minutes.
So if that’s the case, then DPD’s “mandatory” every-30-minute check-in would still leave most dogs in danger if the emergency heat backup failed like it did for Vito.
It is unrealistic to think that K9 officers can check on their dog every 6 minutes to ensure it is OK. But giving officers an arbitrary 30-minute window puts dogs like Vito in danger. That’s why Care2 believes DPD’s K9 unit needs to update their policy to prohibit their officers from leaving their dogs in unattended patrol cars.
If you agree that no dog should be left to suffer in the burning heat only to meet a terrible death, please sign the petition.
Agriculture Canine | U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Dogs have a long history of working in partnership with humans. Building on this partnership between humans and dogs, U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) detector dogs are a key tool for screening passengers and cargo to prevent the introduction of harmful plant pests and foreign animal disease from entering the U.S.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Detector DogThe ability to discriminate and target a specific odor, such as that of an orange or even a live snail, makes dogs an invaluable tool in detecting prohibited agricultural items hidden from view. When it comes to finding prohibited fruit, vegetables, plants, and meat products from high-risk countries, the nose knows. A trained agriculture dog can scan a piece of luggage for smuggled or forgotten fruits in mere seconds. Understandably, it takes an officer much longer to open and visually inspect the same bag.
In 1984, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) established its detector dog program Beagle Brigade” at the Los Angeles Inter-national Airport with one beagle trained to sniff out plants and animal products in luggage and carry-on items arriving on international flights. Beagles and beagle mixes are the preferred breed of dog at the airport because of their keen sense of smell, non-threatening size, high food drive, and gentle disposition with the public.
Drug Dog Sniffing boxesIn 2000, USDA started using larger dogs outside the passenger environment by employing Labrador retrievers (labs), this launched the “Border Brigade” on the Mexican and Canadian borders, and “Cargo Brigade” in the CBP cargo inspection facilities at airports and seaports.
In 2003, when USDA transferred agricultural inspectors to CBP, approximately 75 canine teams were included. Today, more than 116 CBP agriculture canine teams provide screening at the border crossings, preclearance locations, air passenger terminals, cruise terminals, cargo warehouses, and mail facilities that process international passengers and commodities.
All the detector dogs at the USDA National Detector Dog Training Center (NDDTC) are adopted from rescue shelters in the U.S. or come to the program from private donations. A facility was constructed in 2009 specifically for NDDTC near Atlanta, Georgia. The facility incorporates environmentally conscious features in accordance with the Leadership in Energy Environmental Design certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Drug Dog sniffing suitcasesBefore the selected beagles or labs can start their specialized work, they have to be trained. All CBP agriculture canine officers and their canine partners complete the initial 10-13 week CBP Agriculture Specialist Canine Training at the NDDTC. Training and evaluation continues at the team’s home port to maintain their skills. Depending on the working environment, the dogs are trained to give either a passive/sitting response or an active response by pawing to indicate the presence of an agricultural product. Regardless of the behavioral response, food (dog treats) and positive praise from their handler is the reward that increases their proficiency.
Drug Dog being trained
In addition to their important detection work, agriculture canine teams make the public aware of the important role that agriculture plays in CBP’s overall mission and in the U.S. economy. The special role of the agriculture detector dog program in protecting American agriculture and its public appeal make it ideal for public outreach activities. Agriculture canine teams have given thousands of demonstrations to audiences of all ages. At schools, media interviews, fairs or other events, the agriculture detector dog teams are always ready to steal the show, greeting the public with happy faces and wagging tails.
Service dog calms veteran with PTSD in the middle of an interview
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD, is a mental health issue that causes the victim of it to suffer from severe anxiety, unwanted flashbacks, and haunting dreams. According to statistics, the invisible illness, PTSD affects around 7.7 million of American adults. And most of the people who can share how it is like to battle against PTSD are the honorable men of the U.S. army.
One of them is a US veteran who served the army for 16 years, Erick Scott. With Erick Scott’s physical demeanor, you can already tell that he is a strong man. And the ink tattooed on his skin: a skull, an empty combat boots, a memorial of the time he served in Iraq, and a soldier’s cross to remember his fallen comrades, symbolizes how honorable Erick is.
However, what the public eyes fail to see, is his battle against his inner demons triggered by his Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Erick recalled about the one advise his father, the person he respected the most, gave him that he cannot forget. “Son, you’ve got eleven guys, he said make sure you bring them all back.”
Sadly, some of his comrades perished in the battlefield, “That’s the last thing he [Erick’s father] told me… and they didn’t all come back.” Until today, Erick feels responsible for the life of his comrades who were not able to come back alive from their service. This is one of the nightmares haunting him at night, making it hard for him to have a good night sleep.
“I woke up numerous times, hitting my wife for her just laying there or just in a cold sweat,” Erick shared. The nightmare he is experiencing at night, often leaves him breaking in cold-sweat.
After years of experiencing other symptoms of PTSD, Erick finally decided to seek help from professionals. However, he was in denial and felt angry when he was, indeed, diagnosed with PTSD.
Erick tried a lot of medicines to help him cope with his PTSD, however, nothing worked for him. Hence, all of his drugs and medications were simply thrown in the trash bin. Feeling helpless, Erick already believed that there is no hope for him to recover from PTSD. Fortunately, he heard about the ‘K9’s For Warriors.’
K9s For Warriors, is a charitable organization that aims to help the veterans get the service dog that they need. Each service dog received formal training to respond to the manifestations of PTSD, making them the perfect companion for those suffering from PTSD. Through the help of K9’s For Warriors, Erick met Gumbo, the gentle black labrador who quickly responds to Erick whenever he is having a PTSD attack.
Even when Erick was being interviewed with USA Today, Gumbo did not leave his side. As the retired veteran shared how he reacted with his formal diagnosis with PTSD, the dutiful dog, Gumbo sensed a shift in his mood. In a snap, Gumbo nuzzled his head against Erick’s neck, as if he was re-assuring Erick from his agitation and frustration. As a response, Erick pet Gumbo and was able to relax himself.
It is truly amazing how Gumbo quickly sensed that there was already something wrong with Erick. His quick and immediate response to calm Erick down, was delivered in a snap that some people did not even notice that Erick was already experiencing a PTSD attack!
Watch the video below and prepare to be blown away by the quick response a service dog, Gumbo, provided to Erick, a veteran who experienced an actual PTSD attack during his interview.
Photos and Video | USA Today
Editor’s note: This Care2 favorite was originally posted on July 16, 2015.
This summer has brought extreme temperatures to many U.S. states. Human hikers know that it’s important to carry enough water, wear loose-fitting clothes and don a wide-brimmed hat when venturing out in temperatures that can reach — or exceed – 100 degrees.
But what about their canine companions? Dogs don’t have the same options to shield themselves from the heat; all they can do is to follow wherever they are led — and sometimes this can have deadly consequences.
In past summers, Arkansas’ Pinnacle Mountain State Park has seen multiple dogs overheat and die while out hiking with their owners. Other dogs have passed out from heat exhaustion and needed to be carried down the trail. And these numbers are higher than the normal one or two canine deaths over a whole year, Joshua Jeffers, assistant park superintendent, told The Dodo.
The animals that died were of different breeds and ages, but most deaths happened during the hottest hours of the day, between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. “Nobody has any business bringing their animals out that time of day,” Jeffers said.
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Jillian Rossi, state park interpreter, explained that sweat helps releases heat from the human body, but a dog can only pant – which is not a fast way to cool down.
“The humidity affects people, but it affects dogs up to three times more,” added Rossi, who says the heat affects dogs’ vital organs first.
Incidences of dogs overheating have also been reported in California and Arizona.
In one such case, the Altadena Mountain Rescue Team, near Los Angeles, California, was called to help a dangerously overheated boxer named Tyson who could not move or drink water.
Tyson was hiking with his human when, at about 1 p.m., he became lethargic and stopped walking. His owner called for help, and the rescue team was able to drive up the dirt hiking trail and reach the pair. The rescue crew placed the pooch into an air conditioned Altadena Rescue Team truck, and both Tyson and owner were driven off the hot trail to the parking lot at Eaton Canyon Nature.
However, most cases of dogs dying from heat exposure go unreported, so no statistics exist on how widespread the problem is. But estimates suggest that several hundred dogs suffer this slow, agonizing and entirely preventable fate every summer.
What Are the Symptoms of an Overheated Dog?
Skin that is hot to the touch
Inability to move
In the worst cases, this can progress to vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination and unconsciousness.
Nobody wants to witness their dog experiencing these horrific symptoms. It just takes careful forethought and common sense to protect your canine.
How to Prevent Overheating on the Hiking Trail
Prevent these early signs of too much sun from even happening by:
Not pushing your dog to keep going if she doesn’t want to
Making sure your dog has a shady spot where he can rest
Having a lot of drinking water handy if your dog shows any of the above signs of overheating — you can never have too much
Avoiding the use of muzzles, which can inhibit the ability of the dog to pant
Never taking your dog out in the hottest part of the day
Going for early morning or late evening workouts, and only for short time periods
Jeffers also urges hikers to read their dogs’ signals: If they’re straying off of paved trails, “the pavement is probably too hot for their paws.”
Have a great summer with your dog, and stay safe!
Photo Credit: Kate Brady/Flickr
Illinois is Threatening to Kill Dogs Over Marijuana Legalization
by: Kelsey B.
target: Illinois Law Enforcement
28,198 SUPPORTERS – 30,000 GOAL
Illinois law enforcement is trying to trick us into believing that if marijuana is legalized, they will be forced to euthanize hundreds of drug sniffing dogs. But it’s just a red herring.
Sign the petition to tell Illinois law enforcement to end this false dichotomy and promise not to euthanize any dogs when marijuana is legalized here.
Most drug sniffing dogs are trained to sniff out everything from cocaine to cannabis to heroine, but they are not trained to identify which one they’ve found. That means that if marijuana is legalized in Illinois (go here if you want it to be), the dogs would need to be retrained or retired. The other 9 states in the nation that have legal recreational cannabis use have done just that – retrained or retired their dogs.
But some Illinois law enforcement agencies are threatening to just euthanize the dogs instead. They are trying to scare people who love animals out of voting for legal marijuana. But the choice is not legal marijuana or living dogs. We can have both!
Sign on to tell Illinois law enforcement to stop the scare tactics and promise not to euthanize any dogs based on the legalizaiton of marijuana.
Apr 16, 2018 — Early this morning we braved the hard rain and weather to go pick up K-9 Abal. As he was coming out of the truck to come inside our house I was lucky enough to snap a picture of him giving my husband a kiss. ( I guess all is forgiven, at least for Abal).
These past 12 days have been some of the longest and hardest days for us. The worry for K9 Abal was intense at times not knowing where he was, how he was feeling, and how he was being treated. All that is over now thank God! We can now concentrate on making sure he is happy and healthy. I think I may even start a Facebook and Twitter page for him (now that I have learned how to use it).
When I started this petition I was hoping for maybe at least 500 signatures. I figured I would be lucky to get that. I really didn’t know if I could get K9 Abal back. Needless to say, I am blown away that when all is said and done 169k people signed and supported us! So, THANK YOU! we could NEVER have done this without all of you!
Special thanks to Congressman Bob Brady, who spoke out publicly in support of K9 Abal and our family. Thank you Sen. Sweeney who took the time to write a beautiful letter to Chief Nestel in our defense. Thank you also to the National Police Association, K9s4cops.org, K9 Chip, and his family, and K9 Poseidon and his family. Thank you to the FOTP FOP Lodge 109. A big thanks to the 99% of SEPTA Police who supported us! Thank you to the members of the press who put this story out there for the public to hear. And again to all of you who signed, wrote, called, tweeted, and shared our story. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts❣️
Nicole Galanti started this petition to Chief Thomas J. Nestel III
As I sit here heartsick with tears falling, I am haunted by my 10 year old crying himself to sleep. My daughter, sobbing, and my husband trying his best to stay strong for us.
On March 23, 2018 my husband, Officer Richard Galanti of the SEPTA Transit Police Department received a memo from work, they would be transferring him from his K9 unit effective April 1, 2018. They would notify him at a later date of the future of his dog Abal.
Four days later they informed him that Abal would be reassigned to another handler. March 30, 2018, he was instructed to bring Abal to the kennel on the morning of April 3, 2018, where the dog will stay until another handler is found.
There was no warning, no reprimand, no explanation or reason. Only the sudden unjust, unsupported transfer of one of the most experienced k9 handlers in the department and the removal of our beloved working dog Abal.
As a family we know loss. We lost our son and brother Benjamin (14yo) in June 2014, a week later Rich lost his mom to cancer. Every day we survive that loss together as a family. Abal, who adored Ben, has been an important part of that healing for me and my children but especially for my husband.
Abal is not only a work dog, to us he is family. Abal was rescued as a stray on the streets of NY. He was trained and assigned to my husband and our family in the fall of 2013. We brought him home and fell in love with him. We are the only family he has ever known.
It breaks my heart to know, that on Tuesday April 3, he will be ripped from us. Away from our love, his home, his toys, and his comfy bed. He will be placed in a kennel alone, confused and feeling abandoned once more.
Abal is almost 7 years old and has worked for the last five years. When we found out about the transfer we hoped and asked that he would be retired.
We also asked to possibly purchase a new dog for the department in exchange for Abal. (Although, how we will be able to do that I’m not sure). We haven’t yet received an answer, other than he will be reassigned.
Please help try to make Septa Transit Police Department’s do the right thing. Retire K-9 Abal to Officer Galanti.