In certain states police dogs are seen as a very valuable tool. Police dogs are also protected under statutes just like police officers are. In the state of California if any person maliciously and with no legal justification beats, kicks, cuts, stabs, shoots with a firearm, poison, or other harmful acts will risk the chance of being imprisoned for 16 months. If any police dog or horse is killed or crippled then it raises the charge from a misdemeanor to a felony in that state. These statues are the same for other states such as Iowa, Indiana, and New Jersey.
For years attorneys have been arguing that police dogs are deadly force. In which deadly force is considering something that can cause great bodily harm or risk of causing death. In turn the police officers actually think that service dogs can actually help prevent the death of themselves, the officer. The courts stated that with the proper training that police dogs would not constitute as deadly force (Smith).
In my opinion, I think that regardless if you are a police dog, police horse, or police officer you should be treated with respect and person should be held responsible if anyone is injured in the line of duty. These animals save the lives of officers—so the officers should return the favor. I have heard people say that these police dogs are just that—dogs. While in fact these dogs have training just like officers. These dogs are trained as tracking dogs, explosive detection dogs, drug detection dogs, arson dogs, decomp dogs, and forensic evidence dogs to name a few. These dogs are all trained to stiff out whichever situation they are put into. Some dogs are trained to sniff out decomposing bodies, while other dogs are trained to sniff out drugs. All of these dogs are trained in the area of expertise and they are used a great deal to help the officers.
Dogs are even now been incorporated into SWAT operations. Please view the short video clip of A Phoenix police K-9 and SWAT team as they capture a man who claimed he had a pipe bomb. Police K-9 and SWAT Team Takedown
A SWAT K-9 team is a unit consisting of a handler and a dog, which is trained and can assist in tactical incidents.
Illinois has yet to pass any statues protecting these police animals. What are your thoughts? Do you think that these statues have a point or are just ridiculous? Hopefully every state that uses K-9’s as a public service tool will also have statues protecting these precious animals. The NK9WD (National K9 Working Dog) is also working to provide these animals with the retirement they deserve. Their mission also includes helping working service dogs with health benefits. These dogs are not ordinary, and their lives should be rewarded for the hazardous situations they encounter (Chandler, 2012). How do you feel about service dogs? Do you think they are a useful tool, would you want to be working aside one of these dogs, and do you think that once a K-9 service dog retires that he should be treated as a police officer?
Chandler, C. (2012, February 24). Why police dogs are partners, not property (take action). Retrieved from http://www.globalanimal.org/2012/02/24/police-dogs-not-just-equipment-take-action/67526/
Smith, B. Police service dogs are not deadly force.