Canton PD Press Release on Jethro / Possible Punishment for Shooter

Canton PDThe Canton Police Department regrets to report that K9 Jethro passed away this morning. He was shot multiple times while searching a building for a burglary suspect early Saturday morning. The suspect is in custody.

Not that there’s any new information here. I thought there would have been when I promised to share it.

Many people on Facebook have expressed an interest in what sort of punishment the shooter will receive. Although there are federal statutes that specify harsh sentences for killing a federally-employed K-9, the rules here in Ohio are pretty weak.

From the Ohio Revised Code (2921.321):

If the violation results in the death of the police dog or horse, assaulting a police dog or horse is a felony of the third degree. If the violation results in serious physical harm to the police dog or horse other than its death, assaulting a police dog or horse is a felony of the fourth degree. If the violation results in physical harm to the police dog or horse other than death or serious physical harm, assaulting a police dog or horse is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

According to sentencing guidelines, a third degree felony can result in a prison term of 1 – 5 years and a fine of up to $10,000. Had Jethro lived, a fourth degree felon could expect a prison term of 6 – 18 months and a fine of up to $5,000. Not nearly enough in either case.

I don’t know how many dogs will have to die or be injured before Ohio steps up to the plate, but I hope it’s not too many more.

Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!

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5 thoughts on “Canton PD Press Release on Jethro / Possible Punishment for Shooter”

  1. To Bob Kaegi : I don’t think that we will see any court in the US put a K9 unit animal or the killing of one up on equal par with a human or officers life simply because it won’t be and maybe couldn’t be as such

    But, that being said, the penalty that is on the books is far from adequate or fare for the K9 or handler and their family. I attended Jethros Memorial and asked a friend from the community that also attends City Council meetings and when he mentioned that his research showed that there was only a maximum or 8 years jail time for killing a K9 officer, I was outrages and angry. A K9’s death at the hand of a criminal should be, at the least , seen as an inexcusable crime and an assault against law-enforcement and law and order in general and have a min of at least 20 yrs and maximum of at least 40-50. I am all for even stiffer penalties than that. But if we had this, it would be a great improvement. Someone should start a petition or something to get the law changed.

  2. Dixie – what a wonderful tribute. I’m sure Officer Davis & his family will love it. Christian has provided you with the correct information, so I won’t repeat it. I just wanted to acknowledge your gift.

  3. Dixie Lee,
    That is a great thing you do. Here is the Address to the police station: Should you want to donate please send it to:

    Canton Police Department
    Attn: K9 Unit
    221 3rd St SW
    Canton OH 44702

    Thank you for what you do!

  4. My name is Dixie Lee and I am married to a retired Austin,Tx. police officer and I make and send tied fleece blankets to all children of fallen police officers and I would like to send one to the handler of Jethro. I would send it to the department to get it to him if you would kindly send me the station address where I can send this. Thank you very much and I await your answer to send this. Any questions you may email me. Dixielee

  5. Sentences for the death of ANY Officer, K9 or Mounted while carrying out his or her duty should meet penalty as if the officer were human. That includes up to Death. However sadly the death penalty does not seem to be carried out as it once was in Ohio. But Life Without Parole would not only be fair, but would actually honor those 4 legged Animals who equally Protect and Serve.

    Their Lives are no less important, and they too deserve to go home to their families at night. Many do, and Jethro no longer gets to be with his Partner, Companion, Family and Friends….

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