The 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!