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article imageEdmonton police dog stabbed to death in line of duty

By Arthur Weinreb     Oct 8, 2013 in Crime
Edmonton - Four-year-old Quanto was killed as he took part in capturing a suspect. Police are calling for specific laws for the killing or wounding of police dogs in the execution of their duties.
Edmonton police received a stolen vehicle call around 5:15 a.m. yesterday. When they arrived on scene, the vehicle took off. After a short chase, the vehicle struck a median and the driver bailed.
The driver refused police instructions to stop. Police Service Dog (PSD) Quanto encountered the suspect in the parking lot of the RCMP's K Division. The suspect is alleged to have pulled out a knife and stabbed the police dog.
Quanto was rushed to the Edmonton Veterinarian Emergency Clinic where he died from his injuries a short time later.
Danielle Campbell, a deputy chief with the Edmonton Police Service and a former member of the Canine Unit, said, "The Edmonton Police Service has suffered a tragic loss today. PSD Quanto died doing his job, protecting fellow officers and preventing further harm to the public. PSD Quanto gave the ultimate sacrifice for our community, he was forever watchful and will never be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with the handler, Const. Williamson, his family, and Canine Unit members currently serving and the alumni community."
Paul Joseph Vukmavich, 27, has been charged with four counts of possession of stolen property, criminal flight, dangerous driving, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, resisting arrest, cruelty to an animal, and breach of parole conditions. At the time of his arrest, he was the subject of a Canada-wide warrant for armed robbery.
Although it has recently been increased, the maximum punishment for cruelty to an animal under the Criminal Code is five years in prison. While some provinces, such has Saskatchewan, have specific legislation to protect service dogs, some Edmonton police officers are calling for the federal Criminal Code to be amended.
Sgt. Murray Pollock, head of Edmonton's Canine Unit, said, "In a case like Edmonton today, they would be facing the most serious of charges, not dissimilar to assaulting a police officer—it's what we would like to see. We believe strongly that our dogs are police officers."
Since 1988, several Edmonton police dogs have been injured or killed in the line of duty. The last death occurred on June 23, 1998 when six-year-old Caesar was shot and killed by a suicidal gunman in a school yard.
Quanto had been a PSD for the past three years.
More about quanto, killing of police dogs, police k9 units, Cruelty to animals, edmonton police
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