A police dog, if you ask any human officer, is an integral part of the force. That reality may have been what led a judge to sentence a retired canine officer’s killer to 23 years in prison, in spite of the fact that the shooter was a teenager.
The incident occurred in West Palm Beach, Florida, when shooter Ivins Rosier was just 15 years old. He and two friends, whose names were not disclosed in the MyFoxOrlando.com report, broke in to the home of Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Robert Boody.
Boody owned a 5-year-old German Shepherd that had recently been retired from duty. While defending the home, the old police dog instincts kicked in, and the animal was shot “several times” defending the home.
He had to be euthanized five days later.
Rosier was “convicted in May of animal cruelty, armed burglary and shooting into an occupied building,” WPTV adds.
He’d declined a plea deal, which would have sent him to prison for 20 years. By holding out, he will end up with an even longer sentence, though not by much.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first story we’ve covered this year in which a police dog ended up a casualty of violence.
Earlier in the year, in April, we told you about a Portland shootout that ended with an officer wounded and a police dog killed.
The officer was said to be “devastated” by the death of his K-9 companion, who was found under a hedge in the neighborhood.
That shooting took place in the early hours of the morning near to Southwest 30th Avenue and Barbur Boulevard in Portland. Thankfully, the officer did not have life-threatening injuries.
Said Pete Simpson of the Portland Police Bureau at the time: “He is in very good spirits, considering the circumstances.”
Fortunately, the police caught up with the suspect in the Portland shootout a few hours after the incident following an extensive search, and made the arrest.
As for the police dog killed by the West Palm Beach teen, what do you think should happen next?
Should penalties be steeper in cases where the dog worked with law enforcement? And do you think it’s fair that someone like Michael Vick can torture dogs and get a light sentence, while a 15-year-old, now 17, is put in prison until his 40th birthday?
Share your reactions to this story in the comments section.
[Image via Flickr Creative Commons]