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Police Chief refutes blog says K-9 not being mistreated

Salisbury Police Chief Rory Collins was disgusted, he said, when he discovered the allegations made by an online blogger that the police department was mistreating a K-9 named Jack.

The blogger asserted that the police dog, an 8-year-old Belgian Malinois, had been imprisoned in a small kennel and was not allowed to remain with his handler, a former police officer.

The officer now works at the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office. Jack has been working for six years.

“Our K-9s are such an asset to our department, such an asset to our community and we have an awful lot of resources being money, training and time invested in these dogs and we care for them greatly,” Collins said.

Collins said in a statement his office as well as the city of Salisbury have received numerous phone calls regarding Jack.

The blog includes “a number of inaccuracies,” the statement said.

It was said on the blog the dog had “aged out,” but Collins said Jack actually has three or four more years of service and is not ready for retirement.

The average career for such a dog is 10 years, Collins has said.

The blogger said Jack’s kennel was of the same size and specifications as the kennel at the home of officer Fox.

The blog post said showed signs of deteriorating muscle mass and was not properly exercised.

“We would like to state unequivocally that Jack is receiving excellent care. He is being properly attended to and is exercised frequently,” the statement said.

Collins added that Jack has been evaluated by a veterinarian within the last few days and  he is in “good health and great spirits.”

Jack will be reassigned to another K-9 handler by the end of the week. The process will take several days to get the appropriate kennel and other items established at his new handler’s home. Jack will go to the home of the new handler within the next week.

It should take another six to eight weeks so that Jack and his new handler are certified together, Collins said.

It is not uncommon for a police dog to be reassigned to another officer, the statement said.

“Jack’s reassignment and subsequent training is the only reason he remains with the police department,” the statement said.

Collins said he has more than one officer in contention for the assignment. Jack was located in a separate kennel where other K-9s were held behind the police department, but has since been moved for his safety.  Jack has been moved to a “professional location” with people who have expertise in caring for animals, Collins said.

Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.

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