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Old 11-21-2013, 07:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default K9 For Sale $1.

There seems to be some information missing from this story, but from what I can tell this sounds more like an issue with the officer/handler not the dog. If the problem was with the officer, couldn't they reassign the dog to another handler or is this not done?

Lakewood sells controversial police dog for $1 | KING5.com Seattle



Twenty-seven-year-old Chad Boyles of Pierce County was out for a late night walk when he was attacked by a Lakewood Police K-9 named Astor.
Boyles said that the dog “started chewing and ripping at my wrist, trying to get a grip on my neck.” Boyles, a mechanic who makes airplane parts, said he felt powerless as listened to the big black dog chewing into muscles and tendons.

Boyles wasn’t the man police were after. He didn’t match the description either. Boyles is Caucasian and police were looking for a Hispanic male suspected in a domestic violence case.

A year before Boyles was attacked, it happened to Noel Saldana. Saldana was suspected in a domestic violence assault on his wife. Saldana was never charged, but he claims Astor’s police handler, Officer James Syler, allowed the dog to chew on him for so long he nearly lost his leg.

Saldana said he heard Officer Syler telling the dog repeatedly to “get him boy, get him boy, while the dog was chewing on the leg.”

Boyles and Saldana are both suing, alleging poor training and oversight of Lakewood’s K-9’s and a pattern of excessive force by Officer Syler and Astor.

“The City of Lakewood denies the allegations, but the city council recently approved a resolution to sell Astor as “surplus property” to Officer Syler. The price? One dollar.

So far the only reason given for the sale is that Astor is no longer serviceable as a police dog. No one at either city hall or the police department would explain why.

It’s not unusual for retiring K-9’s to be sold to their police handlers. But Astor has been named in four lawsuits against the city. One was dismissed, one settled and two are set for trial.

Saldana’s case is scheduled for trial on December 9th. A federal judge recently rejected efforts to dismiss the case. U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton in Tacoma said there was enough evidence that Officer Syler had used excessive force in deploying Syler, that the case should go on to trial.

Brent Champaco, Communications Manager for the City of Lakewood said the mayor, city council and city manager were all unavailable to comment on the sale of Astor or the allegations of excessive force.

After KING 5 exposed the pattern of injuries and complaints last February, Police Chief Bret Fararr defended the K-9 team on KIRO radio. Farrar called Astor one of the department's best tracking dogs. The chief did not respond to KING 5’s request for an interview back then, or today.
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Old 11-21-2013, 08:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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No. Insurance would likely see the dog as a liability. Unfortunately blame doesn't go to the officer handler. But in this case, he will reap what he sowed. As he should.
Even if everything was fine, you'd have to train another officer, get him certified, and train him with the dog. The dog would probably need recert. It depends on how the local municipality works. It costs time and money. Both of which city officials never want to spend. Not on useful things anyways. Nature of the beast?
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Old 11-21-2013, 08:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Sounds like poor training on the handlers part.
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Old 11-21-2013, 08:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Didn't think about insurance issues, too bad, seems like a waste, but maybe this will open the door for a new dog & handler.
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Saw this on the local news :/ it does seem like there's still a lot of missing information. I hope nothing bad will happen to the dog and he goes to the right handler.
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Old 12-08-2013, 10:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Mr. D View Post
Both of which city officials never want to spend. Not on useful things anyways.
Pretty broad generalization there.

We recently changed handlers with one of our dogs. No problems at all there. The dog has taken to the new (experienced) officer just fine. The other officer had requested to be removed from k9 handling.
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Old 12-08-2013, 10:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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A lot of K9 handlers are still just glorified leash holders, and a lot of dogs (as well as handlers) that are out on the street have no business being there. There are a lot of reasons this happens. Most are caused by deficits in knowledge about the dogs and the training rather than deficits in budget per se, but it isn't a shock to see the former cause the latter.
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Old 12-08-2013, 11:31 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Pretty broad generalization there.

We recently changed handlers with one of our dogs. No problems at all there. The dog has taken to the new (experienced) officer just fine. The other officer had requested to be removed from k9 handling.
Doesn't the military do the same? Once a service members enlistment is up and they don't re-up, the dog is matched up with another handler?
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Old 12-08-2013, 01:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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How about not jumping to conclusions based on a bias new story. None of you were there and the team has not been convicted of anything. There are SOOOOO many unknowns that it isnt fair for anyone to form an opinion based on this.
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Old 12-08-2013, 01:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Doesn't the military do the same? Once a service members enlistment is up and they don't re-up, the dog is matched up with another handler?
More often than that actually. Some handlers have 5 or 6 different dogs. Some dogs have multiple handlers over their career. Dogs are like trucks and handlers are soldiers. Everything goes where they need it.

Another thing is that dogs don't have dwell time; a mandatory break between deployments. They can get back, switch handlers, certify and deploy within a couple of months.

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