Dogs are a win-win in law enforcement. They preserve lives, both of the officers, and the criminals, as dogs are not considered deadly force -- you cannot call back a bullet. They use their scenting ability which is much better than anything we can build for the purpose. The dogs LOVE the constant interaction and training. Dogs DO NOT obsess about dying, they really do not understand it as we do, so it doesn't put them in the same category when it comes to the stress of a dangerous job.
Dogs can be injured and killed doing this work. We don't put 20k-50k into a project such as this with the idea that we are just going to get the dog killed. If a dog does get killed in the place of a human officer or civilian, than, while it is sad, it is also wonderful that by having the dog there a human life was saved.
This is a dog site and we love dogs. So my take is definitely going to have some people unhappy. But you asked what our take is on it. Dogs live up to 14 years. A human can live many times that. Dogs might play with their puppies, but they are not responsible for the support and well-being of their progeny or their parents or their siblings. Humans are.
It is sad when a k-9 doesn't come home from a shift. It is devastating when an LEO or Soldier is killed. Their children have to be raised without a mother or father, the spouse that remains goes through an awful time, the parents of the diseased, if they are still alive are forced to live through losing a child which is against how things ought to be in nature.
I do not think a criminal should be charged the same for harming or killing a k9 as they are for killing a human officer. I do not want to see people get the death penalty for killing a dog. Sorry. They are not the same as humans. Most human victims of violent crimes, including murder do not rate the death penalty for their assailants, but a dog should? No. I don't believe it.
As for having no choice, the dog has no choice in a lot of matters: what he eats, where he sleeps, who he lives with, whether he is allowed to procreate, or if he gets his nads nicked, and whether or not he is trained in anything, whether or not he sits in a crate, or is chained, or is kenneled.
The real reason animal rights organizations want to stop k9 programs is because using dogs to provide a vital function in a visible manner increases the desire of people to keep dogs as pets. It ensure the life of the institution of owning canines as pets and as helpers.
Heidi Ho, Odie
Joy-Joy, Bear Cub, Hepsi-Pepsi
Cujo2, Karma Chameleon
Ramona the Pest, Kojak -- who loves you baby?
Tiny Tinnie, Susie's Uzzi, Kaiah -- The Baby Monster.