As the only certified officer in the New Mexico town, it appears, on paper anyway, that Nikka’s in charge.
Police Chief Ernest “Chris” Armijo stepped down Wednesday after news stories reported that he wasn’t allowed to carry a gun because of his criminal background.
Vaughn’s only other human officer isn’t certified as a result of pleading guilty to charges of assault and battery last year, according to the Associated Press.
Non-certified officers aren’t allowed to make arrests or carry firearms.
That leaves law enforcement in the small eastern New Mexico town up to Nikka, a drug-sniffing dog who apparently lives with the former chief.
State officials said Chief Armijo couldn’t carry a gun because he owes tens of thousands of dollars in child support payments in Texas. He also faces felony charges after being accused of selling a town-owned rifle and keeping the cash.
Town attorney Dave Romero says Armijo is trying to clear up the latest case and hasn’t ruled out returning to the position.
Romero said not having an officer qualified to carry a gun didn’t put the small town at risk, and added that town officials are looking at hiring another officer. He said it’s unclear whether the town will keep the police dog, which had been in Armijo’s care.
Letting Nikka serve as chief — though we think it’s a good idea — apparently hasn’t been discussed.
Guadalupe County Sheriff Michael Lucero said his department has helped patrol Vaughn, a town of about 450 people located 104 miles east of Albuquerque. But he said that has put a strain on his short-staffed department.
When approached by an Associated Press reporter, Armijo said he had no comment, and he declined to allow Nikka to be photographed.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 27th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, certified, chief, child support, department, dog, dogs, drug, drug-sniffing, Ernest Armijo, firearms, K-9, k9, law enforcement, new mexico, nikka, officers, one, pets, police, police dog, remaining, resignation, sniffing, vaughn, weapons
A state judge granted a reprieve Tuesday to a wolf dog hybrid named Chief, sparing him the death penalty, but sentencing to a lifetime of employment at Louisiana State Prison in Angola.
The judge had earlier ordered the dog destroyed for aggressive behavior.
Judge James Best of 18th Judicial District Court released Chief to the custody of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections at the request of prison officials who want to use him to guard inmates.
Area residents testified before the judge last month that Chief frequently escaped from his owners’ property and “terrorized” them, according to The Advocate. Local law in Pointe Coupee Parish requires all dogs be confined to an owner’s property, or secured on a leash. After hearing from the witnesses, Best ordered the dog — who is part wolf, part German shepherd — to be euthanized.
Best said he was contacted by Angola Warden Burl Cain, who wanted to take Chief into custody for guard dog service at the 18,000-acre maximum security state prison.
“When we saw this dog in the paper, we thought it would be a shame to euthanize,” Deputy Warden Bruce Dodd said.
The state prison has developed a program in which wolf hybrids are deployed at night within perimeter fencing encircling the prison’s individual camps.
The program has helped the prison make do with fewer guards, many of whom have been released due to budget cuts.
The prison also breeds wolf hybrids for the program, Dodd said. More than a dozen are already on duty.
“We don’t want them to be vicious killers, but to be aggressive,” Dodd said. “They become a security measure.”
Chief’s previous owner, Vicky Smith, said she doubts the dog, who she purchased as a 5-week-old puppy for her son, would thrive in his new surroundings.
“He’s not going to do well without us. We’re his family,” she said. “I think he’s going to be really, really stressed. We keep him inside our air-conditioned home. I feed him oatmeal for breakfast. You think they’re going to feed him that?”
Despite witness testimony, Smith said, Chief is harmless and has never “bit or hurt anyone.”
“It’s not right what they’re doing. I was going to sell my house and move out of the parish to keep my dog. I want my dog back, but once he goes to Angola I don’t think I’ll get him.”
Parish officials said Chief was to be taken to Angola Wednesday.
“I’m just glad for the dog,” Judge Best said. “It’s a beautiful ending and the community got some relief. The dog is going to provide good service and be well taken care of.”
(Photo by Travis Spradling / The Advocate)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 3rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aggressive, angola, animals, behavior, bruce dodd, budget, burl cain, chief, corrections, cutbacks, deputy warden, dogs, fence, german shepherd, guard, hybrid, james best, judge, louisiana, maximum security, mix, owner, penitentiary, perimeter, pets, pointe coupee parish, prison, prisoners, state, vicky smith, warden, wolf dog, wolf hybrid
Three-and-a-half-year-old Jason Bragg was standing on the edge of the lake watching as Chloe fell through the ice, then struggled unsuccessfully to pull herself out of the water, according to the Union-Leader in Manchester.
That’s when Police Chief Donald Briggs Jr. arrived, jumped in the water and began smashing the inch-thick ice to work his way 30 feet from shore to the yelping dog.
“It was obvious that the dog needed to be rescued,” he later told the newspaper. “The dog kept slipping and going into the water even deeper and my fear was that it was going to drown.”
Briggs brought Chloe back to the beach, where she was wrapped in a blanket and rushed to Plaistow-Kingston Animal Medical Center. Chloe was treated for hypothermia and reunited with the family Tuesday afternoon.
Chloe had escaped from the deck of her home and wandered onto the ice. Jason and his mother were able to find her, but when they called her back, she fell through the ice. The boy’s mother, who called 911, said it was fortunate the chief arrived quickly.
“I appreciate it so much. He basically saved her life,” she said. “The vet said that if she had been in there any longer, she wouldn’t have been so lucky.”
(Photo by DAVID LANE / Union-Leader)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, chief, chihuahua, chloe, dachschund, dogs, donald briggs jr, fell, frozen, ice, jason bragg, kingston, lake, new hampshire, pets, police, police chief, rescue, rescued, save, saved, saves
Glynn Johnson, a retired Los Angeles County assistant fire chief, was found guilty of animal cruelty Tuesday in connection with the death of Karley, a neighbor’s puppy that he punched and beat with a rock.
“Karley, this one’s for you!” a tearful Shelley Toole shouted outside Riverside County Superior Court after the verdict was read. “This is for you, girl!”
Johnson, 55, faces up to four years in prison for killing the 6-month-old, 42-pound German shepherd mix.
Johnson told investigators that the dog attacked first and he was defending himself. The former firefighter said the dog grabbed him and nearly ripped off the top of his thumb, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Prosecutors, while noting there was a long-running feud between Johnson and the Tooles, said they didn’t believe Johnson acted in self defense.
“I don’t think this was a self-defense case at all,” Riverside County Deputy Dist. Atty. William Robinson said. “It was done out of rage and anger at the Toole family and his actions were wildly inappropriate.”
Johnson remains free on bail. He is scheduled to be sentenced March 8.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 28th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, assistant, beat, beaten, chief, convicted, fire, fire department, german shepherd, glynn johnson, karley, los angeles county, punching, riverside, rock, shelley toole
Testimony is underway in the trial of a former Los Angeles County assistant fire chief accused of beating a neighbor’s dog in Riverside so badly it had to be euthanized.
Glynn Johnson, 55, is charged with felony animal cruelty and use of a deadly weapon in the beating death of Karley, a six-month-old female shepherd mix.
Prosecutors say the dog’s brutal beating was the culmination of a long-standing feud between neighbors, KTLA in Los Angeles reported.
During opening statements Tuesday, prosecutors said Johnson put dog feces in his neighbors’ mailbox with a letter warning them to keep their dogs off his property. The defense argued that the dog’s owners, Jeff and Shelley Toole, are the “neighbors from hell” who routinely take in stray animals and then don’t take care of them. Johnson’s attorneys say the fire chief was defending himself from the puppy.
Neighbor Travis Staggs took the stand Tuesday, testifying that he watched as Johnson punched the dog 10 to 15 times in the head with his fist before using a large rock to bash Karley’s head another 10 to 15 times.
Staggs says he kept shouting for the fire chief to stop, and tried to pull him off the dog, but that Johnson pushed him away.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 15th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, assistant, beat, chief, county, court, dog, feces, fire, glynn johnson, karley, law, los angeles, neighbors, prosecution, riverside, rock, testimony, trial
A black Lab named Felony who worked for the police department in Howard Lake, Minnesota, escaped from his kennel, ended up at the local humane society and, after getting labeled aggressive, was euthanized.
Felony, 10 years old and nearing the end of his police career as a drug sniffer, was discovered missing on October 30 when a police officer arrived to pick him up for work.
Police immediately called the Wright County Humane Society. The dog wasn’t there. But he did end up there a day later when a Howard Lake resident found him and called the local dog catcher, KARE11 in the Twin Cities reported.
“Our officer contacted the Animal Humane Society on Friday evening shortly after contacting the dog catcher, said Chief Tracy Vetruba. “Unfortunately, at that time the dog catcher still had the dog, who he did not believe was our dog, and it ‘was’ our dog.”
With no tags or microchip on the dog, a spokesperson for the Animal Humane Society said workers had no idea Felony was a K-9 officer. Felony was placed on a 5-day mandatory hold, during which he demonstrated aggressive behavior. Tests determined that he was dangerous and unadoptable, and Felony was euthanized, the humane society says.
“Our officers were devastated to learn that he was put down,” said Cheif Vetruba. “He will absolutely be missed by our officers.”
Howard Lake’s police chief will look into the events that led to Felony’s death as part of a larger examination of the department’s K-9 program, and he hopes to get a new dog for the department.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 25th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aggressive, behavior, black lab, canine, chief, dangerous, escape, euthanasia, euthanized, felony, howard lake, humane society, k9, minnesota, officer, police k-9, temperament, test, tracy vetruba, unadoptable, wright county
The police chief of the small California town of Maricopa has apparently been ordered to turn in his gun after shooting and killing a family’s dog in September.
A temporary restraining order delivered to him Friday by the Kern County Superior Court commissioner also requires Chief Gene Fretheim to stay away from the four people whose dog he shot.
Lutie Thompson, a Bakersfield attorney who requested the restraining order, described the a 63-year-old officer with more than 27 years experience at the Los Angeles Police Department as “a loose cannon,” according to the newspaper report.
Th0mpson requested the order on behalf of Lisa Chavez, who claimed that her 8-year-old pit bull mix, Matty, had been snared by a dog catcher and then shot by Fretheim. She said the chief wants to get rid of all pit bulls in town, and told her he shot her dog because it was a pit bull.
The chief said the dog had bitten a city employee, and that as he and ”a volunteer dog catcher” tried to capture it, the dog lunged at him. He shot the dog, and then it was snared, he said.
The court order says Fretheim has to stay100 yards away from Chavez, 38, Milne, 35, and their two children aged, 7 and 13. A hearing is scheduled Oct. 15 on whether the order will be extended.
City officials say the restrianing order may have been delivered prematurely – and that the court merely approved scheduling a hearing on the request for a restraining order, as opposed to the order itself.
Until it’s all figured out, the chief will perform only administrative duties.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 6th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: california, chief, dog, dog catcher, gene fretheim, gun, killed, kills, lisa chavzex, maricopa, matty, pit bull, police, restraining order, shoots, shot