DENVER (AP/CBS4) — A dog in training to detect bombs at the Denver airport has been removed from the program after it killed a Pomeranian/Chihuahua mix in its neighborhood.
Denver Police Department canine handler Bradley Rhodes reported he was getting a leash Sunday when his dog ran from his yard in Arvada and attacked and killed the other dog.
The dog that was attacked, named Gomez, was seven years old and about three to four pounds. He was a companion dog and never left his owner’s side.
Rhodes said he left his patio gate open. He said he commanded his German shepherd, named Rita, to sit, but when he turned his back to get the leash Rita ran away towards Rachel Reinholtzen, who was holding Gomez. Reinholtzen, 87, is Gomez’s owner’s mother.
“(Rhodes) tried to pull the dog off of Gomez, because Gomez was in his mouth and he was already shaking him terribly and growling,” Reinholtzen said. “He got the dog off momentarily, but the dog came back at Gomez and then he had to hit the dog on the head to try to get him to release Gomez.”
Arvada police issued Rhodes a summons alleging he had a dangerous dog and a dog running at large.
Denver police are investigating whether Rhodes violated the police department’s canine policy.
Denver Police Chief Robert White said in a written statement Tuesday that he regretted the loss of someone’s pet due to the actions of one of the department’s canines.
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