Ashland’s police dog Tuukka kills another dog and takes him out of service
ASHLAND – The The new police dog of the police department, Tuukka, was removed from his post after killing another dog earlier this month, Acting Police Chief Richard Briggs has confirmed.
“It has been taken from its master and is in the possession of the police department,” Briggs said. “At the moment, it remains out of service.”
Prior to learning of the December 1 incident, the Daily News carried an article on December 15 about Tuukka’s arrival in Ashland. Briggs said in a follow-up interview on Tuesday that he initially did not disclose the incident because he had just returned after several days off work due to a family medical issue and had not had the opportunity to examine the incident in depth.
“We were still investigating the incident,” he said. “I had been made aware of it, but I had not had the opportunity to fully examine the facts.”
Tuukka, a 3-year-old short-haired German pointing dog, was associated with his handler, Officer Larry Rodkey. Tuukka is known as a “friendly search” dog, which means that it does not follow criminal suspects, but is instead used to help locate missing people.
Tuukka is also a trained drug detection dog.
The incident that caused his dismissal happened on December 1 at Rodkey’s home. Tuukka was in a secure area while a guest was present with a small breed dog, Briggs said.
“He escaped from the secure area of the house, an altercation with the other dog occurred which ended in the unfortunate death of the other dog,” the acting chief said.
Why would one dog kill another
The qualities that make Tuukka such a good search dog are probably what led to the incident, Briggs said.
“As a hunting breed it has natural prey, which is why the German shorthair makes such good searching dogs,” he said.
Tuukka’s future within the department is still being assessed. He has only been in the service for a short time and had previously completed his training at a police training academy and had been in service.
Tuukka successfully searched for a missing child in Sherborn last month.
“It was an unfortunate incident,” Briggs said. “Our concern is with the owner of the other dog. The whole incident is tragic. As the owner of three dogs myself, I can’t imagine what the owner is going through.
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