Bill Aims To Create Restitution For Injured Police Dogs

ST. PAUL (WCCO) — A bill was introduced at the State Capitol Thursday that would create a $25,000 restitution penalty for anyone convicted of seriously injuring a police dog.

This comes after Major, a Roseville police dog, was stabbed in the line of duty last November.

Major’s injuries ended his police career because he lost the use of his back legs. Major came to the Thursday’s hearing with his partner, Roseville Police Officer John Jorgensen.

“This is K9 Major, my partner for the last 7-and-a-half years,” said Jorgensen at the hearing. “Major will never work as a police dog again.”

Major, a 9-year-old German Shepherd, won many awards while working with Roseville PD.

“He’s had a very, very strong career,” said Jorgensen. “When a dog is injured, when a police service dog is injured and taken out of work, there is a lot that goes into replacing that dog.”

Jorgensen said Major worked around eight years with the city of Roseville, all of it as his partner.

“In my opinion, the restitution element of it is as important as the criminal element,” said Mark Ficcidenti with the St. Paul Canine Police Division.

The dog had to undergo several surgeries at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Hospital and a lot of therapy.

“He’s doing pretty good. He’s adjusting to not only not being a police dog any more, but not having the use of his back legs right now,” said Jorgensen. “We’re going through rehab sessions. He recently recovered from having pneumonia. He had a surgery two weeks ago and as a complication of that he developed pneumonia.

Jorgensen said they are going to start rehab again now that the dog is feeling better.

“We’re going to continue to rehab his back legs. He recently had a stem cell procedure done, as well as relieving some further compression on his spine,” he said.

  • Greg

    I was curios about something with this Canine Story. I was wondering if the dog has use of his back legs? Or if his back feet were not working properly?
    I had a dog that was hit by a car and he had the same problems. After working with him, (swimming) he was able to get use of his back legs but his feet were not working the way they should, and he would end up walking on the top side of his feet.
    My vet did not think this would work……but I made the dog two plastic shoes. I molded the shoes from PVC material, to fit his feet and I ran the plastic up the back side of his leg, past where his foot and ankle connected. Then I put non-slip material on the bottom, so he could get traction from the plastic boot and the ground. The shoe kept his feet in the right position all the time, and kept the bottom of his foot on the ground all the time when he walked.
    My Vet liked the design, because it kept his feet where they are supposed to be.
    But, he did not think it would help him gain back the use of his feet.
    Well, after approx. one month of this ……I would take off the shoes and put them back on to see if his feet were getting better. I continued with this for a month and a half, and he walked just fine. He obtained use in both of his feet, and walked and ran just fine without the shoes.
    I was hoping this would help as a suggestion.
    I certainly hope he will regain use of his legs and live long full wonderful life.
    I just wanted to share this information…….and don’t give up.
    Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help,

  • rosepickle

    Greg you should patten that and sell it to “police” to help them with their dogs. Smart idea!!!!

  • Norge

    Hope that this is a two way street and when trigger-happy police needlessly kill someones dog just because it barked at them (which they then claim is threatening behavior) or kill it because they don’t want it to spoil their ‘element of surprise’ when they are stalking someone they have no warrant for (each case of which I have witnessed with my own eyes), then the same payment plan should apply to them, their so-called ‘bond’ with their dog is no greater then that of many civilian owners, and just as many owners rely on their dogs to alert them to danger and people encroaching into their territory as the police do to assist them in finding someone. Whats good for the goose….

    • Chris

      I agree 110%
      Just because it is a cop dog doesn’t make it any less important to the owner

  • Norge

    PS Greg, thats pretty brilliant, good luck with getting that ‘out there’ for other injured dogs. There is no such thing as a bad dog, just bad owners, and you sound like a great example for all owners, don’t know if I’ld have had the IQ to think of something like that, if my dog gets hurt I know who I’m going to call.

  • Victim Du Jour

    I think it will be cheaper on taxpayers to make it a major felony for the police to use animals for dangerous police work.

    The US Constitution does not give animals rights in our court system at all.

    Using police dogs is animal cruelty, if you use the same mindset as the person introducing the bill.

  • Beth

    Police dogs dedicate their lives to public safety and are their handler’s partner. Their lives should be protected! They are sometimes doing work that human officers cannot do! Support this bill!

    • Victim Du Jour

      Dogs are not able to dedicate their lives to public service, they have no reasoning skills.

      A dog doesn’t even know what a high five is, they just do it for a treat or attention.

      • Chris

        I find it funny how everyone thinks their dog is special and can think and reason, when in reality we all know it to be false

    • dog lover

      Chris, you have never met my German Shepherd. He figured out how to open the door on the refrigerator when we left a towel hanging on it the handle. He got a whole pan of lasagna. No one taught him that trick or treated him for doing this. He reasoned it out on his own. You obviously have never worked with a dog before! Don’t include me in your “we all know this to be false.”

  • Respect

    The penaly for shooting a police officer should be the same with human and dog they are both officers of the law and put themselves in the line of danger every day on the job They should be tried sor shooting an officer of the law and recieve the same punichment. $25,000 is nothing for them to pay. If it is an amount of money it needs to be in the $100,000 range.

    • Chris

      Until I hear a police dog recite the oath of an officer, it is nothing more than a 4 legged animal

      • Greg

        Chris – if dogs are not able to think and use reason, then why are most dogs better then some humans?

  • Victim Du Jour

    I feel bad for a good natured police dog getting injured, but the constitution does not bar restitution for animals.

    Only a jury can take money and property from a criminal. Laws cannot impose excessive fines automatically, without a jury ruling.

  • For Major

    Some of you are simply incredible – Ask any handler if their dog doesn’t get all excited when then human police officer gets ready for work. These dogs ARE dedicating their lives to protect people like you and me from morons that are a pain to society. I appreicate your compassion. Working for treats? When was the last time you heard of a police dog getting excited for a raise or promotion, or for that next paycheck? When was the last time you saw a dog steal or cheat? Some of you are amazing.

  • linda

    How about the losers that steal & then damage/wreck cars. I’d love to see them have to pay the insurance company that had to pay the owner to replace the car after it was stolen.

  • marjorie benz


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