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.