On November 12, 2010, as Officer John Jorgensen, 39, and Major, his K-9 partner, headed home from the Roseville Police Department in Minnesota, the pair heard a radio call: A security alarm had gone off at a truck-parts company.

Within minutes, John, Major and another officer were on the scene. John shouted, “Roseville Police K-9. Surrender, now!” and got no answer, so he unleashed Major, who headed toward a wooded area, searching for the intruders.
Suddenly, Major’s cries of pain shattered the silence. “I’d never heard him yelp like that,” says John, who radioed for backup, then frantically searched the woods for his partner while the other officer went after the intruder. When John’s flashlight fell on the dog, he was horrified by what he saw. “There was blood all over,” he says. As help arrived, John rushed Major to the squad car and sped to a nearby veterinary hospital.

As doctors fought to save Major’s life, John learned the brutal details: Major had been stabbed four times by the intruder—his lung was punctured and his spinal cord damaged, leaving him partially paralyzed. “That could have been me,” John says. “I tried to be strong, but when I got home I just sat and bawled.” Major spent 15 days in intensive care, but despite three months of physical therapy and more surgery, he lost the use of his back legs.

Though the attacker was apprehended and did plead guilty—and despite John’s emotional testimony at sentencing—the man was given a stay of sentence of one year and a day for attempted theft and causing harm to a public safety animal. He was expected to serve a mere 120 days in jail.

Horrified that Major’s sacrifice seemed to be in vain, John researched penalties for harming a police dog and found Minnesota’s laws to be seriously lacking. Although it was a felony to kill a police dog, an assault was a gross misdemeanor. “You could cut off a dog’s leg and it would only be punishable by up to a year in jail,” he says.

With backing from the United States Police Canine Association, John began his campaign to change the law, working with Minnesota Representative Tony Cornish on a bill calling for stiffer penalties for attacks like Major’s. “I even testified before the State House and Senate about the crucial role of police dogs, who are deployed tens of thousands of times day and night,” says John. His efforts paid off: In March 2011, the governor signed the bill into law. Offenders can now be sentenced to up to two years.

As for Major, he’s still serving his community, visiting classrooms with John to educate kids about K-9 police work. “This fierce police dog becomes so gentle when he’s with the kids,” says John. “It’s perfect for him.”

On November 12, 2010, as Officer John Jorgensen, 39, and Major, his K-9 partner, headed home from the Roseville Police Department in Minnesota, the pair heard a radio call: A security alarm had gone off at a truck-parts company.

Within minutes, John, Major and another officer were on the scene. John shouted, “Roseville Police K-9. Surrender, now!” and got no answer, so he unleashed Major, who headed toward a wooded area, searching for the intruders.

Suddenly, Major’s cries of pain shattered the silence. “I’d never heard him yelp like that,” says John, who radioed for backup, then frantically searched the woods for his partner while the other officer went after the intruder. When John’s flashlight fell on the dog, he was horrified by what he saw. “There was blood all over,” he says. As help arrived, John rushed Major to the squad car and sped to a nearby veterinary hospital.

As doctors fought to save Major’s life, John learned the brutal details: Major had been stabbed four times by the intruder—his lung was punctured and his spinal cord damaged, leaving him partially paralyzed. “That could have been me,” John says. “I tried to be strong, but when I got home I just sat and bawled.” Major spent 15 days in intensive care, but despite three months of physical therapy and more surgery, he lost the use of his back legs.

Though the attacker was apprehended and did plead guilty—and despite John’s emotional testimony at sentencing—the man was given a stay of sentence of one year and a day for attempted theft and causing harm to a public safety animal. He was expected to serve a mere 120 days in jail.

Horrified that Major’s sacrifice seemed to be in vain, John researched penalties for harming a police dog and found Minnesota’s laws to be seriously lacking. Although it was a felony to kill a police dog, an assault was a gross misdemeanor. “You could cut off a dog’s leg and it would only be punishable by up to a year in jail,” he says.

With backing from the United States Police Canine Association, John began his campaign to change the law, working with Minnesota Representative Tony Cornish on a bill calling for stiffer penalties for attacks like Major’s. “I even testified before the State House and Senate about the crucial role of police dogs, who are deployed tens of thousands of times day and night,” says John. His efforts paid off: In March 2011, the governor signed the bill into law. Offenders can now be sentenced to up to two years.

As for Major, he’s still serving his community, visiting classrooms with John to educate kids about K-9 police work. “This fierce police dog becomes so gentle when he’s with the kids,” says John. “It’s perfect for him.”

(Source: womansday.com)

88 notes
Posted on Monday, 25 March
Tagged as: Animals dogs police dogs stories german shepherd
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