Real Life

Community raises money for K9 bulletproof vests after dog dies in shoot-out

Animal lovers rally to protect police dogs after three-year-old Jethro the German shepherd was shot in the line of duty.

He was a beloved member of his community but this week police K9 Jethro will be laid to rest after being shot three times in the line of duty on Saturday.

The three-year-old German shepherd sustained the fatal injuries while joining police officers in Canton, Ohio who responded to a suspected burglary alarm at a local business on January 9. While all the bullets missed his vital organs a shot to the snout caused the brain to swell and the heroic pup passed away the following day.

After the Police K9 Association announced the news of Jethro’s death on Facebook there was an outpouring of grief from those who knew him and animals lovers touched by his passing.

“We’ve had quite a response from the community. It’s impressive,” said Capt. David Kurzinsky, a spokesman for the department.

“Some people may see this as an animal or a tool, but people who love animals or have animals as pets know that you can compare it to losing a family member,” Kurzinsky said.

One blogger who recently met Jethro created a crowd funding page to raise money to get all the police dogs in the Canton police department bulletproof vests. The page raised more than $24,000 in just 24 hours.

According to police the burglary suspect who shot Jethro now faces several state felony charges, including assault on a police dog.

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