October 21, 2014
Hagerstown Police Department
Hagerstown, MD 21740
during a demonstration at a safety event held at Wal-Mart in this file photo.
Her ashes are in an urn on Tom Bartles' dresser. "I was with that dog more than I was with my family," Bartles said of Queen, the German shepherd he handled during her 7 1/2 years with the Hagerstown Police Department. Bartles estimated that Queen logged close to 1,000 assignments for the department. Queen's contributions to the Hagerstown Police Department ranged from hunting down evidence in robberies and tracking suspects in crimes to sniffing out cocaine, methamphetamines, heroin and ecstasy. She started her career with the department in 2007.
Because of Queen's accomplishments, she was named Officer of the Month in October, the first time Bartles can remember that a K-9 received the award. Bartles, a patrol officer, said Queen developed a cough over the summer that initially was treated as an allergy. But there was concern about her condition, and a chest X-ray revealed Queen had lung cancer, which caused a tumor to develop in her stomach. Veterinarians said there was nothing that could be done to save her. On Oct. 21, she was euthanized at Mid-Atlantic Veterinary Hospital on Professional Court, Bartles said.
Queen was cremated, and today her ashes rest in an urn on Bartles' bedroom dresser, a testament to how much her death affected him. Queen was sent to the U.S. from Germany and came to Bartles through Rudy Drexler's School for Dogs in Elkhart, Ind. Bartles soon noticed Queen's ability to track suspects and search for evidence.
Bartles recalled some of Queen's highlights, like an armed robbery of a Pizza Hut at the intersection of Dual Highway and Mt. Aetna Road about four years ago. Queen tracked the scent of a suspect in the case and was able to find a hockey mask used in the holdup, Bartles said. Investigators were able to lift fingerprints off the mask, which helped lead to a conviction in the case, Bartles said.
The Washington County Narcotics Task Force, Maryland State Police and the Washington County Sheriff's Office used Queen to search for drugs, and she rode along with special-response teams in the county's Bearcat vehicle, Bartles said. Queen and Bartles were together day and night. Because Bartles was Queen's handler, she lived with Bartles at his home. In K-9 cruisers, there is a partition separating the front part from the back where the dogs ride. There is a door in the middle of the partition, and when Queen was in Bartles' car, she always wanted the door open, giving her the ability to poke her head through to watch the road ahead as she and Bartles scanned the streets of Hagerstown fighting crime.
"She had to see what was going on," Bartles said. "She loved to work." These days, Queen rests in her urn, her badge affixed to it, along with a photograph of her and a note indicating her End of Watch, 11:10 a.m., Oct. 21. Hagerstown City Council members on Tuesday night approved the purchase of two police dogs for the Hagerstown Police Department, one of which will be assigned to Bartles. Bartles will receive a dog similar to a German shepherd for patrol and narcotics. The dog comes from Cobra Canine in Loudon, Tenn., for a price of $11,000.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA
September 2, 2014
several years. “He was an excellent dog,” said Officer Jeff Soli. “He touched a lot of lives.” The K-9 served the department
alongside Soli for eight years as a school resource officer for Fowlerville Community Schools. During that time, Quinn
assisted Soli in several drug busts in the village. He was trained in handler protection, article location, tracking, and
narcotics. Quinn retired in June 2012, due to physical restrictions. “We tried to do everything we could to keep him going,”
Soli said. Quinn spent his last two years in the care of Soli on his Shiawassee County farm, where he enjoyed chasing after
the animals. Soli said the dog would “get mad” each time he would take his current partner, Niko the Doberman to work
with him, leaving Quinn behind. The retired K-9 recently lost ability to use his hind legs, signaling Soli it was time to
euthanize him due to “quality of life” concerns. “It’s horrible,” Soli said. “I’ve lost dogs before,
but when you lose your partner, it’s a little different story.” submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA
In Loving Memory of
EDMONTON - A man has pleaded guilty
to animal cruelty in the death of an
Edmonton police dog. Paul Joseph
Vukmanich was fleeing from police
last October when he repeatedly
stabbed the dog named Quanto.
Officers had set the German Shepherd
loose after Vukmanich crashed a car
with stolen plates and ran away on
foot. Vukmanich pleaded guilty
to a total of six charges, which
included animal cruelty and flight
from police. He told court on
Tuesday that he was high on drugs at
the time. Police complained
that the strongest criminal charge
that could be laid was cruelty to an
animal. The federal government
said in its fall throne speech that
it plans to bring forward "Quanto's
Law" to protect police animals, but
didn't specify what that might
entail. A private member's
bill to amend the Criminal Code to
include such a law is also before
the House of Commons. Ontario
Conservative MP Costas Menegakis has
said his bill was inspired by the
hit-and-run death of a Toronto
police horse in 2006. It
states that anyone "who knowingly or
recklessly poisons, injures or kills
a law enforcement animal,''
including a horse or a dog, could be
subject to a five-year maximum
sentence. It's the same
sentence carried by an animal
cruelty charge, but Menegakis said
having a separate law for police
animals would be a symbolic change.
Alberta's justice minister has said
he supports the bill and that the
province is also considering
changing its Service Dog Act.
Quanto is the fifth Edmonton police
dog to die in the line of duty. The
last police dog, named Caesar, was
killed in 1998. In 2006,
Edmonton police shot a fleeing
suspect four times when he started
stabbing a police dog. The animal,
Wizzard, survived. Kirk
Steele also survived being shot by
police, but doctors had to remove one
of his kidneys and an adrenal gland.
A judge scolded police for using
excessive force but a disciplinary
hearing later dismissed a charge of
unnecessary use of force.
UPDATE: Feb. 2014
"K9 Quanto." Officers had set the German shepherd loose after Vukmanich was caught driving a car with stolen plates
and ran away on foot. submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA