The following anonymous letter was sent to the editor in response to a recent story in Glades County.:
Nero The Police Dog Shot By Neighbor Of Dog's Handler
On Tuesday, September 2nd, the community suffered a great loss. Glades County Police Service Dog, Nero, was shot and killed in Okeechobee County. The unfortunate incident was a result of negligence and inattention and could have been avoided.
Due to the dog's handler recently resigning from the Glades County Sheriffss Office after handling Nero for almost three years, he was being housed at another deputy's residence after a stint at the vet's office. The deputy housing Nero is an experienced Canine Handler and has been employed with the Seminole Police Department as such until his recent switch to begin working for the Glades County Sheriff's Office.
While the deputy was working, his minor daughter, without the supervision of a qualified handler or adult, was allowed to handle the six year old Belgian Malinios. The girl took the service dog outside lacking the judgment to have the dog on a leash. The Police Dog then began to chase a cat which ran back to their neighbor's house. As a direct result of this incompetence, the neighbors felt it necessary for them to protect their cat and shot K9 Nero, leaving him fatally wounded.
I can only hope that in today's world, with the dependence on liability, that the Glades County Sheriff's Office has learned its lesson. This avoidable incident has left several hearts broken and millions of tears shed, not to mention the loss that the community has suffered.
Canine Nero was funded by the Glades County Community through donations and fund raisers which took several thousands of dollars to purchase Nero and initiate the Canine program. It is amazing that an incident of this nature has not been made available to the public. After all, the public funded Nero and aside from his former handler was the biggest supporter of the dog and program.
With this being an election year, it is not unreasonable to think that this embarrassing incident is being swept under the rug like so many others to include the recent escape of two inmates from the Glades County Jail. How is a Police Service Dog being shot and killed because of complete negligence and two inmates escaping from a new state of the art facility after a lock was left unsecured not made available to the public? We have a right to know!