05-03-2012, 08:26 AM
Member of WHODAT Nation.
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: South East Louisiana
Wolf dog as prison guard?
Okay , i am torn on this article.
A state judge granted a reprieve Tuesday to a wolf dog hybrid he ordered destroyed for aggressive behavior, instead “sentencing” the animal to serve a life term as a guard dog in the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola.
Judge James Best of 18th Judicial District Court signed an order releasing custody of Chief to the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections at the request of prison officials who want to use the animal as a guard dog at Angola.
Area residents testified in Best’s courtroom last month that Chief would frequently escape from his owners’ property and terrorize them. After hearing from the witnesses, Best ordered Chief — of British Colombia wolf and German shepherd ancestry — to be euthanized.
A Pointe Coupee Parish animal control ordinance states that all dogs must be confined to an owner’s property, or secured on a leash when they are not.
Best said shortly after his ruling that he was contacted by Angola Warden Burl Cain, who wanted to take Chief into custody for guard dog service at the state’s 18,000-acre maximum security prison.
“When we saw this dog in the paper, we thought it would be a shame to euthanize (it),” Deputy Warden Bruce Dodd said.
According to the memorandum of understanding Best signed Tuesday, the state prison has developed a program in which hybrid dogs such as Chief are deployed at night within perimeter fencing encircling the prison’s individual camps.
Dodd said the program, which also makes use of surveillance cameras, has helped secure the prison following personnel layoffs related to recent budget cuts.
“We actually breed wolf hybrids here and raise them,” Dodd said.
Dodd said Chief’s aggressive behavior would make him a perfect fit among the dozen or more wolf dog hybrids already on duty at the prison.
“That’s the purpose of them,” Dodd said. “We don’t want them to be vicious killers, but to be aggressive. They become a security measure.”
Although elated that Chief won’t be put to death now, the dog’s previous owner, Vicky Smith, said she doubts Chief would do well in his new surroundings.
Smith said she purchased the wolf dog as a 5-week-old puppy for her son, who raised and cared for him since then.
“He’s not going to do well without us,” she said of Chief. “We’re his family. I think he’s going to be really, really stressed. We keep him inside our air-conditioned home. I feed him oatmeal for breakfast. You think they’re going to feed him that?”
According to the understanding between Angola and the court, all of the prison’s dogs are “well kept and given top veterinarian care.”
Despite witness testimony, Smith said, Chief is harmless and has never “bit or hurt anyone.”
“It’s not right what they’re doing,” she said. “I was going to sell my house and move out of the parish to keep my dog. I want my dog back, but once he goes to Angola I don’t think I’ll get him.”
Parish officials said Chief would be taken to Angola on Wednesday.
Dodd said the dog will spend some time training with a handler before going on patrol.
“I’m just glad for the dog,” Best said Tuesday afternoon after signing the order. “It’s a beautiful ending and the community got some relief. The dog is going to provide good service and be well taken cared of.”
the comment from texasblessing , is all the things that ran through my head when i read the article also.
how do you feel?