Protect Florida Police Dog from Ill-Treatment

Target: Chief Douglas Baker of the Fort Myers Police Department

Goal: Remove police dog from care of officer accused of punching him

K-9 units have become an increasingly important part of police forces around the country. The dogs that aid in police investigations do important work and are worthy of respectful, humane treatment–so why does the Fort Myers Police Department continue to allow one of its dogs, Euro, to be cared for by an owner whose treatment violates department guidelines? Sign the petition and request that the Fort Myers Police Department assign Euro a new human partner.

During a recent training exercise, Euro’s human partner, Officer George Sanford, repeatedly punched the dog in the face between the eyes. Euro, scared and in pain, “yelped, winced, and urinated on the floor.” Sanford acknowledged that he violated the department’s guidelines for the treatment of its police dogs, but claimed that he hit Euro because “the dog tried to bite him.” Witnesses did not appear to have the same story; the official report of the incident claimed that Officer Sanford hit Euro after the dog tried to pull a towel out of Sanford’s hand during a game of tug-of-war.

A vet gave Euro a clean bill of health  and the dog was released into Officer Sanford’s care after Sanford completed a K-9 re-training session. However, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) points out that Officer Sanford has been a K-9 handler for nine years and asks, “[W]hat additional training should he need to understand that he shouldn’t punch his partner?”

Request that the Fort Myers Police Department ensure the safety of its K-9 unit–sign the petition urging the department to find Euro a new partner.


Dear Chief Baker,

Both the dogs and the officers who make up K-9 units do incredibly important work. As a result, both should be of the highest caliber in terms of both skill and integrity. However, a recent incident involving Officer George Sanford and his partner Euro has cast doubts onto the department’s treatment of its police dogs.

According to witnesses, Officer Sanford punched Euro in the face during a recent training session. Although Sanford claims that Euro tried to bite him, the witnesses say that Euro simply tried to pull a towel out of Sanford’s hand during a game of tug-of-war.

If the internal investigation found no aggressive behavior on Euro’s part, the responsibility for this unfortunate incident must reside with Euro’s partner, Officer Sanford. Punching a police dog, especially one that did not pose a safety threat, is an incredibly inappropriate action, especially for a nine-year veteran of the K-9 program. However, Euro has been released back into Officer Sanford’s care.

I urge you to protect the interests of the police dogs you employ. Please find Euro a new partner and reconsider Officer Sanford’s position as a K-9 handler.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: S. Rossi via fotopedia

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  1. This officer should be prosecuted and fired for mistreatment of man’s best friend.

  2. This is a criminal act also a terroristic threat against a officer! Uro is a officer of the law! If a civilian punched a police officer in the head they would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law!!! Why is this mentally ill abuser still allowed to have custody of the very animal he ABUSED! ???? Does the Police Chief and The captain of the K-9 unit DISBELIEVE THEIR OWN OFFICERS who have come forward to report this abuse on several occasions as witnesses?? If so what does that say about them?? When a animal lies down and urinates they have been abused repeatedly !!!This creep is repeatedly abusing this poor dog! Instead of treats he gets hit !! If the animal growls or tries to protect himself he gets beaten!!! My God what is the poor thing to do???? If and when he does bite this piece of crap he will be beaten again!! This monster should never be allowed to be near a animal let alone OWN ONE!! I pray to God that the Chief of Police does the Humane thing and removes Uro!!

  3. I am so deeply hurt that the very people in charge of protecting Euro are allowing him to be BEATEN!!! This may explain all the shootings of pitbulls I read about in the newspapers in Florida!! Anytime a large dog is alone he is “a threat”! I recently read of a police officer up “north” who was called because a “vicious pit bull” was threatening children . IT WASN’T JUST LOST AND SCARED, this Officer offered the dog a treat and it came to him with his tail wagging!! Super friendly! Thank God it didn’t run in to “Sanford”!!!!IF EURO GETS BEATEN FOR PLAYFULLY TUGGING A TOWEL DURING A GAME OF TUG OF WAR, we can only guess the outcome of a stray Pit Bull!!! You can’t train someone to be kind!! What classes does the Cheif of police expect him to take that would teach him HUMANITY!! Would the police chief or the supervisor of the K-9 unit allow him to WATCH THEIR DOGS!! To see pictures of this dog licking the very person who beats him shows us the undying loyalty of MANS BEST FRIEND! It only breaks my heart more to know Nothing is being done to protect this poor animal!! May God Bless the Officers who had the compassion and decency to come forward and report this ABUSE! You did the right thing! I commend you for your effort in trying to protect Euro.Sanford,your evil will come back to you!! Their is a much higher powers you will answer too!! I hope these letters make a difference as Euro’s life is at danger everyday! May the Cheif of police do the right thing and remove Euro IMMEADIATELY !! It’s the right thing to do, and the humane thing also! Sanford should be removed from the force at the very least. Never should be allowed to own a pet!!

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