Quanto, one of the most popular police dogs in Edmonton, was killed by a suspect Monday. He was a dedicated German shepherd who spent four years of his life in the police service with over 100 arrests.
He, along with Const. Matt Williamson, has chased Paul Joseph Vukmavich who ran away with a car along with stolen plates. Vukmavich reportedly stabbed Quanto repeatedly causing his eventual death.
Vukmavich is now facing charges, which include resisting arrest, criminal flight, dangerous driving and stolen property. He is also facing charges against cruelty to animals after killing Quanto. Troy Carriere of the Edmonton police canine unit said this incident is a great opportunity to modify the criminal code regarding animal cruelty.
Scott Pattison, the police spokesman, looked visibly solemn when he reported that Quanto had an altercation with Vukmavich who stabbed him. The police dog could not endure his injuries caused by repeated stabbing and breathed his last in the line of duty. Another officer was also slightly injured during the chase when he tried to jump to the fence.
Every police dog is part of the handler's family and stays home with the handler. Quanto used to stay with Const. Williamson. His children were extremely fond of Quanto.
According to the Edmonton police, offenders should face equal penalty for assaulting a police dog like that of a police officer. Police dogs are like police officers willing to spare their lives while performing their duties.
Costas Menegakis, the Conservative MP from Ontario, introduced an amendment to the criminal code in 2013. The amendment states anyone who kills or injures an animal who is part of the law enforcement group could face a maximum of 5-year sentence. Quanto is the fifth dog in Edmonton police department to die while on duty. Previously, Caesar, another police dog, was killed in 1998.