A teenager has been charged with maiming a police animal after a Calgary police dog was stabbed multiple times in the head over the weekend.
A six-year-old German Shepherd named Jester was hurt early Sunday trying to catch the youth outside a Calgary school where officers were responding to a break-in.
The 14-year-old is also charged with break-and-enter and possessing a weapon dangerous to the public.
It’s the first time the Calgary Police Service has laid charges under a new section of the criminal code that protects law enforcement animals.
That youth, along with a 15-year-old who has been charged with break-and-enter, cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Jester’s condition has been upgraded from life-threatening to serious and the six-year-old dog is now recovering at home with his handler.
Jester has been a canine officer for five years and it’s not clear if he will be able to return to duty.
The 14-year-old is being charged under the Justice for Animals in Service Act, known as Quanto’s Law, which came into force in 2015. The law was named after an Edmonton police dog named Quanto who was stabbed in the RCMP headquarters parking lot while helping to catch a fleeing suspect in 2013.
Anyone convicted of intentionally killing or maiming a police dog or service animal under the law faces a maximum of five years in prison. If the animal dies, the minimum sentence is six months.
Edmonton police were the first to lay a charge under Quanto’s Law last year when one of their dogs suffered non-life-threatening injuries while helping police catch a driver they said fled on foot after a lengthy vehicle chase.