Richmond K-9 poisoned while cop's home is robbed


He's the most seasoned K-9 on the Richmond police force and someone tried to kill him, but what makes this so personal is that police say it was all a set up.

"We do think that this officer was intentionally targeted," said Richomnd Lt. Bisa French.

Richmond police say an officer came home and found his 2-year-old black lab dying after it ate some meat laced with poison. So he rushed his family dog to the vet and left his K-9 partner of nine years in a kennel in the backyard. That's when the burglars struck.

"His house was ransacked and five fire arms were stolen as well as numerous personal possessions," said French.

There's one key detail that really bothers the officers in Richmond.

"Both of the dogs involved in this were locked, secured in kennels. They were of no threat to any burglar. It was obviously an intentional act. They could have broken into the house and committed the crime that they committed without doing anything to those dogs," said Richmond Ofc. Joe Avila.

The police won't say what the dogs ate, but the family's Labrador died from the same poison given to the police dog. The K-9 and his trainer are not being identified, but officer Avila, also a K-9 officer, was with the police dog's trainer at the vet.

"It didn't look good for his partner for quite some time and luckily he got the attention he needed immediately," said Avila.

Avila says the bond between an officer and his dog is strong, but these two are really tight.

"They're just an extremely hard working team. One of the most dedicated teams in our unit," said Avila.

Had the dog been on duty, the poisoning would have been considered a felony assault on an officer. Instead, it's just a misdemeanor "cruelty to animals" charge.

There is now a $10,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.

Donations to the Richmond Police K9 Association can be made at the Contra Costa Federal Credit Union, Acct. 5090250.

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