Balto. Co. police dog euthanized, bringing deaths to 4

Baltimore & Region


A Baltimore County police dog that had been found to have a brain tumor was euthanized yesterday, bringing to four the number of animals from the department's canine unit that have died since February.

The dog was one of three whose medical condition was referred to in September when police closed the canine facility for environmental testing. Two other dogs that had been found to have cancer were euthanized earlier this year.

The body of another police dog, who died Dec. 2, has been sent to the University of Maryland for a necropsy to determine the cause of death.

The dog that died yesterday, a 9-year-old German shepherd named Enno, was retired from the canine unit in March.

"Recently it had about a dozen seizures, and the family decided it was time to put the dog down," said Bill Toohey, a police spokesman.

When Enno was retired, the county gave the dog to his handler, Toohey said.

The Baltimore County Fraternal Order of Police will pay for a necropsy of Enno's body to confirm the cause of death, said Cole B. Weston, the union's president. A county-contracted veterinarian determined in March that the dog was suffering from a brain tumor, Weston said.

The dog's death comes less than two weeks after the death of an 8-year-old police dog named Harley, also a German shepherd. In February, Jeb, one of the canine unit's three bloodhounds, was found to have cancer, and cancer was found in a black Labrador retriever named Leo in July, Weston said. The union president said both animals were euthanized.

The unit has about 30 police dogs, according to the police department's Web site. The dogs work patrols and can be called on to detect bombs and guns and to search for bodies.

The cancer cases come two years after the department moved the canine center to Southwest Area Park in the Baltimore Highlands area. The park was built on top of a former landfill.

The county is awaiting results of environmental testing to determine whether the soil and groundwater at the park contain contaminants.

About 30 employees of the canine unit have filed injury reports with the department, some complaining of headaches, dizziness and respiratory problems.

Before the move to the park, the canine unit, which was created in 1961, had lost one dog to

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