K-9 Freckles ~ A Senior Beagle’s Unnecessary Death…

K-9 Freckles ~ A Senior Beagle’s Unnecessary Death…

Okaloosa Correctional Institution is located in Crestview Florida, which is part of Okaloosa County and under the direct supervision of the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office. The correctional facility can house approximately 900 inmates and employs a variety of staff including K9s. One of them was K-9 Freckles, an 11-year-old beagle who, according to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, was “a great dog with a great nose who set the bar high for her counterparts.”

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Law enforcement had been looking for an alleged car thief, Eric Russell, since May 7, 2017, when he fled after officers attempted to pull him over for a traffic stop. On May 11 several agencies along with K9s took part in the manhunt for Russell. The OCSO utilized Okaloosa Correctional K-9 Freckles in the search and tragically she died. On their Facebook page, the OCSO said Freckles “either overheated or suffered a heart attack“.

Okaloosa County is located in the Northeast part of Florida close to the Alabama border. The weather on May 11 was approximately 85 degrees.

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office announced  they captured Eric Russell around 10 pm that same night. 

Beagles are mostly used in airports, harbors and correctional facilities to sniff out narcotics and any illegal substances. Because of their size, they are easy to lift into areas which a person otherwise can’t access. They can also be fast, swift and great for tracking. Beagles are also used as cadaver dogs to sniff out bodies or substances.

I kept reading comments by the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office that K-9 Freckles died “doing what she loved best”. On their Facebook page, where you can also view K-9 Freckles procession, many people posted that Eric Russell killed K-9 Freckles. This really bothered me for several reasons. She was 11- years old and as seen in this photo, a bit overweight.

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I started to do a bit of research and learned that the average life expectancy of a beagle is 12 to 15 years, with a median of 13.5 years. In this informative article by the National Beagle Club, a beagle is considered a senior at age 7. This also addresses the problems seniors develop such as the decrease in their ability to regulate their body temperature, arthritis, and excess weight. Still curious, I emailed a long time handler friend and asked his opinion. He was kind enough to allow me to use it in my post as long as I removed any personal information.

Honestly, I’ve only seen them used as narcotic dogs and they excel at it. Beagles can be used to track but it’s not very realistic to have them actively track in a manhunt despite their great noses. Scenario – we’re tracking a suspect that may or may not be armed and he runs into the woods ok? The beagle would be able to track him fine but when he located the suspect what could the beagle do for me? Whereas if I’m using a Mal or GSD whose also certified in tracking, I can send him in on the suspect. Chances are he would comply more with what I’m saying with an aggressive sounding/looking Mal or GSD standing there as opposed to a beagle. And if the suspect resisted, a Mal or GSD could easily subdue him where a beagle can’t.

I reached the conclusion that there was NO excuse for this. This senior K9 officer was used to track a man who stole “Donnie’s truck” (found in one of the comments on the Facebook page) among other vehicles.  K-9 Freckles was a “jail dog” and as such would have been used to detect contraband inside the facility. I  don’t understand why they felt the need to utilize her for a car thief. Eric Russell wasn’t being hunted because of a violent crime such as rape or murder so why risk the health of a senior dog? Part of the responsibility that goes with being a K9 handler is to use common sense when utilizing them. One of the biggest considerations while working with a K9 is their health, fitness, and welfare. According to the National Police Dog Foundation, the average retirement age is approximately 10 years which is contingent on their health status. 

Chances are OSI has younger German Shepherds or Belgian Malinois to handle out of control inmates, riots and so forth. At age 11 K-9 Freckles should have been retired or strictly limited to inside the jail. Instead, she ran after a car thief till she died. Despite the Facebook posts calling K-9 Freckle’s death a LODD (line of duty death), I don’t see it that way. She died because either her handler or someone within the OCSO made the decision to take an 11-year-old dog carrying extra pounds on a small frame and have her track a car thief in 85-degree weather. This was not a line of duty death nor a death doing something she loved. It was a grievous and senseless death due to a poor decision and complete lack of judgment by whoever was in charge of K-9 Freckles. 

Several Florida handlers have made heinous blunders the past few years resulting in the death of their dogs. Even with the death of K-9 Freckles, there are more to come for the Summer of 2017.

K-9 Freckles

EOW  May 11, 2017

Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office FL

She has gone home to rest for the final time

“Officer  Kilo Freckles is 10-42 … Good Girl Freckles”

K9

The first to sense the hostility of a suspect,
The first to react to protect his master.
The first to enter where danger lurks.
The first to detect the hidden intruder.
The first to take action against violence.
The first to sense his master’s joy.
The first to know his master’s sorrow or fear.
The first to give his life in defense of his master.
The last to be forgotten by those who work with others like him.
They know him as a “Partner,” not just an animal.

 

💙Next up ~ another Florida K9 dies while trapped in a hot car🖤

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Am WILD!!! I Literally Just Blogged About A Flawed VA System Earlier Tonight…

I Am WILD!!! I Literally Just Blogged About A Flawed VA System Earlier Tonight…

Where do they find their employees? Do they hire them fresh out of rehab or prison? Do they land in Florida on a boat? The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System in Seminole Florida is substandard ~ and that’s putting it mildly! That this occurred In February 2016 but just reported by the AP today is even more distressing.

excellence

The Welcome on their homepage:

Honoring America’s Veterans with quality health care services, part of the largest integrated health care

These uncaring, lazy, incompetent examples of human waste aren’t worthy enough to walk in a United States Veteran’s boots ~ not even a few feet! As a health care professional and an American citizen I am appalled beyond words for there is NO excuse to justify this abhorrent lack of action. I don’t want to hear about staffing issues, other patients, change of shift, an in-house emergency. NOTHING the Veterans Administration can say or do could possible validate such incompetency and lack of care. I am so angry, so ashamed that I cannot even write a rational post so am going to hyperlink then copy and paste.

VA hospital left body in shower room for 9 hours

SEMINOLE, Fla. (AP) — Staff at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Florida left the body of a veteran in a shower for nine hours after the veteran died and proper pickup procedures to the morgue weren’t followed.

The Tampa Bay Times on Sunday (http://bit.ly/2goW2NK ) reported that an internal investigation concluded that staff at the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System failed to provide appropriate post-mortem care to the veteran’s body.

The investigative report said that leaving the body unattended for so long increased the chance of decomposition.

The unnamed veteran died in February after spending time in hospice care. The hospital’s Administrative Investigation Board ordered retraining for staff.

Hospital spokesman Jason Dangel said hospital officials view what happened as unacceptable but have implemented changes to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“We feel that we have taken strong, appropriate and expeditious steps to strengthen and improve our existing systems and processes within the unit,” Dangel said. “It is our expectation that each veteran is transported to their final resting place in the timely, respectful and honorable manner. America’s heroes deserve nothing less.”

The investigation found that once the veteran died, hospice staff members requested a staffer known as a “transporter” to get the body moved to the morgue.

The transporter told them to follow proper procedures and notify dispatchers, but that request was never made, so nobody showed up to take the body away.

Instead, it was moved to a hallway in the hospice and then to the shower room where it was unattended for more than nine hours.

Some hospice staff “demonstrated a lack of concern, attention and respect” for the veteran, according to the investigative report.

The investigation also found that staff failed to check a 24-hour nursing report that would indicate whether the death was reported properly, and staff failed to update a nursing organizational chart that hampered efforts to determine who was in charge.

Information from: Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.), http://www.tampabay.com.

Why wasn’t this reported for 10 months? Considering the media are like jackals? And how DARE they write this:

Instead, it was moved to a hallway in the hospice and then to the shower room where it was unattended for more than nine hours.

Whomever this person was, be it 25 years of age or 85 years, they were A. a US veteran and B. a human being. They were loved, a son or a daughter, perhaps a spouse and a parent, and they defended OUR country. How DARE the press refer to them as “it”? How dare they refer to any deceased person as “it”? I have pronounced convicted pedophiles dead yet I never told the ancillary staff to “take care of it”. There are boundaries one simply doesn’t cross…

In closing I found even more detailed information in:

VA staff left veteran’s body in shower nine hours, tried to hide mistakes