A Glassboro, New Jersey police dog died on Saturday after being struck by a car. But, the details surrounding her death are surprising – if not infuriating – to dog lovers.
The 6-year old German Shepherd, Anka, was being housed in an outdoor kennel when fireworks apparently scared her. In a panic that’s very common to dogs during fireworks, Anka managed to pull back the wire fencing of her kennel and escape her backyard. The frightened dog took off and was struck by a car.
Her handler, Glassboro Ptl. Charles Williams, returned home Saturday night and discovered Anka was missing. Police immediately began a search for Anka. An off-duty officer found her in the street severely injured, about a mile away from Williams’ home. She was found alive, but severely injured. She did not survive the car ride to the emergency veterinarian.
Experienced K-9s may remain calm during gunfire, but the continual sound of fireworks can be very stressful, said police.
“Every dog acts differently,” said Washington Township Police Chief Rafael Muniz, a former K9 handler himself. “They are like regular house dogs. They are trained with firearms, and they get brought to the range, but some are freaked out by fireworks.”
The entire police department, especially Williams, are grieving the loss of the very first female K-9 ever assigned to the department. For Williams, “He lost his partner, his family companion,” Capt. Frank Brown said.
Still, dog lovers and furious at the fact that Anka was left outdoors, unattended, during fireworks. Knowing how frightening fireworks can be to dogs, many feel that she should have been kept safely indoors and not left alone to panic.
A memorial service for Anka will take place in August.
Williams and his family asked in lieu of flowers donations be made to Brightstar German Shepherd Rescue, 815 Robertson Road, Churchville, NY 14428, In Memory of Anka or to the Gloucester County Animal Shelter at 1200 N. Delsea Dr. Clayton, NJ 08312 in Memory of Anka.