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DNA Evidence Used To Save The Life Of A Veteran’s Service Dog

February 10, 2017

DNA evidence has been used to clear the name of a veteran’s service dog that was accused of killing another neighborhood pet. Jeb, an Air Force veteran’s service dog, was accused of killing a small Pomeranian named Vlad. Neighborhood residents called Animal control to report Vlad’s death, but when they arrived, the hard-working Belgian Malinois was found standing over Vlad’s body. Animal control employees detained Jeb, had a judge declare him “dangerous” and scheduled him to be euthanized.

Jeb’s life was saved by forensic scientists at the University of Florida. Jeb’s owner swabbed his mouth and sent a sample in to the university. The scientists tested DNA found on wounds on the Pomeranian and compared it to Jeb’s DNA. They found that there was no match and Jeb was released. The identity of the dog that killed Vlad is still unknown.

Despite his important role in helping his mobility-impared owner stay balanced, Jeb’s case is very uncommon. David Favre, a law professor at Michigan State University, weighed in. Favre claims that courts view dogs as property and because of this pet’s aren’t given rights or a trial. Meaning that in most cases, Jeb would have been executed for a crime he did not commit.

Jeb has been returned to his owner and continues to help him walk and travel.