The Rockland County Sheriff's Office announced Thursday that the department's Arson dog, K-9 Roscoe, would be transferred to the State Fire Academy, after killing another dog on Nov. 21.
The attack and death of a 10-pound cavapoo named Ginger tragically happened when Rockland County Sheriff's Det. Dwayne Delfino who handles Roscoe was taking him for his daily walk around the neighborhood when the leash slipped out of his hand and the dog spied the small dog walking down the street, said Chief William Barbera.
"Unfortunately, Roscoe attacked the small dog and it died a short time later," said Barbera. "Everyone involved at the Sheriff's department, especially the handler, feels just terrible. To lose a dog is like losing a family member."
Ginger, 11/2 years old, was being walked by the family's babysitter when the attack took place. Delfino immediately tackled Roscoe, getting bit several times in the process, and removed him to his home before rushing back to offer aid to Ginger, Barbera said.
The babysitter, who is Albanian and speaks little English, kept telling Delfino to take them home, Barbera said.
"He could tell the dog was critically ill and said the dog needed to receive help, but the woman kept saying home, home," he added.
Thinking the woman was the owner, Delfino walked with the woman, while carrying the dying Ginger to the home. Once there the dog died and he learned that the dog belonged to someone else.
That's when the owner, Tom Fordet's teenage daughter called her father who said to take Ginger to the hospital, Barbera said.
"By that time, it was evident the little dog had passed," Barbera said. "It’s a horrible incident that should’ve never happened and our hearts are broken, but there was no foul play."
The family is extremely upset and said the department should have taken the dog to the hospital, Barbera said.
"The Sheriff has called them, I have called them," Barbera said. "But, it was just too late to save Ginger."
He added that the department's insurance company would pay to replace the dog, which, he said, isn't the same as having "the dog you love."
Roscoe has been kenneled since the incident. He will be moved shortly to his new home upstate, said Barbera.
"It's such a sad situation for all concerned," he added.
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