K9s killed in the line of duty

Daniela Barberi, Jennifer C. Gibbs, Jennifer L. Schally

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


While police work comes with a slew of dangers, little research has focused on deaths of police dogs in the line of duty. The purpose of this paper is to begin a conversation about violence toward police dogs and the treatment of animals working with the police. To do so, a database of 96 police dogs that died in the line of duty in the United States between 2011 and 2015 was compiled, drawn from the Officer Down Memorial Page. More police dog deaths were reported in 2014 and 2015, during summer months, with half clustering in the Southern US. The victim police dogs were mostly younger and recently employed by the policing agency. The most frequent cause of death was heat exhaustion, followed by gunfire and automobiles. Most offenders were apprehended by police or shot. Policymakers and researchers should encourage systematic data collection for a better understanding of the extent of the issue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-100
Number of pages15
JournalContemporary Justice Review: Issues in Criminal, Social, and Restorative Justice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Law


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