Vet claims Waynesboro K-9 didn't have to die

Meth-related poisoning is called into question

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The Waynesboro, Ga., Police Department has launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of a police dog after the veterinarian who euthanized it said the dog did not appear to have been beyond help, as its handler claimed.

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Po Po, a 2-year-old German shepherd, was put down two days after he stepped in meth-producing chemicals, Petitt said.  Zach Boyden-Holmes/File
Zach Boyden-Holmes/File
Po Po, a 2-year-old German shepherd, was put down two days after he stepped in meth-producing chemicals, Petitt said.

The department held a memorial service for the dog, Po Po, on Wednesday, where Officer Bruce Petitt said the dog had stepped in meth-producing chemicals during a warrant service two days before and apparently ingested or absorbed them.

Petitt said a veterinarian had told him it was too late to save the dog, so it had been put down.

But Friday, Dr. Sarah Ford, the veterinarian who put the dog to sleep, said Po Po did not appear to have symptoms of poisoning.

"I work with dogs every day that have been poisoned by different chemicals, and he certainly didn't exhibit any symptoms that a poisoned dog would have," said Ford, of the Burke County Animal Hospital.

Ford said Petitt made an appointment two days after the chemical contact strictly for euthanasia. No toxicology reports were filed through her office.

But Petitt acknowledged that a urine test was performed by an Augusta lab and that no trace of narcotics was found.

Petitt, who has been a handler since 1980, told Ford that Po Po was having 10 seizures a day.

"When I saw the dog, I was expecting to see some out-of-it, drooling, staggering type situation," Ford said, "but that dog was normal."

Because the dog was Petitt's personal property, Ford said law obligates her to honor his request for euthanasia, but not before recommending alternate care.

"Because the dog acted normal, I said that we should really hospitalize the dog and give him a chance," she said. "Every canine unit that I've ever talked to would give their right arm for the dog and give them every last chance."

Petitt denies that these suggestions were ever made. He said Ford commented that Po Po was either losing or had already lost his vision.

"If anybody would have given me any possibility that this dog could recover, there's no way I would be going through this or putting my kids and half of my department through this," Petitt said Friday. "If Dr. Ford said she said there was anything that could save him then she's an absolute liar."

Another veterinarian, Dr. Bruce Gradous, saw the dog before it was brought to Ford.

Gradous would not discuss his treatment of Po Po, but Petitt said Gradous put the dog on anti-seizure medication and flushed its system with IVs. He said Gradous was the one who suggested that Po Po had come into contact with meth.

Seizure medication, however, didn't seem to improve the dog's conditions, Petitt said. Gradous was ready to put Po Po to sleep, but Petitt said he wasn't ready and waited a day before taking the dog to Ford.

Police Chief Karl Allen said he had just learned of Ford's complaints Friday morning and that the department would investigate but he could give no further details.

Though Po Po belonged to Pettit, the city was about to contract to lease the dog for $1,000 per month. Documents were to have been signed by the City Council's Public Safety Committee on May 17, according to Chairman Richard Byne.

The committee still plans to lease Dee-Moe, another dog of Petitt's. Byne said the committee was comfortable staying with the handler because of Po Po's success.

"This is a big investigation because the dog has done such a great job," Byne said. "I think Officer Petitt is a great officer and we respect him very much, but this is something we need to follow up on."

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popofan
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popofan 05/22/10 - 08:46 pm
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Ther was no drug raid. To my

Ther was no drug raid. To my understanding it was a routine call to a residance, and PoPo was only there to clear the building. There was no suspicion of drug activity, thus there was no reason to believe PoPo, or any other officer, was in any grave danger.

IntegrityMatters
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IntegrityMatters 05/22/10 - 08:53 pm
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@Popofan: Ok. So what

@Popofan: Ok. So what exactly were the drugs that were recovered from the scene? Please tell me that WPD did go back and investigate if they thought that their K9 ingested meth producing chemicals. I can't find anywhere that says that chemicals were actually recovered and identified, other than from Officer Pettit. Additionally, there are several pieces where we only have the officer's word on crucial facts (including the words of Dr. Gradous.) Give me some form of proof for these things that doesn't come from Officer Pettit.

AMcKinney
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AMcKinney 05/22/10 - 08:55 pm
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Little Lamb - why are you so

Little Lamb - why are you so bound and determined to to make Officer Pettit into some evil money hungry dog-killer???? Why do you continue to let yourself be drawn into and act as if you believe everything the media is intimating? Or is it just fun for you to see who you can upset with your comments? I was serious when I said I wasn't going to "throw punches" with you anymore. I'm just trying to understand where you're coming from. Do you even KNOW Officer Pettit? In ANY capacity other than what you might have read in a weekly wipe? I'm telling you - there are evil people out there that are trying to bring a wonderful man down. PLEASE don't let yourself get drawn into that, or help them do it. You wrote some ugly things on here, and I reacted badly to them. I admit it. But you've taken this "story" and are headed in the wrong direction with it. I certainly agree with you that it needs to be investigated. And I agree with you that it needs to be outside people doing the investigating. But it's like you're trying to get people to think the absolute worst of this highly respectable man. Isn't there enough damage done already?

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 05/22/10 - 08:59 pm
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dogmommy asked: Do you know

dogmommy asked:

Do you know how old Po Po was?

From the May 20 edition of the Augusta Chronicle, reporter Bianca Cain wrote:

Among the mourners who spoke at Joiner-Anderson-Saxon Funeral Home, none prompted more heartfelt tears than 8-year-old Mitchell Petitt, whose father, Officer Bruce Petitt, handled Po Po, the 2-year-old German shepherd police dog who died Friday.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 05/22/10 - 09:02 pm
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I am grateful to dogmommy for

I am grateful to dogmommy for asking how old Po Po was, because I looked at the earlier article and found that that Po Po was euthanized on Friday, May 14. Therefore, the alleged drug raid would have occurred earlier that week, but we still do not know the date of the raid or the training exercise or the demonstration to justify the $1,000 a month lease arrangement.

dogmommy
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dogmommy 05/22/10 - 09:09 pm
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aweeeeeeeeeeee and he was

aweeeeeeeeeeee and he was only 2 years old?? that breaks my heart even more...why why why did that dog not get meds or more test,,..why after only 2 days from the concern was that baby put down??? that is my question thru ALL of this....officer pettit...you commented earlier..so im going to take a wild guess and assume maybe you are reading the comments...if so why didnt they do more test on him..try meds?? why did they put him down after only 2 days?? gosh he was only 2 years old

Azzy7
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Azzy7 05/22/10 - 09:18 pm
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The only question that needs

The only question that needs to be addressed by any so called investigation, was what the 1st vet said. The officer has stated this man wanted to put the dog down right away. If true, it is no surpise he sought a 2nd opinion. The 2nd vet's story does not add up. If the owner was claiming my dog is deathly ill and the vet sees a happy healthy dog, the vet should at least suggest they hold the dog overnight for observation or simply state they don't kill healthy animals for no reason. I can believe one vet is lying,but 2 is a stretch.

From what I see the officer's story does make sense and can be corroborated by an expert (the 1st vet). There are some seizures that can not be controlled by medicine. They can also happen spontaneously and the whole trip to the meth house was just a coincidence.

Finally, there were people her making accusations, there is no need to pretend otherwise.

AMcKinney
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AMcKinney 05/22/10 - 09:20 pm
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Again - they would not post

Again - they would not post ANYthing about the raid (or whatever you prefer to call it), especially if there was an ongoing investigation!! And why are you harping on the $1000 a month fee - that HAD NOT YET TAKEN PLACE???? Wouldn't it stand to reason that if he would get that money from one dog he would double it with TWO???? Clearly Officer Pettit was NOT doing it for the money. If so it was a STUPID move to put one of them down - makes absolutely no sense monetarily. Read Popofan's 1st comment again - sslloowwllyy. What is so confusing about it? And who are any of you to have justfication for anything?? Unless you're the lead investigator on the "murder of Popo" case - which for all we know you could be! Why can't you work this hard to prove Officer Pettit has been set-up? It's quite obvious to those of us who know him and respect him as a person, a dog trainer, and a dog LOVER.

AMcKinney
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AMcKinney 05/22/10 - 09:25 pm
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Azzy7 - I agree, vehemently,

Azzy7 - I agree, vehemently, with you!!! It's wonderful to know that someone other than myself actually read the article and caught what was important. And there have been PLENTY of accusations made on here that were unwarranted and most definitely cruel.

dogmommy
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dogmommy 05/22/10 - 09:27 pm
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i have to agree what does

i have to agree what does the leasing part have to do with anything...im not sure i get that

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 05/22/10 - 09:28 pm
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Thank you for your post,

Thank you for your post, Azzy. One of the things that is puzzling experienced dog owners here (see dogmommy and others) is that things moved suspiciously fast here, i.e., give dog anti-seizure medicine and IV on Wednesday from one vet and then demand euthanasia on Friday from another vet.

Po Po was an otherwise allegedly healthy 2-year old.

popofan
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popofan 05/22/10 - 09:31 pm
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Integrity...as far as I know

Integrity...as far as I know nothing was recovered, and knowing our PD there was no further investigation or search of the premises. And I'll state this again "IT WAS NOT A RAID OR DEMONSTRAITION." It was a routine call. The officers had no clue of any drugs or related chemicals on the premises. And yes I hate to see a dog of only two years old put to sleep, but Officer Petitt di what he thought was best for PoPo. And I also agree that if Dr. Ford thought PoPo could be saved "WHY DIDN'T SHE?" instead of agreeing to put him down and the after the fact Writing a letter to the newspaper. Seems like someone needed their 5 minutes.

dogmommy
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dogmommy 05/22/10 - 09:35 pm
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it would be nice to here from

it would be nice to here from one of three on here...what exactly was causing the seizures and how does anyone know that meds would not have helped..it was only 2 days...were any test run? when my dog had seizures they kept him at the hospital for several days and from there put him on (i know im not spelling this right)phenabaritrol..said he had a pen size spot on his brain.............this is where i get confused from this..i guess because i have been thru a situation of my dog having seizures..he was a lab..and he also lived to be 13 years old and when he had his first seizure he was about year and half old...do u guys see where i am baffeled?...it did happen fast!! 2 days

dogmommy
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dogmommy 05/22/10 - 09:36 pm
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im not saying its the

im not saying its the officers fault..im wondering did the first vet even try to offer any other alternatives..run text..etc how do u know anything of this severity in just 2 days

dogmommy
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dogmommy 05/22/10 - 09:38 pm
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well one thing..think we all

well one thing..think we all agree...something somewhere isnt right

dogmommy
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dogmommy 05/22/10 - 09:40 pm
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ok im tired of typing...i

ok im tired of typing...i meant to say test not text..

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 05/22/10 - 09:48 pm
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The following is entirely

The following is entirely possible - - - Azzy7 wrote:

There are some seizures that can not be controlled by medicine. They can also happen spontaneously and the whole trip to the meth house was just a coincidence.

We heard from popofan that there was no "meth house" involved here, merely a routine call to a residence. I am concerned about officer Petitt's allegations that Po Po walked in dangerous chemicals, licked his paws (or the chemicals were absorbed through the skin), and then quickly presented seizures, such that he had to be rushed to the vet for IV to "flush his system" and then be given anti-seizure medicine. Were there dangerous chemicals involved or not? Was it a routine call or not?

popofan
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popofan 05/22/10 - 09:55 pm
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dogmommy...Quality of life is

dogmommy...Quality of life is the reason. This dog loved, and I mean loved to work. It was in his blood quite literally. For him to see that patrol car leave without him everyday would be like making a child sit and watch other children laugh and play. Would that be fair to the dog? Other officers that worked closely with PoPo have even said he wasn't the same. He had become aggressive towoards not only them but Offocer Petitt and his children. What kind of life would a dog like that lead, always caged up for fear that he may turn on someone? I have had to have dogs of my own put to sleep and I know how it feels as I'm sure all of us that love animals do. BUt ther comes a time when their suffering becomes such that it is more humane to let them go than to watch them continue to suffer. As much as PoPo loved to work it would have been cruel and inhumane to cage him up and make him watch the patrol car leave without him and not have any human contact or contact with other animals.

popofan
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popofan 05/22/10 - 10:00 pm
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LittleLamb...from all reports

LittleLamb...from all reports it was a routine call. The individuals at the residence were apparently cooking meth and when the officers arrived they dumped there batch, possibly spilling some. The officers, including PoPo searched the premises not knowing of the chemicals until after PoPo became ill.

nateford2
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nateford2 05/22/10 - 10:04 pm
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Reading through all this I am

Reading through all this I am sickened by some of the comments. I can speak quite directly to Dr. Ford's thoughts and actions. She wasn't happy about putting the dog down without giving it a chance - the day it happened. She never feels right about putting down healthy animals, and she came home saying it that day. It wasn't until a flurry of false statements were attributed to her that she began to ask for retractions. Why in the world would she put herself through this if she didn't truly believe something was wrong here? She suggested treating this dog and the officer shut that idea down. He immediately took the dog to be cremated, as was suggested by someone above (it was prearranged - as he himself told the staff at the clinic). She was willing to let this go until she started seeing in the papers that the vet(s) were the ones saying this dog couldn't be saved. This was patently false. She made no comments about the dog's vision during the exam. Another falsehood. Too many lies here for this to be legitimate and we've watched them add up. Of course, Dr. Ford is the liar, the one to blame. The truth will indeed set us free on this one. Don't bother responding as I've seen all I need to see. Let the investigation happen and I wish that people could be more civil in their dialogue going forward.

IntegrityMatters
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IntegrityMatters 05/22/10 - 10:04 pm
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@popofan: if there was a

@popofan: if there was a residence cooking meth and they dumped it, this would have required a huge biohazard clean up which did not happen. So, is the cover up the meth lab or the dog?

IntegrityMatters
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IntegrityMatters 05/22/10 - 10:06 pm
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@popofan: You are a friend

@popofan: You are a friend of Officer Pettit's. How long had the dog been aggressive toward people: 2 days, or had it been longer? Sounds like you just gave the rest of the story away.

dogmommy
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dogmommy 05/22/10 - 10:08 pm
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but popo fan im getting

but popo fan im getting confused again...from what i understand and maybe im missing something....all this happened in 2 days...so popo has actually been sick longer? o my gosh i am confused here..but as far as him not being able to go to work..all police dogs at some point stop going ..when they retire...........my ex's police dog loved going to work too.....but when he retired he adjusted just fine.............but was popo sick longer than the 2 days im understanding? i really am confused here.....but if he sickness was holding him back from going to work but otherwise would have been ok...plz tell me he wasnt put to sleep just because of that......and why would he be caged all the time just because he couldnt go to work anymore.....mine wasnt...he had free roam of our house

AMcKinney
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AMcKinney 05/22/10 - 10:15 pm
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Popfan said that Popo had

Popfan said that Popo had been acting aggressively towards Officer Pettit, his children, and some of the other officers. He would have been caged for that reason, not because he couldn't work. Officer Pettit has 3 young boys - 8, 6, and 3 y/o - if the dog had started showing aggressiveness to YOUR children you would have had to cage him as well. Add the seizures in and you've got an increasingly sick animal. Why no tests on Popo? I can't answer that. But I promise you Officer Pettit would not have had it done if he saw any other way.

dogmommy
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dogmommy 05/22/10 - 10:19 pm
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oh my gosh now im reading

oh my gosh now im reading nateford2 comments....i dont know what to think about this...all i know is a beautiful dog has been put to sleep.....wondering should it have ever happend!!!....from all i have read..from beginning till now...my gut says no..maybe he did have seizures...and couldnt have worked any more...but Im sure after more tests, something could have been done to possibly help this baby...and he could have retired and just become a normal pet..he would have adjusted to not working....this is where love conquers all.....some people just dont want to deal with an animals sickness...its too much for them....but me..as i just recently did...went the extra mile for the baby i just lost....i had to carry him up and down stairs every time he needed to go outside..my family went to indiana for xmas, but i knew this was his last...so christmas day it was just me, him and my other 2 dogs and a box of macaroni and cheese.....and ill always remember as the best christmas i ever had!!!!!!!!!!!!.he still had spirit and love to give....just like old people..went dont put them down because they are old or even young people when they get sick and have seizures..and yes i know dogs arent the same as humans.....they know how to love everyone no matter what is done to them

dogmommy
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dogmommy 05/22/10 - 10:20 pm
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but popo did all that in 2

but popo did all that in 2 days????

dogmommy
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dogmommy 05/22/10 - 10:28 pm
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and one of my best

and one of my best friends..his police dog did not trust people so much..only a few people could get around him, and i was one of them........but he was one of the best police dogs ever....his name was zack..by the way officer pettit there is a police memorial site you should add popo to..it has every police dog that has ever died on it...in the line of duty or not....its a beautiful site..would someone pass the website along to him....he will love the site...and popo should be on it too :)
http://petmemorialcards.com/intro2.html

popofan
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popofan 05/22/10 - 10:45 pm
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Integrity...if thats the

Integrity...if thats the story you get out of what I said then more power to you. Read AMcKinney's last post. I saw PoPo just a few days before that incedent and he was all smiles as he always was. What happened after that night I cannot say. All know is what I've heard from other officers that worked with PoPo and Officer Petitt and it di not sound good. I saw grown men crying over that dog. So whatever happened must have been bad. And again if D. Ford thought he could have been saved why did she agree to put him down. She could have refused and sent them on their way. But then we all would not be here.

IntegrityMatters
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IntegrityMatters 05/22/10 - 10:53 pm
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@popofan: AMcKinney's post

@popofan: AMcKinney's post quotes YOUR last post. So what is the truth? The article says by law, Dr. Ford has to euthanize an animal at the request of the owner, especially if the owner says it is a danger to other people. And, according to the article, she DID offer treatment. Do I believe the meth story? No, I do not. But I am beginning to believe that the dog was euthanized because of aggression and seizures that started before the night in question (based on your own statements).

dogmommy
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dogmommy 05/22/10 - 10:53 pm
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ok ..i found the original

ok ..i found the original article talking about popos memorial..this has me
Po Po was euthanized after ingesting meth-producing chemicals he had stepped in during a routine bust two days earlier, Bruce Petitt said. The morning after coming into contact with the chemicals, Po Po was experiencing respiratory problems and erratic behavior. His veterinarian said it was too late to save him.

so if this IS the case...are they going after the people who they did the bust on, for murder of a police dog as well???? if this is truley what happend, then the people they busted for the meth should be held accountable for the death of a police dog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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