Kelontre Barefield was convicted on Aug. 23 of the January 2016 fatal shooting of a police dog in Canton, Ohio.
Barefield was sentenced to 45 years after pleading guilty, reports WXIX.
The dog, named Jethro, was shot when responding with Officer Ryan Davis to a burglary at Fishers Foods in Canton. Davis released Jethro in the store, and the two became separated, according to CantonRep.com. That’s when Barefield shot Jethro, and Davis shot Barefield in the leg.
Barefield was sentenced to 34 years for killing Jethro, plus an additional 11 years for aggravated robbery. A funeral for Jethro was held at the Canton Civic Center, and was attended by K-9 officers from across the country.
According to Canton Police Department Sgt. Scott Prince, Barefield was remorseful for killing Jethro, a German shepherd. “He seemed very upset about that fact,” said Prince.
Some Canton residents think the sentence given to Banfield is too harsh. "Thirty-four years away from his family, his life -- I think it's a little bit absurd. I don't think the punishment fits the crime," said one woman who was interviewed by WXIX.
According to the National Police Dog Foundation, “The most popular breeds are German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, Dutch Shepherds, and occasionally mixes of these breeds. Less popular, but still used at times, are Rottweilers, Doberman Pinchers, and Bouvier de Flandres. Other breeds are used for detection work, if this is their sole purpose.”
Labrador retrievers are the first choice for detecting narcotics and explosives. Bloodhounds are preferred for finding scent trails.
There is no sex preference when choosing a dog for police work. “Males and females both make excellent police service dogs,” the National Police Dog Foundation adds.