9OYS Viewers' Voice
The death of Jeg: KGUN9 viewers show an unprecedented level of outrage
After initially being listed in stable condition, on Thursday morning Jeg took a turn for the worse, and later had to be euthanized.
Notes and commentary by: Forrest Carr, KGUN9 News Director
KGUN9 viewers were already outraged before Jeg the DPS police dog had to be euthanized. After news of Jeg's passing hit KGUN9.com and KGUN9's Facebook page, that outrage reached unprecedented heights.
The KGUN9 Facebook posting about Jeg's death drew 86 Facebook comments within the first 11 minutes. That posting has now drawn a total of nearly 500 responses -- smashing the old record for our page.
Jeg's fate took many by surprise. The night after Jeg was rescued from a hot police cruiser, where his partner had left him by mistake, authorities reported Jeg to be in stable condition, giving hope that the animal was going to be OK. But on Thursday morning, Jeg took a turn for the worse. By mid afternoon, he was gone, having been euthanized to prevent more suffering.
When DPS announced the news later in the afternoon, it left KGUN9 viewers shocked, disappointed and angry. As before, the vast majority of the comments were unforgiving.
But at the same time, some viewers were touched to hear, as reported on KGUN9's newscasts, that Jeg's human partner, DPS officer Korey Lankow, was not only remorseful but emotionally distraught over the incident, and had spent the night sleeping on the floor in the clinic where Jeg was undergoing treatment, refusing to leave the dog's side. Included in the flood of negative comments were several that expressed compassion and support for Lankow.
The sampling of viewer feedback below has been updated at the end to reflect those supportive comments.
"capzl" (via KGUN9.com): "This officer needs to be charged with animal cruelty just like any of us would be if we were stupid enough to leave our dog in our car!"
"tausha" (Via KGUN9.com): "Bad officer! He/she should be punished just like any one else would be. It's not right that they don't get in trouble and others do. He/She should know better and that's what we look up to and learn from."
"tubbie146" (via KGUN9.com: "How do you say "soo Fired" in Belgian Malinois?"
"daffysfedup" (via KGUN9.com): "Forgetfulness is one thing. But seriously -- how do you forget your PARTNER? Come on."
"THEbusdriver" (via KGUN9.com): "Unforgivable. 1. The officer should be treated the same as a civilian idiot that was stupid enough for leaving a dog in a really hot car in this heat. 2. The officer should suffer disciplinary consequences for leaving his partner's life in jeopardy."
"PurpleRider" (via KGUN9.com): "We, the public, are his employer and as such, deserve to know the officer's identity. He deserves more punishment than sitting home on paid leave, and certainly needs to be transferred to another division, if not fired. This was inexcusable! In regards to the internal investigation they can keep the Officer's name confidential. However they did say there is also a criminal investigation and that is public information. KGUN-9 shame on you for not finding out the name."
"el tucco" (via KGUN9.com): "This guy should never be in the dog police unit ever again. 'I forgot.' How lame is that?"
Matt Adamson (via Facebook): "Fire the cop."
Bonnie Hancock (via Facebook): "I just listened to the update at the 10 o'clock hour and I'm certain the officer feels bad and loves his K9 partner, honest I do. But to not even realize this for an hour is my issue here. You forgot your partner, for an hour. That just doesn't make sense to me. As a former Marine (and otherwise sensible human being) you a) never leave your partner and b) realize your partner is missing in a matter of minutes at most."
Linda Eichinger (via Facebook): "Glad 'The Dog' is ok. Thank you to the officer for choosing human life first."
Julie Vaughn (via Facebook): "Of course human life comes first. But someone should have looked after his interests."
Tammy Phelan (via Facebook): "I wonder what he'd do if he had a call and had to arrest someone for forgetting a child in a car. I bet he wouldn't be so forgiving."
Gilbert Burgos (via Facebook): "People need to relax. Most K-9 equipped vehicles have a fan that is constantly blowing air at the animal. Mind you they can still get dehydrated, but I'm the sure he was Ok. Animals are animals, made to be in the wild, regardless of what training or lifestyle they are accustomed to. People and the media always like blowing crap out of proportion. I'm sure all those lynching the officer are perfect angels that have never made a human error. Give the guy a break. This coming from a guy who is not too fond of the power trip law enforcement officers get."
Angela Horn (via Facebook): "Leaving a dog in a car in AZ is against the law. The officer broke the law, no? Same penalty should apply to him here as it would to any other person."
Sandie Horn (via Facebook): "Should the officer be fired? No. Should he ever be allowed to have a K-9 partner again? NO!"
Updated comments - samples of viewpoints expressing compassion for officer Lankow:
Greg Croucher (via Facebook) -- "I feel for the Officer who lost his partner today. There is nothing any of you could say or do to make him feel any worse. It was an honest mistake, not a malicious act."
Jessica Kirkman (via Facebook) -- "If it indeed was a mistake, thank you cop for choosing to help HUMANS. Sorry pup."
Rod Robison (Via Facebook) -- "Of course it was negligent. Of course he shouldn't have forgotten his dog. But sheesh folks, have some compassion on the officer who has served to protect our community and who made a tragic mistake for which he will be will be flogging himself for a lifetime."
Lora Rodriguez Nastase (via Facebook): "It is a terrible day in Tucson when we lose an officer. Sadly, Officer Lankow feels that loss more than any of us could ever know. KGUN 9 reported tonight that Officer Lankow slept by his partner's side last night, on the floor of the kennel. THAT is the act of a concerned, devoted partner. It was also reported that Officer Lankow served in the Air Force before becoming an officer on the TPD. Let's give the benefit of the doubt to a man who has dedicated his life to protecting and serving the public."
To "PurpleRider's" comment - We don't like not having all the facts any more than you do. But there are times when we are at the mercy of official sources, and this is one of them. It' s not uncommon for police agencies to withhold information while they get all their facts together. In this case, DPS promised to release the name on Thursday, and then kept the promise.
Viewers may speak out on this issue by posting at the bottom of this story or by logging into our Facebook page.