Glassport, PA - Zen, a two-year-old German Shepherd and Glassport police dog, was poisoned with anti-freeze last month at the home of his handler, police Deputy Chief Shawn DeVerse. DeVerse said he discovered an anti-freeze-soaked rag had been thrown atop the 6-foot chain-link fence that forms the dog’s pen. “I noticed a rag on the far corner of the cage there – it was kind of hanging in, dripping down,” recounts DeVerse. Upon noticing that Zen had lapped up some of the anti-freeze that had pooled at the bottom of the cage, DeVerse rushed Zen to a veterinary hospital where he underwent several hours of dialysis to flush the dog’s system.
Zen has since recovered and will be okay, but the attempt on Zen’s life has not been taken lightly. “[He's] part of my family. They’ve made an attack on the police department, they violated my privacy – they came to my home as well,” said DeVerse. Criminal attacks against police dogs are often met with serious consequences. Zen, as with many other k9 protection dogs, is considered a full-fledged police officer.
Glassport Mayor Terry DiMarco has set up a fund to reward information leading to the capture and conviction of the perpetrator, as well as to help pay the medical bills for Zen’s treatment. DiMarco even agreed to donate his next mayoral check to the fund. “We hope we continue to get more donations,” said DiMarco.