Family Of K9 Police Dog Heartbroken As He’s Abruptly Reassigned

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
A Pennsylvania family is heartbroken after their family pet and K9 police dog was abruptly taken from their home and reassigned to a new handler with no reason or warning.

Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority Police Officer Richard Galanti has had his partner Abal for the last five years.

The K9 dog was rescued as a stray from New York, and assigned to Galanti and his family in the fall of 2013. There, he became not only a pet, but a part of the family, and Galanti’s wife said that her children and husband are heartbroken about Abal’s reassignment.

Related: Surviving Family Of Modesto Police Officer Will Adopt His K9 Service Dog

According to Galanti’s wife Nicole, with no warning, explanation or reasoning, Officer Galanti received word that Abal would be reassigned to another handler and was told to surrender Abal to a kennel until another handler is found.

The Galanti family is devastated, as Abal was not just a servant to the people, but a beloved family member, and Galanti’s wife said that her children cry themselves to sleep without him.

They’d hoped that since Abal was seven-years-old, he may be retired and adopted permanently by the family. In June of 2014, their son Benjamin died, and they’ve spent the time since healing as a family–with Abal being a big part of that family.

Now, he’s been forced to sit inside a kennel, as a piece of property, waiting for reassignment, as the only family he’s ever known feels holes in their hearts from his loss. The Galanti family has started a petition to retire Abal and allow him to be adopted, and has even offered to figure out how to buy a new dog for the force (an extremely high cost for the family) if they can just be allowed to have Abal home. The petition has already reached nearly 16,000 supporters and is growing, as so many see the travesty for both the family and the dog.

Related: Hundreds of Dog Statues Will Honor Fallen Police Officers and K9 Partners

Abal has only known this family as his own, and their home as his. He has served faithfully to honor and protect his fellow community members, and instead of being treated as a valuable member of SEPTA, he is being treated like a piece of common property with no concern for his feelings or respect for his service. He’s alone, without his comforts and his people and deserves better.

No servicemember in blue should be treated as if they don’t even matter.

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

More by Lori Ennis