Lars Bo Lomholt is a true hero.
When the Danish police officer heard that Thor, a German shepherd and the only companion of a recent widow, was about to be euthanized, he went to the kennel where the dog was being held, seized the animal and took him to an undisclosed location.
Instead of being recognized for going above and beyond the call of duty, 20-year police veteran Lomholt is facing possible termination.
As you can imagine, this has made a lot of animal lovers angry. A petition launched by Care2 to save Lomholt’s job has garnered almost 9,000 signatures from animal activists worldwide.
The Copenhagen Post originally reported that a man disguised as a police officer had kidnapped Thor from his holding cell. The truth was uncovered later: an animal lover who happened to be a police officer had decided to save the German shepherd.
Why was this adorable seven-year-old dog about to be killed?
The tragic story of seven-year-old German shepherd Thor began in Sept. 2012 when his human companion Jette was out for her customary walk with her leashed dog. Jette’s husband had died, and Thor had meant everything to him; the dog was the constant and comforting emotional link to Jette’s past. As the two walked quietly in the neighborhood, a small dog ran out and momentarily scared Thor.
According to the Copenhagen Post, the two dogs tangled with each other, and the small dog suffered a small bite. The owners exchanged information; shortly after Jette paid a fine and thought the incident was in the past.
A few months later, three policemen showed up and claimed Thor was a vicious dog based on Danish law referencing the small dog’s bite turned into an infection which required substantial veterinary care. A decision was issued to euthanize Thor despite expert evaluation of the dog stating Thor had just reacted the way any dog surprised and scared would react in any sudden unexpected encounter.
This expert opinion came from dog advocates Fair Dog, who protested that the police were in the wrong. As a result of their contention that Thor was merely exhibiting natural behavior, a new court date was set up for Thor.
However, police authorities ignored the fact that this court date had been set up, and instead announced that Thor would be euthanized last Wednesday. Just in time, Officer Lars Bo Lomholt arrived at the shelter that evening in uniform, and the dog was released to him. Apparently the dog is doing as well as can be expected, given the circumstances.
Officer Lars Bo Lomholt is being disciplined because he went against the decision of his superiors and chose to rescue Thor. Is it right that he might be fired for carrying out what he considered the morally correct course of action?
I have no idea why rescuing a dog from certain death, to return to its owner who is in mourning for her husband, is grounds for dismissal. It’s well documented that pets offer wonderful support to us humans when we are depressed, sick or lonely. The companionship alone is one helpful aspect: having a dog means that you are never alone. Taking care of a pet means you have a responsibility, which can pull you out of a depression. Then there’s the physical health aspect: several studies have shown that owning a dog can lower blood pressure and reduce stress.
This widow needs her dog, a connection to the past she shared with her husband.
And Lomholt is a hero to be celebrated because he did the right thing. We need more police officers like him.
If you agree, please sign our petition, demanding that Lars Bo Lomholt keep his job.
Care2 Related Coverage
Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/larsbo.lomholt