A German Shepherd who was due to be put to sleep for biting another dog was kidnapped from a Hillerød kennel last night following an online effort by animal lovers to save the dog's life.
According to the North Zealand Police, the dog Thor was taken from Hestehavehus Hundepension kennel on Tuesday night by a man who impersonated a police officer. Thor was scheduled to be put down on Wednesday at 14:00 after authorities ruled that the bites he had caused another dog were grave.
Police are still looking into the case, which they referred to as “serious”.
“I don’t remember ever hearing of a case like this, but we are taking it very seriously,” police spokesperson Henrik Suhr told Ekstra Bladet tabloid. “We want to hear from people who know something about the case.”
Thor's fate was sealed in September 2012 when the seven-year-old Alsatian and his owner Jette were out for one of their usual walks when a smaller dog jumped out from behind a container, scaring Thor so much that he bit the dog once.
Jette and the owner of the smaller dog were both apologetic of the incident and exchanged information. When the smaller dog was taken to the vet, the incident was reported to the police and Jette received a fine, which she promptly paid and assumed that the case was over.
But ten weeks later, three policemen showed up at Jette's door and confiscated Thor, who has been ordered to be put to sleep because of the injuries sustained by the smaller dog and due to the fact that they ruled that Thor’s behaviour in the case was not ‘natural’.
“We have looked at the circumstances and the facts and the vet has estimated that there was several bite wounds and the injured dog received stitches several times,” police spokesperson Thomas Kristensen told Ekstra Bladet.
But dog advocates Fair Dog contend that the police are in the wrong.
“We are shocked that the police can decide whether a dog is to be put down or not. They are to evaluate what the natural behaviour of a dog is. They say that it was not natural that Thor bit the dog, but it was. It is not necessarily a grievous bite if the dog exhibits natural behaviour,” Charlotte Andersen, head of Fair Dog, told Ekstra Bladet.
A Facebook campaign protesting against Thor's death sentence has been shared nearly 1,000 times and Thor has featured heavily in last few days of national media coverage.