A man found guilty of assaulting Victoria police dog Uno in 2016 has been sentenced to two years in prison and three years of probation.
Uno, now retired, was hit several times in the head and face by two men. The dog recovered from the beating in about a month and returned to duty.
The sentence also reflects convictions for a number of other offences, including possession of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and morphine for the purpose of trafficking, and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.
Monte Edward Darcy Tucker, 43, committed his offences on July 6 and early on July 7 in 2016. The incident began when an officer stopped a vehicle with Tucker driving and a passenger at Kingston and Menzies streets.
The officer was able to identify the driver and realized there were drugs in the man’s lap. The officer ordered the man out of the car but he managed to drive off, briefly dragging the officer.
The men were soon traced to a Quebec Street hotel, where they fought officers after being discovered and then assaulted Uno.
The law used in assessing the case was the Justice for Animals in Service Act, also known as Quanto’s Law. The law is named for Edmonton police dog Quanto, who helped in more than 100 arrests before being stabbed to death while on duty in 2013.
Police dogs are considered full-fledged officers.
Victoria police Const. Eric LeQuesne said at the time of Tucker’s conviction this year that most dog handlers had seen their dogs abused.
“I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a dog handler throughout this country, at least in the province and the city here, that hasn’t had an incident where you’ve made the decision to send your dog to apprehend somebody and that person then decides to rain down a bunch of blows into your dog’s face or try to pry their jaws apart or poke them in the eyes or whatever it may be.”
“These dogs give their lives and their working career to protect not only the citizens that we serve but us as handlers.”
The Crown called for a seven-year sentence in the case, including eight months for injuring Uno. B.C. Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Power agreed with the defence sentencing submission, saying in her sentencing report that it met the principles of denunciation and deterrence and Tucker’s ongoing rehabilitation.
The report noted that Tucker is said to be doing well on a methadone program and has his addiction under control.