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Quanto

QUANTO VOM HERCULES came to the Edmonton Police Service in the spring of 2008 as a puppy full of energy and mischief. He was raised by Constable Michael Garth but would not be old enough to enter 2009 spring training. Constable Garth was assigned an older dog in February 2009. Quanto’s new home would be at the Vallevand Kennels until a decision was made on where he would be placed.

Two other members and I started training in the spring of 2009 with our dogs. However, partway through summer, the dog I had was struggling and we began looking for a replacement. Quanto was available so I was going to work with him until another dog could be found. Quanto was young and immature but surprised us with his natural ability, enough that we stayed together.

As an inexperienced handler, I was frustrated with his stubborn determination and strong will. Little did I know, those very traits would be what would make him a confident street dog on who I could rely.

We graduated that fall and started on the street. Quanto matured and truly loved the “hunt”. We became a team and got better as we gained experience. The four years we had together on the street were full of criminal catches. He continued to impress me, and the credit for those catches truly belongs to him. We also did well at the Canadian Police Canine Association’s competitions but that was always secondary to street work.

He cared little for life outside of work but was always appreciated on days off. He had an “off switch” and was a pleasure to have around in his down time. I jokingly referred to him as being bipolar. Those that met him outside of work couldn’t believe he was a working dog. However, once at work, he was all business and nothing went unnoticed.

The training, experience, and learning gained from previous handlers culminated on the morning of October 7, 2013.

We responded to a chase through downtown Edmonton. Once the accused crashed and fled from the vehicle, I drove through an adjoining parking lot trying to cut him off. He appeared running parallel to me. I stopped, ran from my vehicle, issued a challenge, and deployed PSD Quanto all at the same time.

As always, Quanto was ready. He engaged and revelled in the fight even as the accused punched him. As I caught up, I realized that Quanto was not being punched, but stabbed repeatedly.

Eventually Quanto came off the accused. Quanto turned and looked at me; he had never disengaged. For the first time, I recognized he was in trouble. The blood began to pour from the side of his chest. I grabbed his harness and started to run for my car. Quanto’s legs began to fail and I took him in my arms while running. I remember saying to him, “Not now buddy, not now” as I felt him go limp.

I knew he was dead when I put him in the car. I drove to the emergency vet clinic but it was too late.

As he lay dead on the table, all I could do was apologize to him, for all the times I had other responsibilities and he didn't get the attention he deserved. He never resented; he was just happy to see me when it was his time. He couldn't hold a grudge.

Quanto was fearless in the fight. He was a hard dog and passed the test. He fought until he was dead. He died instead of me, other police members and anyone in the path of that man’s escape.

Quanto was not a pet and not truly a member of the family but a Spartan protector: a protector of me (and by that my family), the police, and the public - a faithful and fearless servant.

By Cst. M. WILLIAMSON