Hero FBI dog, killed by upstate N.Y. gunman, to be commemorated at agency headquarters

Ape, the 2-year-old Czech German Shepherd, was the first to enter the abandoned bar where madman Kurt Myers was holed up and armed.
FRIDAY, MARCH 15, 2013, 10:01 AM


Ape, who joined the FBI in February after completing a four-month training course, was on only his second mission when he was killed while accompanying FBI agents who were attempting to arrest Kurt Myers in Herkimer, N.Y.

Sometimes heroes walk on all fours.

The madman who heartlessly murdered four people in upstate New York on Thursday added a rookie FBI dog to his kill count.

The FBI announced that Ape, the adored fallen canine, will be honored with a memorial service at the agency’s headquarters in Quantico, Va., where his name will be inscribed on a memorial wall for dogs killed in the line of duty.

“Ape was doing what he was trained to do and made the ultimate sacrifice for his team,” Special Agent Ann Todd said in a statement. “His actions were heroic and prevented his teammates from being seriously wounded or killed.”

Well frankly every aspect of this story is very disturbing to me.

It begins with the fact that this wonderful animal is called a hero. To me this dog was a victim.

Training a dog is based on a relationship of trust. Dogs are wonderfully brave and altruistic and will do amazing things to protect their loved ones. They do that voluntarily and instinctually. In this case the dog was duped.

In the training process the dog learns certain skills and will do them for fun rewards, praise, love, food, a safe place to live. I carry camera=I get to play ball=I earn affection. Nowhere in this moral contract does it say; well, once you know this you are going to be sent to your death. What did the agents think would happen when they sent the dog into the hiding place of a known killer?

Sending a dog into a life threatening situation means that we still believe that a dog’s life is more disposable than a human life. This dog was sent into harm’s way without any protection whatsoever  At the very least Ape should have been outfitted with protective gear.

Even Gambian rats who are trained to detect explosives wear protective vests.  It is our responsibility to protect animals who totally depend on us.


Celebrating the unfortunate accident of this dog and giving him “hero” status strikes me as utterly bizarre. Whom are they going to send his purple heart to? The breeder? The dog’s mother? Is it meant to wipe clean the conscience of those who put him in mortal danger? The dog got killed in action “serving his country”? Dogs are not patriots! Dogs have no sense of nationality! It is all a projection of overrated human hero worship.

Even all this aside: the taxpayer’s money that paid for importing the dog and training is a considerable investment. Wasn’t the decision to send the dog ahead of sharp shooters cavalier?




Elisabeth Weiss is a highly certified, experienced dog trainer in Manhattan, NYC. To learn more about dog training services, contact us by phone at (917) 783-1473 or our contact form.

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