Economy’s latest victim: Daro the police dog

Zachary Roth

How tough is the economy right now? Even our four-legged friends are at risk of finding themselves out of work.

Daro, a five-year old German Shepherd who works for the East Haven Police Department in Connecticut, was laid off after the town council cut his budget.

The town's mayor, April Capone, denied rumors that she just doesn't like dogs. "First I would like to say that I have always been not only a supporter of the K9 program but a true 'dog person' myself," he wrote in an email to the public. "I remember meeting Daro when he was a puppy in some of his first days on the force and feeling lucky to have him."

Deputy Chief John Mannion told the New Haven Register that the department's K9 unit was eliminated because "the chief just decided, upon reviewing the budget, that there wasn't enough money to sustain" the department's canine unit, of which Daro was the only member.

Daro seems to have enjoyed some lavish benefits while on the job. The town spent $7,000 on the pampered pooch's dental work two years ago, according to another town manager.

Still, Sgt. John Miller, the president of the police union, told the paper Daro should have been kept on.  "It's been a proven success ... It's a valuable tool for police work these days," he said.

No word yet on whether Daro will claim jobless benefits.

(Barry Batchelor/AP)