Like other Southern Nevadans, my heart is breaking for the beautiful Belgian Malinois killed in the line of duty Thursday. The tragedy of Officer Nicky’s death, it’s been noted, is compounded by the fact he’d only recently returned to work, after briefly recovering from a close encounter with a machete-wielding suspect a few months ago.
Nicky, by all accounts, was ready to return to work. That’s what the Belgian Malinois is bred to do. But for the Malinois, like other working dogs, the role as law enforcer is relatively recent. The Malinois’ mainstay is shepherding.
Patrolling herds of sheep may not be as exciting as running down bad guys, but it’s a lot less risky.
Sure, Nicky wanted to work – it was his nature. But did Metro police send in man’s best friend to do man’s job? And does man really have the right to impose his will on an animal, especially when it puts the unwitting beast in harm’s way? Unlike his brave colleagues on the police force, Nicky had no say.
Does man, as the Old Testament says, have dominion over the Earth? I’m not smart enough to say. If so, with such power comes responsibility. From putting police dogs in harms way, to testing potentially hazardous products on monkeys, to “farming” chickens and cows in a living hell before slaughter, I’m afraid we are shirking ours.