Local News

Fayetteville PD: Howard with 'current and legal owner'

Posted October 22, 2015

— The Fayetteville Police Department, having been inundated with complaints about the custody battle over a dog, issued a statement Wednesday in support of the current owner.

The case of Howard, a retired Army bomb-sniffing dog, has exploded on social media with former handler Alex Reimer drawing more than 27,000 people in support of his Facebook campaign to "Bring Howard Home."

Reimer claims he lost track of Howard after he got out of the Army and relocated the dog in Cumberland County only to have his efforts at a reunion rebuffed by Howard's new family.

“It’s just tough knowing your best friend is out there tied to a tree and not being taken care of to the best of their ability," he said.

Prompted by complaints from Reimer and others, "Cumberland County Animal Control officers have visited Howard's current home and determined that Howard was being properly cared for and he was in good health," the police statement concluded.

Deon Fuller, a law enforcement officer who served in Taylortown and Hoke County and is the "current and legal owner," police added.

Fuller the Facebook furor has led to threats against his family and the loss of his job with the Hoke County Sheriff's Office.

Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin denied that the dog custody issue was the reason Fuller was dismissed, but he would not detail any other cause.


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  • Jayne Stitzel Nov 3, 2015
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    Is WRAL investigating how this dog was released from the Army and sent into law enforcement? The county he was sent to does not even have a K-9 unit. We're there other Military dogs in the non-existent K-9 unit? What happened to them? The whole back story is fishy. Very fishy.

  • Myla Tomkinson Oct 25, 2015
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    While I understand the Veteran wanting the dog back, the deputy in good faith gave the dog a home for the last two years. The deputies family has formed a bond as did the Veteran. However, at this point in time I would like to suggest the veteran contact a local shelter and adopt another dog to assist him with his PTSD. That would be helping two wounded beings in one move as well as not pulling the dog out of what has become his home. I thank the Veteran for his service, now provide a service to another. I thank the deputy for his service. Now it is time for the cyberbullying and media/community smearing to stop.

  • Jill Perry Oct 22, 2015
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    I read that Fuller was willing to surrender. Howard to his former handler, IF the seventeen thousand people who had "liked" the Facebook page each donated $10. That would total$170,000.

    I'm not opposed that,if the money raised was donated to charity, like Wounded Warriors or animal rescue groups. If the the money were only going to enrich Fuller though, I'd definitely oppose it. It seems like Fuller is willing to part with Howard, but only at an exorbitant price.

  • Marcy Lyn Oct 22, 2015
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    He may have adopted the dog legally, but he should have had honor and presented the dog to the Veteran as a gift.
    Has it been worth it ?

  • K Hope Capps Oct 22, 2015
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    View quoted thread

    How many people in your group threatened him or used hateful language toward him? The comments I read on other articles were pretty harsh, even saying he should die. I expect he felt pretty threatened him self, with tens of thousands of people targeting him like that.

    I believe the Fullers adopted Howard in good faith. If there is fault in the adoption process, it against the organization that adopted Howard out. THEY should be the object of outrage, not the Fuller family.

  • Laura Collins Oct 22, 2015
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    How is tieing him to a tree or leaving him in a crate all the time "proper care"????

  • Jean Culbreth Oct 22, 2015
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    I saw where Fuller admits he threatened to run checks using Hoke County equipment to run adresses and info on people who posted on the Howard page. I was one of those people, and I consider that a threat, pure and simple. He uttered a threat. I am considering legal action because this Deputy uttered a threat againt a group, including me. A threat. Unless I have done something illegal, no law enforcement has any right to run any check on me. None. Threaten me again and see what happens.

  • Marcy Lyn Oct 22, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    I agree - Fuller should have given the dog up with Honor to the Soldier. He should have done the honorable thing.

    His termination was due to other reasons; per the police department.

  • Nicholas Jackson Oct 22, 2015
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    View quoted thread

    Why can't the soldier rescue another pit bull from a shelter? The news hasn't shared how the dog came into the Fuller's custody. No information has been given as to how Reimer lost the dog, or how the Fullers obtained him. So it's unfair to just say be a hero by giving him back. What if this dog is happier being tied to a tree with these people instead of sniffing bombs that could blow up and kill it at any time? Or being with a former handler with PTSD? Where is THE DOG best off? That's the most important thing both parties need to focus on.

  • Beth Spears Oct 22, 2015
    user avatar

    Be a hero Mr. Fuller and give the dog back and rescue a pit bull from a shelter. The soldier needs Howard for his PTSD. Hope you could spend a few quiet minutes on the front seat in a Church and pray about it. I think God will show you the way!! Save a soldier and a dog that could be put down in a shelter.