Fayetteville PD: Howard with 'current and legal owner'
Posted October 22, 2015 11:38 a.m. EDT
Updated October 22, 2015 11:53 a.m. EDT
Fayetteville, N.C. — 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.