Former police officer Dan Peabody, of Canton, Georgia, was arrested June 22 in connection with the death of two K9 police dogs. He is being held on charges of aggravated animal cruelty and making false statements to police. The charge of aggravated cruelty to animals comes after Peabody left his Inca, his 4-year-old Belgian Malinois K9, in a hot patrol car with no ventilation while the vehicle was off. Inca passed away due to heat exhaustion.
The false statement charge is in regards to a retired police dog in Peabody’s care, Dale, a Yellow Labrador. Peabody said Dale choked to death, but investigators later determined the dog was shot to death.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. He Was Arrested in Connection With the Death of Two K9’s
Peabody was arrested June 22 on felony charges of aggravated cruelty to animals and making false statements to police. Chief Marshal Ron Hunton said in a news conference.
Heavy confirmed with the Cherokee County Jail that Peabody received a $22,400 bond, but remains in jail. His first court appearance is June 23.
2. He Left One K9 to Die in a Hot Car, & Is Accused of Shooting Another
Police say Peabody, 50, left a police dog in his care, a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois named Inca, in a hot patrol car for hours on June 10, according to the sheriff’s department. The dog died from heat exhaustion, and police have charged Peabody with aggravated cruelty to animals. Inca was left in the officer’s patrol car while he went to “deal with another dog” inside the home, according to officers. About three hours later, he reportedly remembered Inca was still in the car and found the dog dead.
“This vehicle was not equipped with alarms, it was not equipped with a kennel. It wasn’t equipped in the manner that you see normally in a K9 vehicle. I certainly have to say that obviously that had an impact on this, Marshal Chief Ron Hunton said at a press conference.
In a separate incident, in 2012, there was a retired police dog in Peabody’s care. Peabody told police the Golden Labrador, Dale, choked to death on a ball, according to authorities. However, investigators later determined Peabody shot the animal to death. When Inca died, tips came into the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office about Dale.
According to Fox 5 Atlanta, a Sheriff’s spokesperson said a third set of animal remains were found at a home Peabody lived at about a year ago. Though they’re not sure how the animal died or what animal it was, they are confident the remains belong to a dog. A forensic veterinarian is investigating the breed and cause of death.
3. He Resigned From the Police Force June 16
On June 16, before any charges were filed against Peabody, he resigned from the police force.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Peabody was a Sergeant, Lieutenant and Operations Commander for the Cherokee County School Police Department since August 2000. It also says he has a bachelor’s degree in history, and that he “Cares About” animal welfare.
4. His Wife Was Running an Illegal Dog Kennel Operation
On June 22, it was also announced that Peabody’s wife, Tyler Verlander-Peabody, was running an illegal dog kennel out of their home. A spokesperson for the Cherokee County Marshall’s Office told 11 Alive, “She did not have a business license, nor was the home zoned or permitted for this type of use. There were no indications or reasons to believe that any animals were in danger or harmed while at the home.”
Tyler Verlander is the proud owner of two Belgian Malinois (C’Spot & Freya), two horses (Molly & Tommy), and one pony (Abbey). Tyler has owned dogs all her life ranging from small dachshunds mixes to Anatolian Shepherds and most recently, her competition Belgian Malinois.
Tyler brings 15 years plus of animal training to the learning table. Just as every human learns differently, so do dogs. Tyler’s doggy students are able to be taught in the very individual manner they deserve…tailored to their learning style and delivered in a positive and clear manner. This concept also pertains to her human students so they walk away understanding and comprehending the training concepts so that they can mirror those talents at home.
She has been an active member of the Atlanta Working Dog Club since 2006 where she has been a trainer since 2010. Since 2006, she has been trained by her Coaches Robert J. Leigh (Training Director-AWDC) and Mike Morgan (Vice President-AWDC) in the German sport of Schutzhund (IPO) and French Ring.
Tyler’s dog C’Spot de Atlawor is handler/owner/trained (Titles: CSAU, BH, IPO 1 & 2 & 3-highest level) and Freya de Atlawor (Titles: CSAU, BH, IPO 1 & 2). Tyler’s coaching comes from the top trainers in the US.
Given a life lived full of dogs and her experience with the Atlanta Working Dog Club, Tyler is more than equipped to handle any dog with the care and responsibility needed for the dog owner to rest assured while they are away and/or in training.
Outside of the dogs, Tyler’s other love is in the horse community. She was riding before she could walk. Tyler has been teaching riding lessons and training horses for 12+ years and has trained with some of the top hunter/jumper trainers in the South East. Her company is Mirror Image Farm where she offers riding lessons, horse training/boarding.
5. He Got Married on April 9, 2016
Most of you know that this has been the toughest week of mine and Daniel’s life thus far, and certainly together as a couple. It has been a catastrophic week for us, but we are not alone; around the world incidents are evolving that are heart shattering and devastating. As you see these events shoot up the top list of your FB feed or Google search, I want you to stop. Take your hands off the key board, and think. Really think. Feel. I want you to travel into the soul of the person or family you are reading about and truly try and FEEL what they are feeling. Empathy can be strong, have a profound effect; and it goes a long way in how YOU CHOOSE to react to what you have seen or read.
People fail to realize that we do not live in a perfect world with perfect people and perfect animals. Accidents can happen to anyone. At any time. Society, as a whole, needs to think more about being THANKUL that such a horrible, tragic, catastrophic, life changing event did not happen to them……………..today. Then we should PRAY for those whose hearts are physically broken, forever scarred, and emotionally wrecked. Pray that they might find some peace and solace for their soul, again; because I can tell you today, they see no light at the end of the tunnel and All Hope has ceased to exist within them. Do onto others, as you would have them do unto you. Think before you act. Think before you speak. Think before you type. Feel before you act. Feel before you speak. Feel before you type.
This story will be updated as information becomes available.