EAST HAVEN, Connecticut - Well it was a sad day at the East Haven Police Department. The economic crisis had forced the department to make a budget cut and sad to say Paro the police dog had been earmarked to be laid off.
The five-year-old German Shepherd was given the news by his handler Officer Dave Cari.
Cari said that when Paro showed up for work he was immediately taken to the officers locker room. There he was met by East Haven Chief of Police Gaetano Nappi who confiscated Paro's police dog collar, his police dog badge, and his police dog whistle.
The president of the Policeman's Union John Miller was also present and he informed Officer Cari that the East Haven City Council had voted 3 to 2 to make budget cuts and that it came down to either laying off Paro or else the department having to go down to a cheaper grade of bullets.
Some of the officers did express that they would not mind going to the cheaper bullets as long as Paro was allowed to keep his job.
Officer Cari told Chief Nappi that he would even agree to share his lunch with Paro so that the department could save on Purina Dog Chow. He also let him know that he would personally pay for the flea collars, the dog toys, and Paro's dental insurance out of is own pocket.
Chief Nappi, who is a cat person, said that he had made his decision and that he could not change it because then his officers would see that he was a flip-flopper and he hates being called a flip-flopper even more than he hates being called a kitty cat kisser.
The city council said that by laying off Paro they will save about $3,500 a year.
The ironic thing is that Paro had just returned back to duty after being off for five months with three broken ribs which he received when a Christmas tree accidentally fell on him during the Policemen's Annual Christmas Party back on December 18, 2010.
Officer Cari asked Chief Nappi if he could have Paro and take him home as his family pet. The Chief told him that he would be willing to sell Paro to him.
Dave asked him what the selling price was and the chief replied that he would sell him Paro for $10,000. An extremely dejected Cari told him that he could not afford to pay that high of a price.
Chief Nappi said that Paro would then be donated to a Police Department in Arizona.
The next day, as Chief Nappi sat in his office making arrangements to ship Paro off to Arizona, he received a FedEx letter.
He opened it and inside he found a check for $10,000. The accompanying message instructed him to hand Paro over to Officer Dave Cari immediately.
The message and check were signed by Oprah Winfrey.