Former officer charged in death of Franklin County police dog

Clinton Ellis

LAUREL, Ind. – A former reserve officer previously charged with theft is now accused of causing the death of a police K-9.

A probable cause affidavit filed on June 6 says 34-year-old Clinton Ellis has been charged with striking or interfering with a law enforcement animal and cruelty to an animal.

A DNR officer began investigating the death of the K-9, named Blade, on Jan. 17. The Laurel Police Department assigned the dog to Ellis in the summer of 2017 and was under his care up until the time of his death, according to the affidavit.

When the DNR officer came in contact with the K-9’s carcass, he says it had been placed in a trash bag and was frozen solid. He then delivered the body to a Purdue laboratory for a necropsy, or animal autopsy, to determine the cause of death.

A final report showed that Blade had died from “whole body emaciation” and “intestinal foreign bodies,” the affidavit says. The doctor who authored the report said a cloth material in the dog’s gut.

The doctor added that if the cloth caused Blade’s death it would have been an “acute situation,” meaning it would have killed him relatively quickly and that the amount of emaciation would have taken some time.

The DNR officer talked to a witness who said he personally observed Blade losing as much as 30 pounds between October and early December 2017.

When the officer spoke the Ellis, he said he fed Blade on a regular basis and claimed he attempted to call a veterinarian, but the office was closed. That vet said his office had no record of Ellis placing a call.

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