PBSO Faces Whistleblower Lawsuit From Deputy

Rescue And Service Dogs Honored For Service

A deputy is suing the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, claiming he was demoted for complaining about how K-9 officers are treated by the agency.  

Justin Rigney, a ten year Sheriff's Office veteran claims the dogs are not provided sufficient food and in a malnourished and emaciated state, according to the suit.  

The deputy's wife is a retired police officer from Hollywood, where she investigated animal abuse and neglect.  Allison Rigney wrote a letter to Sheriff Ric Bradshaw in May, stating that she observed a K-9 and his handler, and became alarmed over the condition of the animal, because his ribs and other bones were clearly visible from a distance.  

Deputy Rigney claims that when he took his concerns to his superiors, he was demoted from a Corporal in the K-9 unit to a road patrol deputy and has become the focus of an internal Affairs investigation. 

A Sheriff's spokeswoman confirms that investigation, but denies any wrongdoing.  She insists that the Sheriff is an animal lover, and is involved in insuring the humane treatment of dogs.  The Sheriff's Office says the canine in question was brand new to the agency and just beginning training, adding that three different veterinarians have found the dogs in the unit to be in good health.

Click Here for more on this story from CBS 12.

Photo: Getty Images



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