An Edmonton man who pleaded guilty to killing Edmonton police service dog Quanto has been sentenced to two years and two months in jail.
Paul Vukmanich, 27, stabbed Quanto to death during a police chase. He pleaded guilty to a number of charges including animal cruelty, possession of a weapon, impaired driving, resisting arrest and flight from police.
A provincial court judge sentenced Vukmanich to 18 months for killing Quanto; the remaining eight months were for the other charges he pleaded guilty to. The stabbing was, according to the judge, “an act of unbridled violence.”
Your attack wasn’t just an attack on a dog. It’s an attack on your society and what’s meaningful in our society. The hurt from your actions was widespread. It explains why there are so many in the courtroom today.”
The crown also demanded that Vukmanich pay a $40,000 restitution order, a fine that the judge declined to impose.
The Edmonton man was high on drugs and fleeing from police last October when he repeatedly stabbed Quanto. The German shepherd was set loose by officers after Vukmanich was caught driving a car with stolen plates. When he tried to flee by foot, Quanto followed.
The death of Quanto made national headlines in Canada after Edmonton officers voiced their complaints that the toughest charge Vukmanich faced was animal cruelty.
The federal government signalled in the speech from the throne in October that it would create new legislation to protect animals that work with police and call it Quanto’s Law.
Quanto was the fifth Edmonton police dog to die in the line of duty.
His handler, Const. Matt Williamson, told court in his victim impact statement that although Quanto lived with his family, the dog’s primary role was as his protector, a role the animal fearlessly fulfilled.
However, Williamson said, Quanto’s death has had a profound effect on the officer’s six-year-old daughter, who came to him crying one day with a question:
If Quanto’s job was to protect you from bad guys … is a bad guy going to kill you?”
Williamson said the little girl never lets him leave for work now without giving him a hug first.
Photo credit: Edmonton Police Service