Photo of Skinny Police Dog Causes Alarm

Denton police take dog to vet after newspaper photo shows animal with protruding ribs

By Julie Tam
|  Friday, Nov 12, 2010  |  Updated 12:42 PM CDT
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<a title=Denton police want to know why it took a newspaper photo to bring Gino the police dog's low weight to their attention." />

Julie Tam, NBCDFW.com

Denton police want to know why it took a newspaper photo to bring Gino the police dog's low weight to their attention.

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Denton police say a police dog photographed last weekend with protruding ribs is healthy and within his normal weight range.

A photo taken by North Texas Daily reporter Sara Jones when Gino the K-9 performed at a public demonstration sparked concern about the 2-year-old Belgian Malinois' weight.

"That's something that we're going to have to look into -- why it took a photograph to notice his condition," Capt. Lenn Carter said. "It was alarming to us also to see the photograph."

Officer Russ Weier, who handles Gino, took him to a veterinarian Thursday, where the dog got a clean bill of health. Weier said the vet told him the dog's weight is within the normal range.

Gino had not been to a veterinarian since he overcame a tapeworm infection in August.

Weier, who takes the dog in for regular checkups, said the vet told him Gino is a high-energy dog that burns calories fast. He has been feeding the police dog a diet recommended for his breed but is switching to a higher-calorie diet to get Gino back into shape.

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