Home > Article from newspaper > Service Dog Stolen, Died Later

Service Dog Stolen, Died Later

February 22, 2007

 Last Edited: Wednesday, 21 Feb 2007, 5:41 PM EST


SARASOTA – Dogs make great pets, but for the handicapped, service dogs are much more.

“That’s their lifeline. They’re really, really important to the people that have them,” explained dog trainer Jo Ann White.

Joan Gurland and her service dog of 12 years moved in to McIntosh Manor in Sarasota a few months ago.

But sheriff’s detectives say after the deaf woman’s dog got sick, the owner of the assisted living facility lost his patience.

“I think that may have upset him, and he felt he needed to get rid of the dog,” said Sgt. John Walsh.

Walsh says Geoffrey Kinne stole the dog when Gurland was sleeping, later telling her it had died.

Detectives say Kinne then tried twice to get the dog put up for adoption at the Humane Society, which he did on the second try by forging paperwork.

When Kinne heard about the sheriff’s investigation, he tried to get the dog back from its new owners, but failed.

In a tragic twist, the dog’s liver failed at its new home and it was put to sleep.

White’s worked around dogs all her life and says to lose a service dog is devastating.

“It’s like taking away a child. It’s like taking away a lifeline,” she explained.

Detectives arrested Kinne at his home on Sarasota’s Bird key.

Walsh says what Kinne did was malicious.

“This pet was also a friend, and had a function, but now he’s taken away from her,” he said.


  1. Maria
    February 22, 2007 at 4:46 pm

    Geoffrey Kinne is an audist and animal abuser. I hope the deaf lady is putting him in the hell.

  2. February 22, 2007 at 4:54 pm

    I’m angry. So should everyone else be angry. What Geoffery Kinne did was wrong. It be better if he loses his licsne to run an assisted living and let someone else do this job. The DOJ need to make him a ‘poster boy’ for hurting the disabled people.

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