Penn Township Police Officer Ross Piraino has a bone to pick with his employer. In 2009 Piraino began caring for the police department’s German shepherd Charro at his home. Charro retired in January 2012 and was sold to Piraino for $1.
The township had been paying Piraino a $1,000 per year stipend in exchange for housing the dog. But Piraino is suing, claiming he is entitled to overtime for time spent caring for Charro at home.
In his complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh, he lists “time spent caring for, maintaining, training and cleaning up after his police dog and time spent maintaining police equipment and uniforms” as compensable.
Similar suits in Tennessee and New Jersey have landed large settlements for officers who car for police dogs.
Piraino may earn a similar treat or he may simply be barking up the wrong tree.