SEPTA officer forced to surrender K-9, despite family protests

WENONAH, N.J. (AP) -- A Pennsylvania transit officer's family is fighting to keep the K-9 they say helped them heal from the loss of a son.

SEPTA K-9 Abal has lived with Officer Richard Galanti and his family in Wenonah, New Jersey for the past five years. 

Galanti's wife, Nicole, says SEPTA announced last week that her husband would be transferred out of the K-9 division. As for Abal, he would be placed in a kennel and reassigned to another officer.

Nicole Galanti says she offered to buy the department a new dog, but they refused. 

SEPTA Chief Tom Nestel says while the decision was difficult, moving Abal would allow him to serve for longer. SEPTA declined to say why Officer Galanti was transferred.

An online petition urging SEPTA to reconsider its decision has already gathered more than 12,000 signatures.

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