by Pam Zubeck
The Air Force Academy security forces are investigating the poisoning of professor David Mullin's service dog, which he believes was harmed while he was teaching at the academy and the dog was waiting in his office last week.
On Saturday, the dog, a black lab named Caleb, started acting sluggish, breathing heavy and refused to stand. Mullin took the dog to an animal emergency center where blood and other tests showed he had been poisoned with rat poison or a prescription drug used to thin blood. After several transfusions, Caleb improved but Mullin reports he's still being watched closely. Test samples have been sent to Colorado State University for analysis.
What makes this case suspicious is Mullin has been an outspoken critic of the academy's handling of religion issues. He testified in a federal court case in February that sought to block an evangelical ex-Marine from speaking during National Prayer Day, for example.
While others were reluctant to step forward, Mullin also made a statement to a team led by retired Air Force Gen. Patrick Gamble, who looked into the religious climate at the academy recently.
You can hear the pain in Mullin's voice when he describes Caleb's ordeal. "I've had him since he was eight weeks old," he says of the 2-year-old dog.
Although there have been a rash of dog poisonings in the Old North End and west side, it's doubtful Mullin's dog is a victim of that creep, whoever it is, because Mullin lives in the vicinity of Powers Boulevard and Briargate Parkway. Caleb and his chum, Casper, are hardly ever out of Mullin's sight while at home, but while at the academy teaching, Mullin at times leaves Caleb in his office.
Caleb is trained to provide support to Mullin, who has balance problems and dizzy spells.
If something comes to light in the case, we'll keep you posted.