UPDATE: I just received this email:
After reading your story on Mackey & his dog’s unfortunate situation, I had to add to your observations. I was Gene’s supervisor for those years on our prison’s working dog unit. During that time I saw Gene strive to become a first class dog handler. He always bonded with his assigned dogs, and most of the other compliment we maintained, better than some of the other handlers. I guess he could relate on their level, which is not a bad thing. He did possess an uncanny ability to recognize when one of our animals was in distress or about to become seriously ill before most others. Many a night I was awakened by a phone call from Gene letting me know he was enroute to the animal emergency hospital with a dog that just didn’t look right….and he was always right – Gene Mackey was responsible for saving many of our working dogs because they were treated promptly and efficiently thanks to his intuitions. I have yet to see any other dog handler with that unique ability. I still miss Gene’s sense of humor and his talent. I hope that the funding for another working dog can be raised so that Gene can continue to perform as a professional dog handler for the citizens of Folcroft and Delaware County – he very well deserves it.John Miller
G.W. Hill Correctional Facility
Mackey mentioned Miller when I spoke with him and how much he learned from him. I'm sure he'll appreciate his kind words.