On October 13, 2021, Joshua Rohrer, a homeless Iraq War veteran, was arrested for the victimless crime of "panhandling" in Gastonia, NC. This arrest lead to the tasing of his Post Traumatic Stress Service Dog, Sunshine, and her eventual death.
Any person who knows or has reason to know that an animal is a law enforcement agency animal, an assistance animal, or a search and rescue animal and who willfully causes or attempts to cause serious harm to the animal is guilty of a Class I felony.
North Carolina GS 14-163.1(b)
What was meant to be the assault of a voiceless man has become a call for change in Gastonia, in North Carolina, and across the Nation.
Our Mission. For Sunshine.
The Sunshine Project encompasses multiple issues and causes:
- An independent investigation of the officers involved in Joshua's arrest and the tasing and eventual death of Sunshine.
- The end of qualified immunity in cases involving service animals.
- Revising North Carolina's Body Camera Law, to enable easier access for persons involved in wrongful arrest.
- Educating Public and Law Enforcement about Service Animal Laws and Access Rights.