Police officers in Baltimore have been suspended after viciously cutting the throat of a dog that was already contained. Sarah Gossard, the seven-year-old Shar-Pei’s owner, said after she let the family pet out in her backyard Saturday morning, the dog slipped through a gate Sarah did not know had been left open.
The Shar-Pei whose name is Nala wandered into a nearby neighborhood, where Sandy Fleischer tried to help the lost dog and find its home. In turn, Nala bit her hand leaving a superficial wound. The woman called police to help capture the frightened dog. Officers responded and helped secure the dog in an empty lot.
Once the dog was contained another police unit arrived to take over. Reportedly, witnesses heard one of the law officers say he was going to “f***ing gut this thing” as he was exiting his vehicle. Apparently the officer did just that. Witnesses reported two cops restrained the dog and tethered her to the dog-control pole. Then one of the officers held the dog on the ground while the other took a knife to the dog’s throat as witnesses watched in horror.
Charging documents in the case state Officers Thomas Schmidt and Jeffrey Bolger responded to the call. An onlooker reported Schmidt held the pup while Bolger slit her throat.
Commanders of the Baltimore Police Department commented, “They know of no reason for the officer to use such force on a dog that was under control.” Baltimore police Deputy Commissioner Dean Palmere said,
This is outrageous and an unacceptable breach of our protocol. There is no justification for this sort of action. Bolger acted out of line; there was no reason to kill the dog.
Officer Bolger, who is allegedly responsible for killing the dog, has been suspended without pay and charged with aggravated animal cruelty, animal cruelty and malfeasance in office. He was released Thursday morning after submitting a written promise to appear in court for all upcoming proceedings. Officer Schmidt was placed on paid administrative leave for his involvement in the dog’s murder.
According to Lt. Eric Kowalczyk, police spokesman,
Internal affairs is continuing the investigation into the specifics of the incident. They are trying to determine the specifics of the incident, involvement of other officers who were at the scene and determine why police commanders did not learn of the dog’s death until two days after it occurred.
Sarah said Nala was the sweetest dog and would never hurt anyone.
She was just scared, lost, thirsty and hungry that day and through all of those events. As a result I’m very sure she bit someone but the actions that followed were not okay.
Fleischer says the dog was not aggressive and it seemed the officers were using extreme aggression unnecessarily and relentlessly. “You could hear Nala screaming and crying in pain.” She blames herself for touching the dog and says she only bit her out of fear.
Police officers Thomas Schmidt and Jeffrey Bolger have been suspended and charged with animal cruelty after viciously cutting the throat of a dog that was already contained. Sarah Gossard’s seven-year-old Shar-Pei scaped from her backyard Saturday morning, was found by a nearby resident and killed by law enforcement.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)