Two police officers in Baltimore have been suspended after authorities say they slit the throat of a Shar-Pei that had broken free from her owner's backyard and that had reportedly bitten a stranger. The dog, Nala, was seven years old.
The dog belonged to Sarah Gossard, who told police that Nala had slipped through a gate in her backyard, after which it was discovered by a woman who tried to get the dog home. The dog then reportedly bit the woman, resulting in a superficial wound. The woman then called police.
According to the charging documents in the case, Officer Thomas Schmidt and Officer Jeffrey Bolger responded to the call.
As Bolger got out of the police truck, a witness overheard him say, "I'm going to [expletive] gut this thing," the police report said.
Schmidt and Bolger struggled to get the dog under control, and Palmere said they had the dog restrained, tethered to the dog-control pole. Witnesses told police Schmidt held the dog on the ground while they saw Bolger slit its throat.
Police said that the knife used wasn't issued by the department. Officer Schmidt was placed on paid administrative leave while Officer Bolger, who is allegedly responsible for killing the dog, was released on "his own recognizance Thursday morning after being charged the night before with aggravated animal cruelty, animal cruelty and malfeasance in office." He has been suspended without pay.
Police spokesman Lieutenant Eric Kowalczyk revealed that the investigation is still ongoing.
"Internal affairs is continuing the investigation into the specifics of the incident," police spokesman Lt. Eric Kowalczyk said. Other officers who were at the scene are being questioned about their involvement, police have said, and internal investigators are trying to determine why police commanders only learned of the dog's death Monday, two days after it occurred.
[Image via Baltimore Sun]