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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Internal affairs officers continued to investigate the killing of
7-year-old Nala, who got loose Saturday from her home in Canton.
Baltimore police Deputy Commissioner Dean Palmere described the incident
Wednesday as "outrageous and unacceptable." The story spread to
national news outlets Thursday.