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Justice for Nala: Second Baltimore officer charged in death of family dog

Thomas Schmidt
Baltimore PD

A second officer, already on administrative leave, has been charged in the death of a Baltimore dog. WBAL reported June 27.

Thomas Schmidt, 52, of Abingdon is charged with aggravated animal cruelty, animal cruelty and malfeasance in office charges for the role he played in the death of a dog named Nala. A 24 year veteran of the Baltimore Police Department, Schmidt is accused of holding down Nala while his partner, Jeffrey Bolger, slit Nala's throat.

This Examiner article tells the story of Nala, who lost her life at the hands of the Baltimore Police Department.

Police were called June 14 to a Grundy Street residence in southeast Baltimore after a stray dog nipped someone trying to rescue the dog. Sarah Gossard, the owner of the 7-year-old Shar-pei , told WBAL she didn't doubt that Nala bit someone. Her dog was lost, alone and frightened.

While Bolger was able to get out of jail on a PR bond, Schmidt was held on a $75,000 bond. He was released Thursday afternoon. Schmidt is set to go to trial on July 28.

The Baltimore City State's Attorneys Officer continues to investigate the killing of Nala, a 7-year-old Shar-pei mix. Nala's owner stated in an interview with WBAL

"I don't want him to have his job back, be able to go on calls and react like that to a person, dog, to anything. That's not OK, it's not OK"

Attempts by WBAL to interview Schmidt went unanswered. Neighbors believe something had to have driven Schmidt to have acted in such a brutal manner toward Nala. They believe there's more to the story than has been told so far.

Those who are defending Schmidt need to realize a dog is killed by police approximately every 98 minutes. Many police officers are said to kill family dogs because they can. There have been very few cases taken to court by the family of a murdered pet.

Those statistics are changing, as animal advocates band together in an effort to stop the killing. Apparently hitting an officer, his department, and his municipality with a heavy lawsuit may be the best defense to end this madness.

Once police departments realize a dog-killing cop is a risk to their department and their reputation within a community, hopefully training and stricter punishment by the respective departments will be enforced.

Bolger remains free on bond at this time.

A Facebook page has been set up in Nala's memory.

For more of Elisa's articles on dogs shot by police, click here.