One officer has been charged and another placed on leave with the Baltimore Police Department following the death of a Canton dog on June 14. abc2News updated this still developing tragedy June 19.
Officer Jeffrey Bolger, 49, is a 22 year veteran of the force. Bolger was charged Wednesday with aggravated animal cruelty (mutilating an animal), animal cruelty and malfeasance in office for his role in the death of a dog named Nala. He was released
This Examiner article covered the safe capture of Nala, and the cowardly act by a monster in the guise of a police officer. According to charging documents, Bolger was overheard saying
"I'm going to (expletive) gut this thing."
Bolger then allegedly slit Nala's throat, causing a fatal injury. His colleagues are saying the dog was under control
Now another officer has been placed on administrative leave for his role in Nala's death. Officer Thomas Schmidt, has been with the department since 1990. Although Schmidt hasn't been officially charged, he's been removed from his job until his role in Nala's death can be determined.
Sandy Fleischer, the woman who called police for help after being nipped on the hand by Nala, witnessed what happened. In an interview with abc2News, Sandy stated
“She looked tired and she looked thirsty and she looked a little bit disoriented. The dog had been detained. The dog had been [restrained] face down into the ground. They were twisting the noose. One officer had his knee into her chest. The dog was crying. She was in pain.It seemed (they were doing it) relentlessly and unnecessarily.""
Sarah Gossard, Nala's owner, is heartbroken and enraged. She only learned the true cause of Nala's death on Wednesday. At first she was told Nala had choked herself.
“The first day I cried all day and night. The next day I was very sad. Ever since I lived in this house she’s been with me. ... Looking at other people walking their dogs you can’t not think about it. I think it’s unfair.”
The Facebook page Justice for Nala has gained over 5,000 supporters since it was created June 18.
Unfortunately, Bolger was released on his own recognizance, without having to post any bail. Bolger is now scheduled for trial on July 28, 2014 at 8:30 a.m. in the District Court on Patapsco Avenue.
It's a tragedy that two lessons concerning dogs must be learned after it's too late. Never consider your dog 'safe' around police, and never call for help with a stray dog unless you're willing to put that dogs life in danger.
For more articles on dogs shot or killed by police, please click here.