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Second police officer suspended after dog's throat is slashed

Officer Bolger
Booking photo/Baltimore PD

On Thursday afternoon, WBALTV News reported that a second police officer in Baltimore, Md., has been suspended following the brutal killing of a family dog who had slipped away from her yard last weekend.

Officer Thomas Schmidt is believed to have held down Nala, a seven-year-old Chinese shar-pei, while Officer Jeffrey Bolger slit her throat; Nala was restrained on a catch pole at the time that she was killed. The violent act took place on Saturday after Nala escaped from her home.

Police had been called out to the area to investigate a dog bite - a woman who had tried to read Nala's identification tags was bitten on her hand; the bite was described as superficial.

Charging documents indicate that just prior to the dog being sliced with the knife, Bolger, a 24-year-veteran of the force said:

"I'm going to gut this (expletive) thing,"

Nala belonged to Sarah Gossard, who did not find out how her dog died until days after the incident took place. She told the Baltimore Sun:

These people are supposed to be taking care of our community,"

"and I'm so horrified by what they did and it's completely unnecessary."

The 49-year-old officer accused of actually slicing open Nala's throat was arrested, charged with felony animal cruelty and suspended without pay. The second officer, who is believed to have held Nala down to allow the killing to take place, has not yet been criminally charged, but he has been suspended without pay.

The police department is conducting an investigation into the incident. At a press conference earlier this week, Police Deputy Commissioner Dean Palmere called Officer Jeffrey Bolger's actions "outrageous and unacceptable."

Nearly 10,000 people have joined the Justice for Nala Facebook page since the story broke.

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