Baltimore Police officer Thomas Schmidt has been suspended while the department investigates his role in the slitting the throat of a female Shar Pei named Nala by fellow officer Jeffrey Bolger, although he has yet to be charged. Schmidt reportedly held down the 45-lb dog while witnesses say Bolger “cut the dog's throat with a knife after saying he would ‘gut this thing.’" Officials stated that the weapon used was not department-issued.”
The incident occurred Saturday after the officers went to a local bar where a woman was bitten by the dog, which Bolger said was “foaming at the mouth and appeared malnourished.”
Nala’s owner, Sarah Gossard, however said she had no idea what happened to her dog, which had escaped from her yard through an open gate, until a neighbor called to say that the dog had bitten someone outside the bar. She then called the wounded woman and was told that police had “put the dog down.” The news was later confirmed by Animal Control, which also informed her that the dog had bled to death.
"This is so criminal what's happened. It makes me sick,” Gossard stated.
Although suspended without pay, Bolger remains free on his own recognizance pending his trial next month on animal cruelty charges.
Shar-Peis, which are mostly known for their wrinkles, are highly intelligent dogs, originally bred in China as guard dogs on farms and for hunting, and were later used for fighting. Initially developed as a Chinese farm and hunting and later fighting. As with other fighting breeds, they tend to be strong-willed and stubborn, as well as territorial, and need to be socialized with people from a young age And while they are often suspicious of strangers, Shar Peis are known to be extremely devoted, loyal and affectionate to their families.