A Baltimore police officer has been arrested and charged with aggravated animal cruelty after he allegedly cut a dog’s throat and left it to die.
The dog, a 7-year-old Shar Pei, had apparently escaped from home on Saturday and nipped at the hand of a woman when she tried to read the animal’s tags. Officer Jeffrey Bolger, 49, and other officers responded to the call about a dog on the loose.
The Baltimore Sun reportedly obtained documents that suggest Bolger was heard by witnesses yelling, “I’m going to f***ing gut this thing.”
When officers located the dog, officers reportedly secured the animal with a dog police. Though the details are still sketchy, it is alleged that Bolger pulled out a knife at one point and fatally cut the dog’s throat.
Bolger, who faces criminal charges, and another officer have been suspended in connection with the animal killing.
After looking into the incident, the Baltimore Police Department is not standing by Bolger. Baltimore Police Deputy Commissioner Dean Palmere said the the incident represents an "outrageous and an unacceptable breach of our protocol."
Police say they found no evidence that the dog showed aggression towards the officer, CBS Baltimore reports.
“We have no words to describe this. To say that we’re appalled at the allegations I think is an understatement,” Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez said.
The dog’s owner, Sarah Gossard, said her pet was a very sweet dog and was surely afraid and confused about being away from home.
“She was already restrained. It wasn’t necessary at all. It was just an act of cruelty. That’s what it was,” Gossard told CBS Baltimore. “I never thought in a million years the police would show up and cut my dog’s throat.”
The owner reportedly plans on taking legal action against the police department.