BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- It's a shocking case of animal cruelty at the hands of a Baltimore City police officer. Officials with the department say the officer assigned as an EMS responder slit the throat of a missing 7-year-old shar pei.
Rochelle Ritchie spoke with the dog's owner, who plans to take legal action.
Police say they have no evidence the dog showed any aggression toward that officer. The owner says the dog was not vicious but lost and scared.
Baltimore City police officer Jeffrey Bolger is on the other side of the law after police say he killed Nala, who escaped out of her backyard Saturday morning.
"Our mission in no way condones this type of behavior," said Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez, Baltimore City Police.
Police say Bolger was dispatched to Grundy Street after the dog nipped at a woman trying to read her tags. What happened next stunned everyone, including fellow officers.
"Unfortunately, at some point after that dog was contained with use of the dog pole, one of our officers used a knife and cut the dog's throat," said Deputy Commissioner Dean Palmere, Baltimore City Police.
Now Nala's owner is not only heartbroken but disgusted at the officer's actions.
"It's horrifying," said Sarah Gossard. "It's horrifying."
Gossard says Nala was a sweet and innocent dog and cannot fathom why, after the dog was restrained, the officer would commit such a gruesome murder.
"She was already restrained. It wasn't necessary at all. It was just an act of cruelty. That's what it was," Gossard said.
According to the charging documents, witnesses say they heard Bolger yell, "I am going to [expletive] gut this thing."
"I never thought in a million years the police would show up and cut my dog's throat," Gossard said.
She says Nala's tag had her phone number engraved on it.
Nala's death came just one day after a city police officer shot and killed a steer that escaped a slaughterhouse. While that officer's actions have been defended by the department, they say there is no excuse for Bolger's violent behavior toward Nala.
"We have no words to describe this. To say that we're appalled at the allegations I think is an understatement," said Rodriguez.
"This is an outrageous and unacceptable breach of our protocol. The BPD does not condone and will not condone such actions," Palmere said.
Police are investigating whether the knife used was issued by police.
Bolger's case is expected to go to trial on July 28.
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