Disturbing video footage shows appears to show trainee police dog howling while being punched by an officer. The German shepherd was filmed being beaten by Roberto Palomino in Vacaville, California, on Monday. Palomino said: ‘I hear the crying and it caught my attention.
‘As I looked over, I see an officer punching over and over a dog. Disturbing to watch.’ Palomino only recorded one punch, but claims he saw the officer, who has not been named, landing more than one blow on the K-9, and described seeing the dog receive a ‘hard beating.’
His video does not have sound, although Palomino insists he heard the dog cry out. Vacaville Police Captain Matt Lydon has since backed the officer involved, and said the incident took place while training the dog to find drugs.
He said the dog had been rewarded with a toy for finding drugs, but had been ‘angered’ when the handler removed the toy.
Lydon continued: ‘And then the dog, in turn, lunged at the officer and attempted to bite the officer.’ The captain said his officer had to re-assert his dominance by hitting the dog.
He added: ‘And why it’s important is the handler has to have complete control over that K-9 to ensure public safety.’
Dog behavioral specialist Blair Diamond also said ‘being physical with the dog is okay’ if it had bared its teeth or gums at its handler.
Diamond told Fox40:’These dogs are not your normal pet dog.
‘If that dog was submissive and it was actually crying and he was doing those punches, yes, that’s inappropriate.
‘If that dog was growling and trying to bite him, the physicality was appropriate.’
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