North Carolina cop lifts K9 by its leash, slams it into car as officers say 'we’re good, no witnesses' in video

'There is no scenario in which this handler’s behavior could be considered acceptable by any standard,' said PETA


                            North Carolina cop lifts K9 by its leash, slams it into car as officers say 'we’re good, no witnesses' in video
A North Carolina police officer seen mishandling a K9 called Zuul (YouTube screenshot)

A North Carolina police officer has drawn the ire of both PETA and the Internet after a leaked video of him wrangling a K9 by its collar went viral. Identified as a Salisbury police officer, the man can be seen lifting a K9 named Zuul off the ground by the dog's leash. The video shows the K9 handler apparently scolding his dog for exiting the police cruiser, but what he did afterward is now being investigated. He then can be seen swinging the dog over his shoulder, hauling the poor animal in its 'choke hold' for a few feet. The dog's body is then slammed against the side of the police vehicle parked next to the two, before the animal is shoved against and inside the vehicle. The dog seems compliant in the video throughout, but the police officer then proceeds to violently punch Zuul with force.

The men capturing the footage can be seen inside another vehicle, with their voices clear in the background noise of the video. One of them celebrates "We’re good; no witnesses.” In response, another one chuckles. Then the man filming asks, “Is your camera on?” and the man responds “Uh, no, my power’s off.” Someone then says, “I think mine’s on." They quickly follow it up with “Can you go flip my cameras off? Just the front camera.”  

Watch the video here

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In their report of the cruel incident, PETA wrote: "Dogs do their best to please and to understand what is required of them, and they’re extremely loyal. The cruelty inflicted on the dog in the video is a violation of that trust and, PETA believes, North Carolina law."

They also add that the police department is allegedly investigating the incident and has “administratively separated” Zuul from the officer spotted in the video. The authorities, however, reportedly maintain that this is a “personnel matter” and that “[K9] training tactics and corrective measures can sometimes be alarming [when provided] out of context.” 

PETA said, "There is no scenario in which this handler’s behavior could be considered acceptable by any standard, and we believe this is far more than an internal disciplinary matter: It is criminal conduct. Furthermore, witnesses who took no action and in fact engaged in a cover-up of this incident also bear responsibility for this dog’s suffering. "



 

They are also requesting readers to write to relevant authorities demanding legitimate action against what was done to the K9. "Removing Zuul from the handler’s care is just step one. We sent a letter, which you can read here, to the chief of police, but the Salisbury City Council has the power to hold the department accountable and may be the most reliable body to ensure that an unbiased outside agency thoroughly investigates the incident and prosecutes any and all guilty parties to the fullest extent of the law. If you agree with us, please send a message to council members." 

Insisting that writers "keep your message polite and respectful," PETA also says their article can be used as a template to frame these letters. But it's worth noting that this allegedly inhumane treatment of the dog comes shortly after Canine Intervention's Jas Leverette came under fire for his 'inhumane' dog training techniques on the Netflix show that called for its immediate cancellation, following massive outrage on social media.

Reacting to the video, a Twitter user who goes by the name @GreatDangDogs and claims to be "a certified dog trainer", shared: "Some (dogs) do better with corrections, some shut down or respond badly to corrections and do better with positive only. This being said, a correction is not bad. It a proper correction does not harm the dog in any way. What this officer did to this k9 is NOT a correction."They continued: "A correction occurs in a second or less. It does not last for more than that. What this officer did to this k9 was not a correction at all. It was abuse. You should NEVER hold a dog by a collar or leash around it's neck. This officer needs to be fired and that k9 removed."

Another user reacted: "Just sickening! This amazing soul being strangled, slammed, hit & laughed at is K9 Zuul. Salisbury PD said when dogs are noncompliant handlers use training tactics & don’t take out of context! Seriously!! It’s animal abuse!". "Writing to the Chief of the Salisbury Police Department, another user shared "@chiefjpstokes time to fire your office that abused his k9. If he's willing to do that to his partner, I'm sure he does it to the black men from the VA in Salisbury. Retire Zuul and give him to someone who is going to properly care for him," tweeted another animal lover disturbed by the video.