Hammond police chief: Dog “was not abused or harmed in any way”

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Above: video from original story that aired May 2, 2014.

HAMMOND, Ind. (May 19, 2014)– The Hammond Police Department released its findings Monday after a review of the officer shown in a YouTube video who allegedly abused his police dog.

Hammond Police Chief John Doughty found the dog “was not abused or harmed in any way.”

See the YouTube video here. (WARNING: This video contains graphic content and strong language.) 

Chief Doughty said the officer acted in accordance to training during a high-risk traffic stop in which the dog successfully sniffed out illegal contraband inside the vehicle.

The officer, who was placed on administrative leave after the video went public, will receive additional training to make sure the incident isn’t repeated, Doughty said. The police chief also said the technique isn’t typical of the officer’s normal routine.

Vohne Liche Kennels also conducted a review of the situation, and released similar findings.

“We do not feel in this case that the dog was abused in any way,” Vohne Liche Kennels said in a statement. “The handler’s technique was not the way he was taught but was not abuse.”

Vohne Liche Kennels noted that a handler should never slap his K-9 with his leash.

Doughty said the dog was given a ball as a reward after his successful find during the traffic stop. The officer needed to get the dog back to the car as soon as possible so that he could help another officer arrest the suspect and had to quickly retrieve the ball for safety reasons. Doughty said the officer was trained to use upward pressure on the leash and give the command “out” until the ball is released. The dog was being especially resistant, Doughty said, and the officer chose to lightly slap at the dog’s shoulders to quickly get him to release the ball.

“The short clip that went public clearly shows the dog wagging his tail and is ready to go back to work after releasing the ball,” Doughty said.

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