Lawyers for a Baltimore police officer who slit the throat of a sharpei on a city street in June tried to put a new spin on his actions in court last week, entering a not guilty plea and suggesting Officer Jeffrey Bolger was heroically trying to save the unborn child of the pregnant woman the dog had bitten.
Fortunately, the judge didn’t immediately buy it, and declined a request from defense lawyers to dismiss the animal cruelty charges filed against Bolger.
The pregnant woman, meanwhile, is calling bullshit.
“Don’t try and make yourself a hero when you made a grave mistake,” she said in a a radio interview last week, after Bolger’s initial court appearance. “Try and say I’m sorry.”
In court on Thursday, lawyers for the 22-year veteran of the police force said Bolger was “legally authorized” to kill the dog, named Nala, and that he was acting to protect the unborn child of a woman the dog had bitten.
He entered a not guilty plea to two counts of animal mutilation, one count of animal cruelty and one count of misconduct in office. Both Bolger, 49, and a second officer, who held Nala while Bolger slit her throat, have been suspended.
His attorney’s reasoning went like this: Had the dog escaped from police, the woman would have had to undergo a series of rabies shots, putting her baby at risk. Due to that, and the dangers the attorney said the dog posed to citizens nearby, Bolger made the decision to “euthanize” Nala in the safest manner possible.
“Bolger considered using his firearm, but he determined that there was too much danger of a ricochet bullet injuring bystanders,” his lawyers said. “Instead, he used his knife in a fashion intended to cause the dog the least amount of pain and place the public in the least amount of danger.”
What’s underplayed in attorney’s brief is that, when that decision was made, the dog had already been subdued with a catch pole.
The attorneys said Bolger and other officers struggled with the dog for more than an hour, the Baltimore Sun reported.
And they said Bolger didn’t say “I’m going to gut this (expletive) thing,” as some witnesses reported. Instead, they submit, he said he was going to have to “cut” the dog because of the lack of other available options.
Among those who found the attorney’s statements ludicrous was Sandy Fleischer, the pregnant woman who was trying to help the dog and keep police from harming her. She spoke out after the incident — and she did so again after Bolger’s hearing.
“To say that you were helping me and trying to save my life? I was there to help the dog,” Sandy Fleischer said. “I can’t believe they are using me for the defense.”
In an interview Thursday on WBAL Radio’s C4 Show, Fleischer said she was upset that the fact she was pregnant — something she confided only to the paramedic treating her — had made its way to police and into the courtroom.
Fleischer was nipped by the dog as she tried to get a look at her collar, so she could get in touch with the dog’s owner.
When she first recounted the incident on the radio show, months ago, Fleischer said the officers who first arrived on the scene used sticks to try and corral the dog, which only served to intensify the situation. She said officers calling the dog a pit bull.
She said police had her ushered to the ambulance “because they didn’t want me seeing the dog being killed.”
A second officer, Thomas Schmidt, 53, is accused of holding the dog down while Bolger cut her throat and is scheduled to appear in court later this month.
The judge, while declining to immediately grant the request for a dismissal requested by Bolger’s attorneys, didn’t rule out further arguments and consideration of the motion.
Bolger’s trial date is scheduled for Nov. 7.
(Photo: Ian Duncan / Baltimore Sun)
Posted by John Woestendiek September 16th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, baltimore, bite, bitten, court, cut, dog, dogs, hearing, hero, jeffrey bolger, killed, knife, law enforcement, nala, not guilty, officer, plea, police, pregnant, rabies, sharpei, slit, thomas schmidt, throat, trial, woman
An Indiana dog who lost all eight of her pups at birth is now nursing six newborn pups left orphaned after the tornadoes in Oklahoma.
The Indiana dog, a 2-year-old Rottweiler mix living at a shelter in South Bend, was close to giving birth, but also close to being put down, when she was rescued by Second Chance 4 Pets Network and taken in as a foster by one of the group’s volunteers.
After a prolonged period of labor the dog, named Bertha, was taken to the vet.
“…They did an emergency C-section on her but all of her puppies, eight of them, were dead,” said JoAnn Palko, president and founder of Second Chance 4 Pets.
The group put word out to other rescues in the region, saying they had a lactating dog who could help if any group had puppies who needed to nurse — and that’s when they heard from another rescue, that had just acquired six newborn pups from an Oklahoma City shelter, according to NWI.com.
In the wake of the tornadoes there, a homeless and pregnant pit bull-shepherd mix ended up in a shelter. Staff deemed her aggressive. (Uunder those circumstances, who wouldn’t be?) After giving birth, she was put down.
Her six orphaned pups, rescued by Lakeshore PAWS, were brought to Merrillville to meet Bertha.
“She was unsure at first, but the foster got into the pool with her and she started cleaning them right away,” Pelko said.
“Here they had this sad mom and we had these puppies who needed help,” said Jeanne Sommer, director of Lakeshore PAWS said. “It worked out great for all of us.”
The puppies, who are just over a week old, are thriving, Palko said.
Second Chance is now considering training Bertha to be a therapy dog.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 5th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bertha, foster, homeless, lactating, lakeshore paws, merrillville, newborn, nursed, nursing, oklahoma, pregnant, pup, puppies, rescue, rottweiler, second chance 4 pets, shelter, south bend, tornadoes
An Ohio man will spend five days in jail for abadoning a pregnant dog at a farm in February.
Darryl Lawson, 45, of Hamilton, pleaded guilty yesterday to misdemeanor charges of cruelty to animals and abandoning animals. A judge sentenced him to 90 days in jail, but suspended 85 of the days, the Dayton Daily News reported.
He was also was ordered to pay a $750 fine and serve 40 hours of community service at an animal shelter — even though the judge barred him from having pets in his own household during an additional two years probation.
Lawson’s lawyer said his client is “very remorseful” for abandoning the beagle mix, who later gave birth to puppies while huddled in some in hay.
Lawson immediately regretted his decision and even went back to the farm in an attempt to find the dog. He then called the sheriff’s office and Animal Friends Humane Society, where the dog and pups were taken by a farmer who found them. He turned himself in to animal shelter authorities.
The mother dog and her five puppies were cared for and are thriving in a foster home.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 1st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandon, abandoning, abandonment, animal cruelty, animals, beagle, darryl lawson, dog, dogs, guilty, hamilton, jail, misdemeanor, mix, mother, news, ohio, ohmidog!, pets, pregnant, puppies, sentence
Posted by John Woestendiek May 10th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, assignment america, baboon, burlington, cats, cbs, dog, dog nurses kittens, fawn, goat, horse, humane society, instinct, interspecies, iowa, kittens, labrador, lily, loeopard, mix, motherhood, mothers, mothers day, news, nursing, ohmidog!, pregnant, shelter, steve hartmann, video
Three puppy mill raids in two Washington counties in recent weeks resulted in about 600 dogs being seized — but those 600 are expected to soon become 1,500.
Four of every five dogs rescued are pregnant, authorities say.
“We’ve already had two litters born,” said Bud Wessman, director of Everett Animal Services, which is caring for 155 dogs seized from a Snohomish County property on Jan. 16. “We have six that will give birth over the weekend and probably another 10 litters coming up in the next week.”
The Snohomish County kennel is linked to another in Skagit County, where authorities seized 135 dogs on Wednesday and returned Friday to seize the remaining 308. The owner of the Skagit County property, near Mount Vernon, is the mother of the woman who owns the Snohomish County property near Gold Bar, the Seattle Times reported.
Animal control officials are struggling to care for the crush of animals, most of which are Chihuahuas, shih tzus, poodles, and Yorkshire terriers.
Posted by John Woestendiek January 26th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 600 dogs, animal control, chihuahuas, county, dogs, investigation, litters, mountain view kennel, poodles, pregnancies, pregnant, puppies, puppy mills, raid, rescue, seattle, skagit, snohomish, yorkshire terriers