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Self-taught dog trainer and self-proclaimed dog psychologist, ‘Dog Whisperer’ Cesar Millan is defending himself against allegations of animal abuse after a training session involving a French Bulldog/Boston Terrier mix and several pigs ended in a bloody attack.
Immediately after a clip from Millan’s hit television show, Cesar 911 was posted to YouTube, concerned animal lovers horrified by the scene that unfolded began contacting authorities by the thousands, prompting an investigation by Los Angeles County Animal Control into possible animal cruelty, specifically using pigs as “bait” for the known pig-killing dog.
But Millan says the investigation, and the allegations against him and his training methods, are entirely unfounded, that opponents of his methods are blowing it all out of proportion.
While no charges have yet been filed, officials are asking for the names of everyone involved in the February 26th episode of Cesar 911 as well as asking to see the pigs that were injured during filming.
While Millan argues that no crime was committed and that the investigation is unfounded, he told PEOPLE that he understands the public’s concern.
“This is what I love about America,” he said. “In America, animals have rights to a certain extent. And when somebody complains about it the law enforcement have to come and supervise. They do it to everybody and they’re doing the right thing.”
Still, Millan says angry animal lovers aren’t seeing the bigger picture. The self-taught trainer, who has received no formal training in animal behavior, says that it was necessary to put Simon (and the pigs) in this situation in order to rehabilitate him.
“My main goal is to educate human kind so we don’t end up euthanizing dogs with the mistakes we make. I’m going to do whatever it takes to save the life of a dog. I don’t use animals as bait,” he said. “I take the cases nobody wants. It’s ridiculous that they’d take something and turn it into this, when my main goal is purely harmony and balance.”
Simon’s owner, Sandy, is also defending Millan. She says meeting Millan was “the best thing that ever happened to us.”
Sandy explained, “I feel so blessed to have had Cesar’s help and it upsets me profoundly that people have mischaracterized what really happened. I have a brand new life with Simon and having Cesar’s help made the difference. It’s the best thing that ever happened to Simon and I.”
Millan, no stranger to controversy, has been just as widely supported through this incident as he has been criticized. Many say his contributions to the animal world have been nothing short of outstanding, that he is being unfairly judged for what they’re calling “a mistake.” It’s important to note, however, that Millan has not admitted to making any mistake and, despite the attack, defends his actions entirely.
Is Cesar Millan being unfairly judged after this incident? Some say yes, others say no. See both sides of the argument right here.