Animal Advocates

Cesar Millan Under Investigation for Possible Animal Cruelty

Screenshot 2016-03-11 at 12.51.28 AM

The self-proclaimed “Dog Whisperer” and television dog trainer, Cesar Millan, is currently under investigation and facing possible animal cruelty charges stemming from an incident filmed for his NatGeo hit series, Cesar 911.

An investigation was launched after concerned animal welfare advocates flooded Los Angeles County Animal Control and Santa Clarita police with phone calls, emails, and tips after the Cesar 911 episode aired.

Sheriff’s deputies and investigators with LA County Animal Control visited Millan’s Dog Psychology Center in Santa Clarita , California late Thursday evening, but Millan was away for a speaking engagement on Friday. Millan was given a notice of 24-hours to contact investigators.

In the episode, a desperate dog owner brings her French Bulldog, Simon, to Millan’s Dog Psychology Center in hopes of helping him overcome an aggression toward pigs. Simon’s owner, Sandy, explains that she had lost her beloved pet pig when Simon attacked. She hopes that, with Cesar’s help, Simon can overcome his aggression “…because that means that my pig didn’t die in vain.”

Rather than slowly, safely introducing Simon to pigs, in an environment that promotes the safety and well-being of all involved, Millan immediately puts Simon and several unsuspecting pigs in a shockingly dangerous situation. At first, Simon is on leash and appears to be calm, though alert. After a few moments of remaining calm in the pigs’ presence, Millan orders Simon’s leash removed, allowing him to roam freely. That’s when things take a disturbing turn. No longer able to safely able to control Simon, the known “pig-slayer” (as he’s referred to in the video, who has already killed two pigs) takes off after the pigs, repeatedly nipping, drawing blood, and biting a chunk off one of the pig’s ears.

A representative from Nat Geo WILD, which airs Cesar 911, issued this statement:

“Cesar Millan has dedicated his life to helping dogs and to showing how even the most difficult “problem dog” can be rescued and rehabilitated. In a recent episode of the Nat Geo WILD series “Cesar 911,” Cesar works with an aggressive French bulldog/terrier mix named Simon, who has a history of attacking other animals, including his owner’s pet potbellied pigs. A short clip from the episode was shared online and showed Simon chasing a pig and nipping its ear, causing the ear to bleed. The clip caused some concern for viewers who did not see or understand the full context of the encounter.

“…Cesar has created a safe and controlled environment at his Dog Psychology Center (DPC) in California in which to rehabilitate some of the most extreme — or “red zone” — cases of dog aggression, such as Simon’s. It is important to clarify that Cesar took precautions, such as putting Simon on a long lead to assess his behavior, before making initial corrections and removing the leash. The pig that was nipped by Simon was tended to immediately afterward, healed quickly and showed no lasting signs of distress.”

Countless trained animal behaviorists and trainers have weighed in on the incident, including positive trainer and host of Animal Planet’s “It’s Me or the Dog,” Victoria Stilwell who called the episode “appalling.”

Millan has long been accused of abusing dogs. Click here to see several more video examples of Cesar Millan’s training methods gone horribly wrong.

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26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Carina Stewart

    Mar 18, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Cesar knows what he is doing. Cesar is famous. Other trainers are jealous. Cesar is slandered. Cut the petty crap.

  2. Joan pashinsky

    Mar 14, 2016 at 10:41 am

    Thank god the pig owner had her say, because if I HAD to read one more comment
    coming out of you ignorant fools, I happen to work with dogs and pigs all day
    I am a veterinary technichian, and once again like I WROTE BEFORE things dont always
    go as planned cesar millian knows what he is doing, if you dont like him for all your absurd
    reasons then dont watch his show.And get off all your high horses. you all nay sayers really have no
    idea what it takes to rehab a dog,and hopefully you all dont try from the anger in your words
    you so called know it alls would probally harm a dog……

  3. Scott Conners

    Mar 11, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    Before everyone takes the “clip” being show all over the internet as proof of abuse, let’s hear what the PIG owner had to say…
    https://www.facebook.com/cesar.millan/videos/10154081845079954/

  4. Tina Rosas

    Mar 11, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    I truely think that Cesar Millan is only in the interest of the animal that he works with everytime and only wants to at all times help both the animal and owner.And hs helped many in the very process. So you people’s trying to gang up on him and accuse him for animal cruelty need to back off and go find the real cases there please.

    • Nancy Bernard

      Mar 12, 2016 at 11:36 am

      I am a huge animal lover and cannot stand abuse to any living thing. I don’t believe Cesar intentionally meant for any of this to happen. He has helped so many dog owners who were at their wits end. Just as in any profession, the best will win 98% of the time, but there is always that one or two percent that backfires. So to judge this wonderful man who has saved more dogs that would have been euthanized, is a hero in my eyes. Give the man a break!

  5. Dan Stewart

    Mar 11, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Put the dog in with some hogs & see who gets bit. I’ll bet the dog would stay away from pigs after that.

    • Nancy Bernard

      Mar 12, 2016 at 11:37 am

      Oh yeah! Hogs, especially when they have had a litter, are vicious! They have killed, and tried to eat many a human that gets in their way, especially if they smell blood!

  6. Jean

    Mar 11, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    He doesn’t bait the dog with the pigs. It is a learning tool. How can you stop a dog from attacking another animal if you don’t put him in a situation so he can learn that this is wrong behavior. If you give him a treat he thinks he will get a treat for attacking the pig. NOW THAT IS A SMART WAY OF THINKING! Come on Kristine does that make sense to you? He tries to help people with their untrained dogs and you guys want to stop that. All I can say is Thank You Cesar for your help with all the dogs out there. I think if they could talk they would say the same thing!

    • Kristine

      Mar 12, 2016 at 12:36 pm

      Lol…… you have no clue at all….. calling another animal who can get injured in the process a “learning tool”
      Real smart!!!

      And you have no idea about positive reinforcement training either if you are capable of coming out with nonsense as “the dog would get rewarded for attacking the pig”…. of course that makes no sense to me because it is just ridiculous nonsense.

      So I’m gonna explain it to you again….the dog would get rewarded for IGNORING the pigs and STAYING CALM gradually bringing it closer to them initially ON A LEAD AND BEHIND A FENCE !!
      Of course that takes time but anything worthwhile takes time. There is no magic cure to altering behaviour.

      Instead what did Cesar do? Yanked on the dog’s leash when he was totally calm and ignoring the pigs and did not even look at them, he got the dog into an agitated state of anxiousness before he took the lead of yet the dog still ignored the pigs… so instead of rewarding him for being calm his helpers RESTRAINED the pig to make it squeak to trigger the dogs instinct to attack just so he could then punish him and abuse and bully him.
      There were SO MANY things wrong with this incident, frankly I am shocked that there are still people defending his actions!
      Had anyone else done this those same people would be screaming out for this person’s blood. Sad really.

  7. BellaDonna

    Mar 11, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    STFU! Caesar is the best dog trainer and the others are jealous of his success.

  8. Darlene

    Mar 11, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    From what I have seen and heard about Cesar he tries his best with the dogs he’s had to retrain. Dogs are unpredictable. I don’t think it’s his fault. He has a great love for animals.

  9. Karen

    Mar 11, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    Cesar Milan is clearly gifted with an amazing record in dog training. Any body with common sense can see that in his heart he wants to help people understand their animals. He obviously loves dogs. Go after real abusers not this man.

  10. Karen Esch

    Mar 11, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    Cesar Milan is clearly gifted with an ability to understand animals, especially dogs. He has done so much good in his lifetime. Animals can be unpredictable. You don’t judge a person by one mistake. Why go after a dog lover whose only goal is to help people and dogs. Go after real animal abusers. This is ridiculous.

  11. Afj

    Mar 11, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    Leave him alone and go after the real animal abusers. The one’s who chain their dogs, starve them, beat them, fight them, etc. I don’t know what show Kristine is referring to but I have seen every Dog Whisperer & Cesar 911 show and he does not alpha roll or punch dogs. He puts them on their side until they calm down. He has said many times on his show that no one should ever alpha roll dogs. I am in disbelief at how people are over reacting to this. Again, go after the real abusers instead of a trainer who had the guts to work with an aggresssive dog who would kill another pig of hers and possibly be euthanized.

    • Kristine

      Mar 12, 2016 at 12:49 pm

      Putting them on their side and holding them down by force IS called the alpha roll…. so he calls it different and suddenly it is fine right?
      Once they stop struggling they are NOT relaxed, they just go into a “learned helplessness” (google it)… where they stay still and “frozen” in the hope that whatever is causing them to feel this way will go away… that is when he tells people that the “dog has relaxed and submitted to him”
      I have watched several episodes where he sets up dogs for failure on purpose so then he can punch and punish them and kick them.
      His techniques are ineffective and dangerous… why else would be the “DO NOT TRY IT YOURSELF” disclaimer displayed on the screen in all his programs?
      Yet people still do it to their own dogs.

      I feel sorry for every dog who is unfortunate to get “trained” by cesar or any of his deluded followers.

  12. Rose

    Mar 11, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    So IF you watched the entire episode rather than just the clip circulating online you would also know that Simon’s options were very limited. Would it have been better to euthanize Simon? What if stuffing his face full of high value treats while a pig stood 100 yards away didn’t work? His owner is also very valuable to the rescue she fosters for, and since Simon is also aggressive toward other dogs, they may not be able to use her anymore. What about those dogs that have nowhere to go because she could no longer foster? It is unfortunate and sad what happened to the pig, but by no means do I think it was intentional. Cesar has helped and saved thousands of dogs, some of whom positive trainers have deemed “unfixable” and recommended euthanasia for. Do you not think that sometimes accidents happen in training? Cesar is under the microscope because of his fame. Now he’s being accused of animal cruelty?! While everyday dogs are kicked, punched, lit on fire, made to fight each other, stuffed in garbage bags, left tied outside to starve and be eaten by pests, and on and on…THAT is animal cruelty. What about the thousands of dogs destroyed everyday because of “bad” behavior that could’ve been corrected using tips from Cesar’s books? I promise you that not every dog can be trained with reward based training only. But by all means, crucify a man who’s dedicated his life to saving animals. Just make sure that only those who’ve never made a mistake cast those first stones.

    • Joan pashinsky

      Mar 11, 2016 at 2:39 pm

      Thankyou rose for telling it like it is,
      we need more people like you than stone
      throwers… Cesar has helped so many and he
      will continue to do his best dispite what
      the nay sayers say…..

      all the best..
      Joan

    • Toni

      Mar 11, 2016 at 4:17 pm

      Thank You Could Of Not Said it Better.
      Don’t Forget The In Humane Conditions For Puppy Mills. Why Don’t They Focus On That Instead.

  13. cheryl Justis

    Mar 11, 2016 at 11:11 am

    Why have pigs then around this dog. People rarely have pigs anyway. Just decide I have a dog that is pig aggressive so I can’t have pigs. Same thing with cats. Many dogs are aggressive to cats so people don’t have cats.

  14. Bessie Potter

    Mar 11, 2016 at 10:33 am

    Not really that surprised. Watched one of his shows couple years back. Was a bit arrogant. And did not approve of how he handled the situation. You do NOT punch an animal unless that animal is attacking you. And you can redirect aggression. But not eliminate it. When the dog in this case ignored the pigs he should have praised the dog. Not direct his attention to the pigs. If the dog was aggressive towards the pigs and the foster dog they should have been separated. Period. Attacks can be prevented. Its just so sad, cruel and extremely upsetting that ppl go to the extreme of hurting an innocent animal to train others. And totally uncalled for. Cesar uses some controversial techniques and this pig thing was just stupid. You are not going to change a dog who has already killed 2 pigs. Just because the pig “only” got bit on the ear doesn’t make up for the trauma of being hunted like that.

  15. Joan pashinsky

    Mar 11, 2016 at 10:29 am

    Please, Please leave this man alone and his good intentions ,Not everything goes as planned in the animal world, Cesar Millan should not be targeted by so called other animal trainers or the public
    which is obvisly misinformed, Why dont you people focus on the real animal abuse cases that are
    on the web sites everyday with horrible pictures of the most unbelievable abuse. Cesar Millan
    is the best there is I am a veterinary technichian and have seen abuse cesar millan is not
    an abuser of animals in anyway. Ide like to see one of you nay sayers do what he does and thats makes a
    100% turn around for the dog and its family. I have folled him from the beggining and have nothing but
    good praise for him. Again you all dont see the big picture. So get the real facts before you out someone for animal abuse..

    • Kristine

      Mar 11, 2016 at 10:54 am

      Everything has gone exactly as planned (apart from the pig being bitten)… he has baited the dog by making the pig squeak on purpose just so he then can punish him for reacting….
      That is his MO! I have watched MANY of his programs and it is always the same scenario. He does it in every single program! He provokes the dogs into misbehaving just so he can then alpa roll them and punish them and make them “submit” to him then claim that he has sorted the problem. Never mind that the behaviour is not cured and the dog is a ticking time bomb once he is gone.

      He is a charlatan that has done more damage than anyone else to dog training. His methods are dangerous and outdated and DO NOT WORK!!
      HE NEEDS TO BE STOPPED!

      • Norma Ceaser

        Mar 11, 2016 at 4:03 pm

        AMEN, This man has no respect for animals and is a danger to the dogs, people and peripheral animals with whom he works. I have worked with, lived with and trained dogs for more years than I care to count. I have had several “dangerous”, “aggressive” dogs who were slated to be put down in a matter of hours or days whom I have rescued and trained for my own companions as well as my clients. I would NEVER employ the dangerous, egotistical methods Mr. Milan employs. I have watched several videos of his “training” sessions, and have been appalled at the way he creates situations where the dogs must “fail”. I have always believed in “stacking the deck” in favor of the dogs so they can start to have successes to build upon. Common sense and respect must be integral components of all training efforts.

    • Marylain Blue

      Mar 11, 2016 at 11:47 am

      She is so right, leave him alone, I think he is one of the best out there!!

      • Kiley Baricevic

        Mar 11, 2016 at 2:43 pm

        Totally agree

    • Darlene

      Mar 11, 2016 at 3:56 pm

      You are so right. I know it’s not his intention to abuse any animal. And if any of you people who are pointing fngers at him thinks you can do any better go ahead.

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