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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.