Nala, a 7-year old Shar Pei, escaped from her Baltimore backyard on Saturday morning. While Nala’s owner was searching for her beloved dog, posting flyers and making calls to local shelters, a neighbor spotted to frightened dog about a block away and called police.
When police arrived, they successfully caught Nala, who was wearing a collar and identification tags, using a catch-pole. Witnesses said Nala was not behaving aggressively, but was understandably frightened. What happened next left everyone, including fellow officers, stunned.
According to reports, once Nala was restrained and under police control, Baltimore officer Jeffrey Bolger, shouted “I am going to [expletive] gut this thing.” That’s when he pulled out a knife and slit Nala’s throat, killing her.
“We have no words to describe this. To say that we are appalled at the allegations, I think, is an understatement,” Baltimore Police Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez said.
Officer Bolger, who has been with the Baltimore Police Department since 1992, was arrested, charged with aggravated animal cruelty and malfeasance in office, and suspended without pay. He was released on his own recognizance this morning.
“This is an outrageous and unacceptable breach of our protocol. The BPD does not condone and will not condone such actions,” Deputy Commissioner Dean Palmere explained.
Baltimore Police are investigating the incident, including whether the knife Bolger used was police issued and whether the other two officers at the scene followed proper procedure in reporting it.
“Obviously, my anger is toward this police officer. I don’t want him to have his job. I don’t want him to be able to go out on calls and react like that to a person, to a dog, to anything. That’s not OK,” Nala’s grieving owner, Sarah Gossard told WBAL Channel 11.