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SALISBURY, N.C. (WJZY) – Salisbury Police Chief Jerry Stokes addressed the department’s K-9 policy on Tuesday after a video surfaced showing questionable actions taken against a police dog.
Video sent to WJZY by a source who wished to remain anonymous appears to show a Salisbury police officer hanging a K-9 by his leash and hitting the dog, later identified as “Zuul” by the police department.
In the nearly minute-long video, a K-9 handler with the Salisbury Police Department is seen with the dog that jumps out of the police vehicle.
In the video, after the dog exits the car, the handler yells, walks up to the animal, and puts a leash on the dog. He then picks the dog up by the leash and puts the K-9 over his shoulder walking back to the vehicle.
Video shows the handler then slam the dog into the car and it appears he then hit the animal once it was in the car.
Stokes said that it is important that a K-9 handler have complete control of the animal at all times. When it is not compliant, it is up to the handler to correct the dog.
“Salisbury Police Department is aware of a video that has been provided to media depicting a Salisbury officer during a K-9 training but we cannot comment on the details because it’s an ongoing personnel matter,” Stokes said.
WATCH SALISBURY POLICE ADDRESS QUESTIONABLE VIDEO:
While Stokes said the officer’s actions may have been part of training tactics, he would not comment if those tactics were appropriate.
“SPD can confirm that as a matter of course, the officer has been administratively separated from the K-9 while SPD conducts its review,” Stokes said.
An outside agency is leading an inquiry into the incident and will incorporate expert K-9 handlers and officers from other departments.
Stokes said the department is reviewing its K-9 policy and guidelines. K-9 Zuul was on hand at Tuesday’s news conference.
“The K-9 was not harmed and is healthy and is being well cared for,” Stokes said.
The police chief said any reports that the dog was tased are false.