|TORONTO – National animal law non-profit Animal Justice is calling on Calgary Humane Society and the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) to investigate after a video emerged of a police officer kicking a dog. Animal Justice has filed complaints with both agencies, requesting an investigation.|
The shocking video was posted on Instagram on February 10, 2021, and apparently depicts Calgary Police officers engaged in duties on a street. One officer is holding a German shepherd-type dog on a leash. After the dog repeatedly barks, the officer kicks the dog in the ribs. The date on which the video was filmed is unknown.
“It’s a criminal offence to cause pain or suffering to an animal, and police don’t get a free pass for animal abuse,” said lawyer Camille Labchuk, executive director of Animal Justice. “Dogs used in police K-9 units are already unfairly put at risk by being forced into dangerous situations, and it is absolutely unconscionable that they should be put at further risk of abuse by police officers themselves. This disturbing video demands a full investigation by Calgary Humane Society, which has the power to lay criminal and provincial animal cruelty charges, and the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, which addresses serious police misconduct.”
In 2015, Parliament amended Criminal Code animal cruelty provisions to create more severe punishments for injuring an animal used in law enforcement. The law does not exempt police from punishment for harming a K-9 unit dog.
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