Video Credit: AsiaWire
A police dog academy hailed in reports as the ‘best in Asia’ has been embroiled in an animal abuse scandal after videos showed a trainer whipping and stomping on a German shepherd.
The staff member with Long-Jieh Dog Training School in Taiwan’s north-western city of Taoyuan has admitted wrongdoing and will accept a fine from the city’s Animal Protection Office, Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan said on 10th October.
The school is known for producing some of the best service dogs in Taiwan and also offers its expertise to dozens of private dog owners, but the facility found itself under serious threat of disrepute when footage of recent training sessions was leaked to Facebook on 9th October.
The videos show a trainer, who remains unnamed, whipping a German shepherd with a lead when it apparently fails to follow his commands.
The same dog appears to be kicked and then stamped on by the male trainer when it does not sit when ordered to, the clip shows.
Damning social media posts also included images showing some of the academy’s “30 to 40” emaciated dogs, some of which appeared weak and sickly.
One picture also showed cockroaches crawling inside a metal dog bowl allegedly used to feed the school’s pooches, suggesting the animals’ living conditions were not up to standard.
In his statement released on Facebook, Mayor Cheng said he had instructed the Taoyuan’s Animal Protection Office and its director, Wang Der-chi, to investigate.
Video Credit: AsiaWire
The office interviewed the trainer in question who admitted to physically mistreating the animal, Cheng wrote, adding that he would be punished for the offence.
But inspectors did not find evidence to support claims that the animals at the school had been starved or kept in unhygienic or unsanitary conditions, he added, despite footage showing emaciated pooches in kennels.
According to reports, the handler faces a cash fine of 75,000 TWD (1,970 GBP) for animal abuse, but it was still unclear whether he would keep his job.
The police dog academy’s owner, Chen Chun-chieh, has responded to the incident revealing he was abroad attending a dog training contest when the incident came to light.
He said reports of his staff mistreating one of the dogs in training were “true”, but he suspected accusations of so-called filthy kennels were likely “smear campaign” by a disgruntled employee.
Chen said the false accusations had seriously damaged the school’s reputation, and that he would be suing the individual.
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