Police officer arrested for slitting dog’s throat

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BALTIMORE, Maryland - A Baltimore police officer faces felony animal cruelty charges after he slit the throat of a dog that had escaped from home, authorities said.

Nala, a seven-year-old Chinese shar-pei breed, went missing Saturday from her home in Baltimore.

The same day, officers responded to a call that a dog had bitten a woman. The dog was Nala, whom police restrained using a pole around her neck, authorities said.

Shortly afterward, Officer Jeffrey Bolger cut Nala's throat with a knife, even though she was contained, according to police spokesman Eric Kowalczy.

She later died.

"It was a complete violation of protocol," Kowalczy said. "It's not often police speak out against one of their own, but we are all truly appalled."

Just before they got to the scene, Bolger was overheard saying, "I'm going to gut this (expletive) thing," according to charging documents.

Nala's owner, Sarah Gossard, said police did not give her details on how Nala died until Wednesday.

"She went missing Saturday and after looking for her all day, I found out through a neighbor that she was put down," she said.

"Police never contacted me until today. Only after did I find out more details. I learned from the news that she was stabbed in the throat. I want justice."

Gossard said Nala was not a violent dog.

"She was just scared that day and through all of those events -- scared and lost, thirsty, hungry," she told CNN affiliate WBAL. "Yes I'm very sure that she bit someone, but the actions after that were not OK."

Bolger has been with the Baltimore Police Department since 1992. He was suspended without pay, arrested and charged, the Police Department said.

Officer Jeffrey Bolger

Officer Jeffrey Bolger

The woman who was bitten suffered a superficial puncture wound on her hand and is fine, Kowalczy said.


  • buzz

    2 sides to this people. Several adults and kids have been mauled to death in Baltimore by pit bulls in the past year or 2 in Baltimore and surrounding counties. Maryland has a law that all home owner’s are responsible for any action that the dog does on or off property when it does attack or bite somebody and the victim has a right to sue for any damages. Now here is the question for this officer/ To much o t? has he been on these types of calls before? The home owner stated in other news reports that she let the dog out in her concrete back yard and it escaped through the fenced gate. Therefor she is responsible for that dog. The lady who was bit said she was at fault for trying to help the dog. NO lady you where not! the owner of the dog was!. IF people can not control the dog do not own it!

    • Thomas Holton

      what you’re talking about is not even the issue here…. the cop shouldnt have slit the dog throat for any reason. it was just an execution cuz the piece of shit felt like it

    • Clayton Bigsby

      If it makes you feel better know that he will be put on paid leave and forced to take a few weeks off while his friends review his actions and find his actions were in accordance with state law.

      • Morning Dew

        “He was suspended without pay, arrested and charged, the Police Department said.” Unless the police department changes this decision, he will not be on paid leave.

  • Candice

    Our dog got out one time and the police said they tased him and he didn’t respond, so they shot him twice, with buckshot, point blank, in our own yard. Then they buried him in the local landfill before we even know what happened. All because he was part pit bull. He never hurt anyone. I would have trusted him to babysit my 9 month old at the time. It was heartbreaking, and so is this.

  • Mo Fiscal conservatism

    I’m sure the police officer had no choice. You pet owners need to learn how to keep your animals in line. It’s tough being a cop. It’s just as dangerous as the military, but it’s every day and none supports you. Even though you make their lives possible. I think you should thank these guys for putting their lives on the line for you.

    • Jay

      The pig used a knife to stab the dog. If the job is too tough: Quit! He volunteered and, unlike the military, he can walk at any time. The military fights the enemy. Cops are there to Protect and Serve; but, too many cops act as if “society” is an enemy. We can blame Reagan for mandating federal military train cops…thus, the “enemy” mentality is born.

    • Welshwoman

      Garbage. Law enforcement is tough but if you are slitting a dog’s throat, you have mental health problems and should be taken off the street, evaluated and sanctioned. There are some very sad creatures in this line of work and you need to wake up. There are good ones, too, but this isn’t one of them.

  • ??

    but….it wasn’t a pit bull…it was a Chinese Shar-pei….that’s not a pitbull so what are yall folks whose speaking this pitbull mess talkin about…and if u think its ok to SLIT a dogs throat then u have some real mental issues…that’s way past inhumane…but once again its another case of a so called officer who oversteps his boundaries and thinks he’s invincible bc he’s a cop..and instead of exhorting his force on a human he put it on a dog..smh

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