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Baltimore Officer's Lawyers Defend His Cutting Throat of Loose Dog

September 12, 2014  | 

Officer Jeffrey Bolger (Photo: Baltimore PD)
Officer Jeffrey Bolger (Photo: Baltimore PD)

Lawyers for veteran Baltimore officer Jeffrey Bolger said he was legally authorized to kill a shar-pei named Nala in June and was acting to protect the unborn child of a woman the dog had bitten.

Bolger, 49, appeared in court Thursday, and his attorney entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf to two counts of animal mutilation, one f animal cruelty and one of misconduct in office, the Baltimore Sun reports.

Police were called after the dog bit a pregnant woman, his lawyers wrote. After it was restrained with a dog pole, the dog began fighting back and biting at the pole — a struggle Bolger's lawyers say lasted for over an hour.

A medic at the scene told the officers that the dog needed to be tested for rabies urgently, according to the filing. But the police were not equipped to sedate the dog or put it in an animal carrier, the lawyers wrote, so Bolger decided to kill the animal in the safest way he could think of. "… he used his knife in a fashion intended to cause the dog the least amount of pain and place the public in the least amount of danger," his lawyers wrote.

Another officer, Thomas Schmidt, 53, also has been charged in the case. He is accused of holding the dog down and is scheduled to appear in court later this month.


Comments (6)

Displaying 1 - 6 of 6

Bill @ 9/12/2014 10:25 AM

I can't see this case going far. The woman was pregnant. The animal had to be tested. It was an extraordinary circumstance, which required an extraordinary response.

Ima Leprechaun @ 9/12/2014 4:02 PM

He was not defending anyone when he cut the dogs throat he was defending an restraint pole. If the animal was so unsafe not to be further restrained how did he use his hands to cut the dog's throat? Personally, if the dog was that crazy I would think shooting it would have been the safest most logical course. Since the dog was secured, calling a local vet to take control of a possibly sick animal is reasonable and in my city completely sanctioned. Time was never a factor in this case since the animal was already tethered.

kevCopAz @ 9/12/2014 4:07 PM

Does sound like since they were able to hold the dog down, they could have gotten some way to sedate the animal. Seems a bad bit of decision making but criminal? I don't think so. Perhaps the department and /or city should be sued or shamed into having a animal control unit? DAH a city that size and they don't have the means to snare or sedate a dog that is attached to a pole/ Sad and stupid.

bo2234 @ 9/13/2014 12:17 PM

The officers on scene had already called animal control to the scene. That's why they had been holding the thing for an hour already. But like anything else in Baltimore City, they are a day late and a dollar short. The animal had already nearly escaped the snare pole twice and was trying for a third. The officer was lucky not to have been bitten while killing it. He is an avid hunter and used those skills to end the situation as quickly and safely as he could without gunfire too close to his partner holding the dog, not knowing where a ricochet could go. And if anyone here knows, to test for rabies, the animal has to be euthanized anyhow. Bottom line...the officer did the right thing but the administration bowed to the public and squeaky wheels instead of putting faith in their members and finding out what REALLY happened. Once that had their male parts stuck in too far, they couldn't save face by saying, "We screwed up".

JH @ 9/13/2014 9:39 PM

The woman who was nipped, not bitten (her words) was only 4 weeks pregnant at the time. So how could he make the claim that he killed the dog out of concern for an unborn child. "Sandy Fleischer said Bolger's attorneys had skewed the incident. Fleischer said she was most concerned about the dog and didn't credit the police with doing the right thing. Fleischer added that she was upset her pregnancy, which was then four weeks along, had been disclosed after the incident."

Greg @ 9/16/2014 6:24 AM

What a load of lawyer lying and total BS. If they could hold the dog down well enough so he could slit it's throat, they could have thrown the dog in the animal control cages. Sorry, he acted the punk. Sadly, "puppycide" is really becoming rampant and losing us support. Too many dogs killed, shot while doing nothing, as the initial go-to response by fairly wimpy officers. I sure don't recall "I was scared, I had to shoot the dog, he looked mean" being spouted all the time 25 years ago...we would have been laughed at as "doggy hit man".

Whenever you hear some BS about "protecting an unborn child" in any court as a justification for any's a joke and they're hitting for the emotion excuse. Pathetic.

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