A video has surfaced which shows a trainer at Bothell’s Academy of Canine Behavior hitting a dog with a plastic bat.

A video has surfaced which shows a trainer at Bothell’s Academy of Canine Behavior hitting a dog with a plastic bat.

Bothell dog trainer under fire for animal abuse

A video showing a trainer using a plastic bat to train a dog was not animal abuse, county says.

The Snohomish County Animal Services department conducted an investigation of the Bothell-based Academy of Canine Behavior after a video showing what some claimed was animal abuse surfaced in recent weeks.

Snohomish County auditor Carolyn Weikel said an animal control officer conducted an unannounced inspection of the dog training facility on June 27 after they received an anonymous tip containing a video of what appeared to be a dog being beaten with a plastic bat. The officer found that the kennels were clean, the animals had adequate food and water and the dogs did not appear distressed or injured.

“The animals were not in distress, there were no signs that anything were askew or inappropriate,” Weikel said.

The owners of the kennel told the officer the dog pictured in the video was highly aggressive and had shown signs of aggression and its owner had asked for help training it. In the video, a trainer is seen hitting the dog around the head and face with a plastic bat that had its end removed. This makes the bat more flexible and hit with less of an impact. Due to this, the officer found the behavior shown in the video was not a crime.

“The dog did not suffer any injuries, and based on the definition of animal cruelty or animal abuse in the RCW, it did not rise to that occasion,” Weikel said.

Under state law (RCW 16.52) a person must cause substantial pain, physical injury, death or undue suffering to an animal for an action to rise to a criminal offense.

The investigation was closed following the inspection and no charges were filed. However, at least two additional complaints had been filed with animal services concerning the kennel and animal control officers were trying to get more information. However, Weikel said the owner of the dog shown in the video had not contacted animal services.

“We closed that investigation. Because of all the social media swirling around this, we received, I think it was one or two calls from additional people saying, ‘I’ve got a story to tell too,’ and we are in the process of getting them to do a witness statement to talk with them,” Weikel said.

The Bothell-Kenmore Reporter has additionally filed a public records request seeking complaints or investigations involving the Academy of Canine Behavior over the last three years. The owners of the kennel said in a story published on July 24 that the training technique seen in the video was not standard and the kennel owners do not condone the actions seen in it.

After the video went viral on social media, the owners of the kennel said they had been flooded with threats, including death threats, with one man calling more than 40 times in one day.

More in News

Special Santa’s helper amid volunteers to help 300 Federal Way families in need

Annual event to serve 1,025 kids this Saturday, nonprofit seeks more volunteers.

San Diego State’s Jalen McDaniels sued for allegedly filming, sharing sex videos

King County prosecutors drop charges against former FWHS student, NBA prospect.

Mary Lynn Pannen, founder and CEO of Sound Options, has consulted thousands of Washington families on geriatric care for 30 years. Photo courtesy of Sound Options.
Elder abuse cases are on the rise in Washington

Local agencies and geriatric care managers aim to increase public awareness about the epidemic.

Federal Way to regulate shopping carts, curb blight with new ordinance

Retailers will be charged $25 fee per abandoned cart, $25 fee for disposal.

Federal Way resident reflects on campaign with late former President George H.W. Bush

Bette Simpson-Opstad recounts details of inauguration day in January 1989.

Federal Way High School hosts grand opening

Dr. Tammy Campbell says new campus is a “game changer” for scholars.

Police ID possible suspect who forcibly fondled Walmart employee

K-9 track turns up no clues in firearm robbery; man fires handgun through sunroof.

Federal Way Municipal Court to celebrate first Community Court graduation

The therapeutic court is designed to address the underlying causes of criminal behavior.

FUSION prepares to hire permanent executive director

FUSION board has hired nonprofit leadership and governance strategist as interim executive director.

Most Read