This past Saturday morning in South East Baltimore, police responded to an incident where a 7-year-old Shar Pei named Nala had allegedly bit a woman. This seemed like a routine stray dog call, but it’s what happened during the dog’s containment that’s left Special Operations Officer Jeffrey Bolger, suspended without pay.
Nala had gotten out of owner Sarah Gossard’s backyard and took off, a police report stated. She was spotted by a woman who tried to help the escaped dog but, when she tried to approach Nala she was bitten. When officers arrived, they restrained the Shar-Pei with a dog pull but, Bolger decided to take it a step further by cutting Nala’s throat with a knife. Just before police got to the scene Bolger was overheard saying “I’m going to gut this (expletive) thing,” according to charging documents.
Nala, sadly, didn’t survive her injuries.
Deputy Commissioner Dean Palmere told reporters that the incident was “outrageous” and an “unacceptable breach of protocol.” Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez commented that “To say that were are appalled at the allegations is an understatement.” The incident took place Saturday but commanding officers were not alerted to the incident until Monday.
Gossard said that police didn’t tell her the details about Nala’s death until Wednesday. She stated “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.” She also defended her dog by telling WBAL, “She was just scared that day and through all of those events — scared and lost, thirsty, hungry…Yes, I’m very sure that she bit someone, but the actions after that were not OK.” You can check out the whole interview below.
The woman who was bitten suffered a puncture wound and is fine.
Bolger was arrested and is charged with felony animal cruelty charges.