VACAVILLE (CBS13) — PETA has sent an open letter to the Vacaville Police Department after an officer was caught on camera punching his four-legged partner at a training facility.
The animal rights group says they are monitoring the situation and are asking for a police review.
“We understand that the incident captured on video is under investigation, and we respectfully suggest a thorough review of K9 handler policies and training, since Capt. Lydon’s comments seem to indicate that such abusive treatment is standard practice,” PETA wrote in their letter, which was sent on Thursday.
Vacaville police confirmed that it was one of their officers in the video, which was captured by a bystander, but officials said the recording was taken out of context.
“The officer was conducting training with the K9,” Matt Lydon, a captain with the Vacaville Police Department, told CBS13.
After the video went viral earlier in the week, Vacaville police announced on Wednesday that the dog and officer have been separated. The dog is now in the care of a third-party handler.
Officials have also said that the dog has been examined by a veterinarian and no signs of distress or injury have been found.
PETA’s letter urges the department to reassign the officer to another division that doesn’t interact with K9s or other animals.
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Vacaville police have said it is too early in their investigation to decide whether there would be repercussions for the officer.