Shelter worker videoed hitting dog with chair

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Animal shelters are stressful environments for all dogs; some more apt to act out in fear and bark more than others. On Tuesday, as a volunteer visited San Luis Obispo County Division of Animal Services to assess and video shelter dogs, a concerning incident caught the woman’s attention concerning the behavior of a shelter worker.

“As I was assessing dogs, I videoed a shelter worker hitting a pit bull with a chair. I caught the disturbing incident on video,” stated the volunteer asking only that her first name Jen be used. “I have had this video for almost 5 days. I reached out to the shelter manager, as well as both district 2 & 4 county supervisors but no one seems to care.”

Jen’s description of the situation continues:

“I kept hearing this guy yell (he was not yelling commands like a trainer might, he was yelling as if he was involved in a bar fight), and finally I looked up with my camera and caught him doing this with a chair. He hit the dog with a plastic chair. He seemed to be trying to block him, which was totally unnecessary because as I said, the dog was not with any other dogs, and he was only barking through the chain link, not aggressively in my opinion. After he did this, he placed a slip leash on the dog and yanked him up off the ground, still yelling, and took him out of the play yard.”

Although Jen did notify the supervisors, no one has responded. The person holding the chair against the dog had been wearing a volunteer shirt and seemed to have been the “go to” person at the shelter. While he isn’t seen actually striking the dog with the chair – rather pushing it at the dog, the video has been open to interpretation. Whereas the dog was observed barking at the other dog, a reasonable question remains if the actions of the man were in the best interest of the excited dog?

What do you think?

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  1. That shelter worker needs to be criminally charged, jailed, and fired. There is no excuse for this behavior. The shelter needs to jump into action and do something, they act as though he did no wrong. No animal deserves to be treated that way. NONE! I’m appauled that let it continue after being reported and seeing the video. Perhaps the shelter should be shut down as well.

  2. This “volunteer” needs to be terminated! Why no one at this shelter is addressing this treatment of an animal in their care is beyond my comprehension. People who work with homeless pets should at least have some compassion and care about their charges! .

  3. Blocking the dog from what. It’s a small dog who was in no way causing harm. Guys a jackoff Shouldn’t be allowed to work with animals

  4. I don’t see him hitting the dog here, so wrong headline choice, but certainly putting a barrier in between him and the dog and trying to back him up which sometimes doesn’t help the situation. Unless, that chair was his only tool to use to protect himself from being jumped and nipped at. Is it possible the volunteer was playing with the dog prior to this and it got out of hand, and into rough play. It does happen, and not intentionally. Dogs don’t necessarily know when to just calm down or when to much is to much. It’s really hard to judge a situation not knowing the circumstances prior to this. Certainly an unfortunate situation to have to see or experience.
    Volunteers help with certain behaviors that are seen in shelter dogs that do come in with no manners at all. They are doing what they can to help work with dogs, train them, to become good family dogs.
    Dogs who have no manners are not going to be adopted. In this process, some dogs can get amped up if the volunteer isn’t careful. So personal safety and focus is always a priority.

    • I completely agree with you, Jordanna. I feel the video has been completely misconstrued.

      I have actually volunteered this shelter and worked beside the Volunteer in the video. He works absolutely tirelessly for the shelter and our county’s dog population, so it is disheartening to see other dog lovers be so quick to judge them.

    • I disagree with you Jordonna this man is swing the chair at this pup which to me isn’t the best of actions he’s a shelter worker unacceptable behavior you don’t pick up a chair swing it into the dog he could have injured the dog in the eye or something the dogs a lil excited who wouldn’t be! Terrible excuse he is not suited to work with these already tramatized pups who’s been through enough!
      No excuse!!! He needs to go!
      Plain to see he’s got a short fuse not a good situation!!

  5. Another shelter volunteer from same shelter stars on this same thread that the dogs at this shelter aren’t getting enough to eat. Their well being is at stake on so many levels.

  6. Whoever posted this video is an absolute moron. The volunteer you’re trying to attack has been around the shelter for YEARS. He is likely responsible for the re-homing of hundreds, if not thousands of dogs. You decided it was a good idea to attack him after spending maybe a few minutes in a yard petting dogs? This man has thousands upon thousands of hours with dogs, and has a great deal of experience working with dogs to get them ready for a new home.

    It blows my mind that so many of you would jump to conclusions over a few second video. I have personally spent hours with this guy, and he’s done more for animals than all of us combined. If you really find it offensive that he’s using a plastic chair to train a dog, instead of his own body, then you should try volunteering at a shelter for a few weeks.

    • I’ve seen and been to a lot of training classes and this is the first time swinging a chair at a dog has been labeled “training”. If this man has “thousands upon thousands” of hours with dogs, then I think by now he should have found another way to train this dog than swinging a chair at it. The video is pretty clear that he IS swinging the chair at the dog, so what conclusions would you have us come to? May be he didn’t hit the dog with the chair but I don’t see where this behavior on his part could be doing much for the temperament of the dog, just making the dog more frightened and most likely making the dog more aggressive and not likely getting the dog ready to go to a new home. It blows my mind that you condone such “training” behavior.

  7. I worked at this shelter for just over 60+ days and last Saturday was my last day… i personally know the man in the video “abusing” the animal. He has volunteered at this shelter for over 20 years dedicating his time and attention to helping, not harming the animals. He is good with the dogs and the public and in my opinion and experience, he HAS NEVER HARMED THEM. We only see a 15second clip of the middle of the Situation and we see nothing of the before. There can be many reasons for the dogs behavior; playing, rough-housing, etc. and usually in a situation such as these we would use “loud” voices as a distraction, and if needed resort to grabbing the water hose to infuse water onto them to grab their attention. In this video I personally know that whatever issue was happening in the portion we didn’t see, their wasn’t enough time to leave the area, go out the fence down to the water hose, turn it on and maneuver it inside the gate, I gather from the video, “the volunteer” utilized the only thing available to him, in this case a “chair” and it acted as a shield. We have no idea if this helped or provoked the situation worse because like the beginning of the situation, the ending is missing as well! The fact that someone concerned about the animals’ wellbeing is admirable, HOWEVER I feel that it would have been a little more professional to bring to the attention of the kennelman workers, and possibly Dr. Anderson inside the main office right away, and just because the situation wasn’t addressed right away in front of the public, dosent mean that it fell on def ears. They all act together as professional as possible, and everything is based on a team understanding, hearing each side of everyone’s story. This isn’t something that should be posted to the web- labeled the way it is. Each and everyone of those volunteers adore each and every animal on that facility, and in my opinion the shelter has become a home away from home and I just don’t see any of them jeaprodizing their privileges over abusing animals @ AN ANIMAL SHELTER!

  8. What video are you all watching? The volunteer seemed to just be backing the dog up with a chair as protection. Should he have said “pretty please?” Way to insult someone volunteering at a kill shelter.

  9. The only thing this idiotic cruel person needs is a whip to go along with his chair and he could join a circus? There is a reason for using leashes and catch-poles rather than lawn furniture in safely handling animals in a stressful shelter situation.


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