Police vehicles at Calgary Police Service headquarters in Calgary on Thursday, April 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Police vehicles at Calgary Police Service headquarters in Calgary on Thursday, April 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

‘Heat of the moment:’ Calgary police say officer kicked dog during high-risk arrest

Supt. Ryan Ayliffe said the kick is not an accepted or standard part of training

Police in Calgary say an officer seen on video kicking a police service dog regrets his actions but was doing so to quiet the animal during a high-risk arrest.

A 20-second video of the single kick aimed at the barking dog was taken from someone’s window and posted online. It led to several complaints to the Calgary Police Service.

Supt. Ryan Ayliffe said the kick is not an accepted or standard part of training and the officer’s action is under review.

“None of us like the look of that video. None of us wanted this to happen and we acknowledge this is not an acceptable way to correct dog behaviour. We don’t condone it,” Ayliffe told a news conference Thursday.

“But there are a number of things that add context there that mitigate some of the intent because there was no intent to hurt this animal.”

Ayliffe said the officer and the dog were part of a Wednesday night arrest in a firearms investigation, and the dog’s constant barking put others at risk.

“The intent was to silence the police service dog because the noise that he was creating was presenting an immediate officer safety concern,” he said.

“In the heat of the moment … this officer was balancing extreme cold, an inside containment point, protecting the other officers around them from exposure to potential risk.”

Ayliffe said the officer has been on the job for six years and took immediate responsibility for his actions. He and his canine partner are still on the job.

He said action will be taken to ensure it doesn’t happen again in the Calgary Police Service.

A national animal rights group has called on the Calgary Humane Society and the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team to investigate.

“It’s a criminal offence to cause pain or suffering to an animal, and police don’t get a free pass for animal abuse,” said lawyer Camille Labchuk, executive director of Animal Justice.

“Dogs used in police K-9 units are already unfairly put at risk by being forced into dangerous situations, and it is absolutely unconscionable that they should be put at further risk of abuse by police officers themselves.”

Labchuk added that the federal government amended Criminal Code animal cruelty provisions in 2015 to create more severe punishments for injuring an animal used in law enforcement.

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires Vancouver Island wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

The Port Alberni Train Station is located outside the entrance to Harbour Quay, on Harbour Road in Port Alberni. (AV NEWS FILE PHOTO)
Port Alberni gets funding to restore heritage train station

Historic train station needs seismic upgrades

Raw logs are loaded onto a logging ship from a log sort down the Alberni Inlet in March 2019. SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News
Port Alberni light on industrial land

Report finds few suitable locations for new industry

Cowichan Valley writer Jennifer Manuel will headlining YakFest on March 1. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Cowichan Valley writer to headline next YakFest on March 1

YakFest is a B.C.-based monthly women’s event held online via Zoom

The North Island College campus in Port Alberni is located on Roger Street. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
North Island College plans tourism networking event

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on Vancouver Island’s tourism industry

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

A crossover utility vehicle smashed through the front of a business on Bowen Road on Friday evening. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Vehicle smashes all the way inside business in Nanaimo

No serious injuries reported after incident at Venue Financial Centres on Friday

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

RCMP say a woman turned herself in to police after hitting a pedestrian and fleeing the scene of the accident in downtown Nanaimo on Friday morning. (File photo)
Driver flees, then turns herself in after hitting pedestrian in downtown Nanaimo

RCMP say woman was struck in marked crosswalk after driver ran red light

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

Most Read