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

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

It’s been almost a year since the last public performance inside the Chemainus Theatre. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Lead donors pledge $60,000 in matching campaign at the Chemainus Theatre

Perrys, Hiltons and Duncan Iron Works help to Bridge the Gap during COVID shutdown

Doug Routley is the chair of a special committee on reforming the Police Act. (File photo)
Routley selected chair of a special committee on reforming the Police Act

Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA acknowledges there will be a lot of material to process

Beautiful flowers spring up on Thetis Island during February. (Photo by Kelly Bannister)
Weather conditions cover the full spectrum in February

The only thing missing from the region was a more summerlike feel

Police are investigating after a man was killed at a home on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Police investigating early-morning murder in Duncan

One arrested after man killed at Cowichan Lake Road home

(Black Press Media files)
B.C. teacher transferred then suspended after students report feeling ‘scared, nervous’

Authorities found that teacher did not create inviting, respectful environment for students

Victoria’s Swartz Bay terminal. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries offers cheaper, prepaid fare options

Ferry service preparing for busy terminals when travel restrictions are lifted

FILE - Dolly Parton arrives at the 61st annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 10, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Grammy-winning singer, actor and humanitarian posted a video on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, of her singing just before getting her COVID-19 vaccine shot. Parton donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee for coronavirus research. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
‘Vaccine, vaccine’: Dolly sings ‘Jolene’ rewrite before shot

The Grammy-winning legend turned 75 this year

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

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland speaks about the Fiscal update during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday November 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
COVID-19: Wage and rent subsidies, lockdown support to be extended until June

Chrystia Freeland says now is not time to lower levels of support

The area on Cordova Bay Road where ancestral human remains were discovered Feb. 22. (Submitted photo)
Human remains discovery a reminder of B.C. Indigenous culture dug up and displaced

‘These are the people who inspired and birthed the generations that we now have here’

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

Most Read