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2nd Baltimore officer suspended amid probe of dog's death

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By The Associated Press
Thursday, June 19, 2014, 9:30 p.m.

BALTIMORE — A second Baltimore officer has been suspended while the department investigates his role in the slitting of a dog's throat. The animal's owner says it took her days to find out how the dog died.

Court documents say Officer Thomas Schmidt held the dog down while a fellow officer cut the animal's throat on Saturday. Schmidt has been suspended with pay during the investigation, Baltimore Police spokesman Jeremy Silbert said.

“This is so criminal what's happened,” said the 45-pound dog's owner, Sarah Gossard. “It makes me sick.”

She said detectives contacted her Tuesday to see whether she wanted to make a statement but didn't tell her how the dog had died. She said she finally found out the next day when she was contacted by a reporter.

The officer accused of slitting the dog's throat, 49-year-old Jeffrey Bolger, is set for trial next month on animal cruelty charges. He's free on his own recognizance and has been suspended without pay.

Schmidt has not been charged.

The dog, a female Shar-Pei named Nala, was killed on Saturday when police responded to a report that it had bitten a woman at a bar. The dog died from blood loss.

According to charging documents, witnesses told detectives that Bolger cut the dog's throat with a knife after saying he would “gut this thing.” Authorities said the knife he used wasn't department-issued.

Bolger came to assist other officers after one said the dog was foaming at the mouth and appeared malnourished.

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