Controversial TV dog trainer Cesar Millan is being investigated for possible animal cruelty according to celebrity news network TMZ.
Millan, who’s National Geographic ‘Dog Whisperer’ show is watched around the world, is no stranger to high profile controversies. His style and reliance on pack-order theory has been regularly criticised by many dog training professionals and members of the public.
The animal cruelty investigation comes in the wake of an episode of his show which saw a dog chasing one of Millan’s own pigs.
TMZ’s report says:
L.A. County Animal Control tells us their major case unit, along with the sheriff, are currently at Millan’s dog training center in Santa Clarita, CA after numerous complaints flooded in when Millan’s show, “Cesar 911,” showcased a dog attacking and injuring a pig during a training session.
We’re told officials want to question Millan about the pig’s current location and well-being.
We’re told after investigators have questioned Cesar and employees … they’ll present their findings to the D.A.
Cops are on scene … but so far have not made contact with Cesar.
The program segment was met with outrage by many on social media and a petition has been launched asking for National Geographic to take action as a result of Millan using another animal as bait in a live dog training scenario.
Video can be seen here:
It seems surprising that both Millan and National Geographic thought it would be OK to allow this segment to air as it very clearly shows a frightened animal in a distressing situation where neither owner, nor Millan had any control. It is an error of judgement by all parties concerned and does little to assure the public and welfare campaigners who have long claimed Cesar Millan’s methods to be ineffective or downright dangerous if copied by the millions of people who view his shows, especially given the fact that the dog’s owners had openly stated he had previously killed a pig.
A 24-hour notice has been issued, requiring Cesar Millan to contact the investigators, according to NBC news in America. They want to know what has happened to the pig since the episode was filmed.
As the video shows, the incident happened inside a fenced area where Millan said he was ‘conditioning Simon (the dog) to become accustomed to the pigs’ company’.
Unfortunately this ended with Simon chasing the pig which appeared to be restrained by one of Millan’s assistants. Simon proceeded to bite the pig and leave the area around its ear bloodied.
“Simon ripped the ear off the pig,” said Simon’s owner, Sandy. “It was a bloodbath.”
Meanwhile, Millan chased the pig around the yard, repeating, “I got this.”
Article updated 11/03/16 (Statement from a Nat Geo WILD representative:)
Cesar Millan has dedicated his life to helping dogs and to showing how even the most difficult “problem dog” can be rescued and rehabilitated. In a recent episode of the Nat Geo WILD series Cesar 911, Cesar works with an aggressive French bulldog/terrier mix named Simon, who has a history of attacking other animals, including his owner’s pet pot-bellied pigs. A short clip from the episode was shared online and showed Simon chasing a pig and nipping its ear, causing the ear to bleed. The clip caused some concern for viewers who did not see or understand the full context of the encounter.
Cesar has created a safe and controlled environment at his Dog Psychology Center (DPC) in California in which to rehabilitate some of the most extreme—or “red zone”—cases of dog aggression, such as Simon’s. It is important to clarify that Cesar took precautions, such as putting Simon on a long lead to assess his behavior, before making initial corrections and removing the leash. The pig that was nipped by Simon was tended to immediately afterward, healed quickly and showed no lasting signs of distress. As the additional clip reveals, Cesar and his animal pack effectively helped Simon to overcome his aggressive behavior toward other animals; as a result, Simon did not have to be separated from his owner or euthanized.
Cesar Millan is and will continue to fully cooperate with authorities in any investigation. He is confident that the investigation will show there was no wrong doing.