A worker at the DeKalb Co Animal Shelter in Georgia was seen on video repeatedly striking a dog with what appears to be a metal bowl. There were reportedly three dogs in the cage, it was feeding time and a fight had broken out. Although it’s not shown on the portion of the video released to the media, the worker also reportedly kicked the dog later.
That man, Calvin Battle, 26, was arrested and charged with one count of misdemeanor cruelty to animals.
Police said it was a sergeant in the Animal Cruelty Unit who saw Battle, on video, inside the DeKalb County shelter Wednesday morning repeatedly beat the dog.
Battle worked for LifeLine Animal Project, an organization contracted to manage DeKalb County Animal Services.
Rebecca Guinn, executive director for Lifeline, told the local news that Mr. Battle will be fired. Police are investigating to determine if he was involved in any additional incidents. The three dogs in the cage have been taken to a vet for examination.
Anytime multiple dogs are placed in the same cage at a shelter, there is the possibility of fighting. Shelter environments are extremely stressful for dogs and living in a very small space with other dogs may increase the anxiety level for some individuals. Feeding is a common catalyst for dog fights. What should shelter workers do if a fight breaks out?
“They’re supposed to use a hose actually to separate the dogs. They’re supposed to use water, call for help,” Guinn said.
Has anyone ever successfully stopped a dog fight with water? As far as calling for help, there is clearly another person standing behind Mr. Battle in the video. What could that person have done to help stop the fight?
Let me be clear: I am in no way encouraging anyone to beat dogs with metal bowls or any other implement. I am hoping to have a discussion on how shelter workers can manage dog fights in general and specifically, how this incident involving three dogs and two humans at feeding time could have possibly been handled differently or potentially prevented altogether. Please weigh in with your thoughts.
(Thank you Clarice for the links.)