Pet owner claims animal control officer beat dog - KPTV - FOX 12

Pet owner claims animal control officer badly beat his dog

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HILLSBORO, OR (KPTV) -

Man's best friend may have been beaten by an animal control officer. A local dog owner says he came home to a badly injured pet and a notice on the door pointing him to the man he thinks is at fault.

"She is more than just a service animal. She is more than just a family member. She's been through highs and lows with me that I can't explain," the dog's owner, Marlin Starr said.

For nine years, Dojie has been his best friend.

She's trained as a rescue dog to help out on whitewater rafting trips, and trained to see when someone needs help. Now, she might not see at all.

Photos: Dojie the dog

"The officer brutally and viciously beat my dog to the point where she will lose her eye," Starr said.

He says, earlier this week, the wind blew open his gate. Someone called Washington County Animal Control to report the dog, Dojie, barking in the street.

Witnesses tell him she looked scared when officers got there and barked and ran to Starr's backyard.

Starr says Officer Hoyt Stepp followed. No one saw what came next, but Starr has his suspicions.

"They beat my dog and drove away leaving an injured animal to fend for itself, not knowing when the owner would return," he said.

The only indication of what happened was a notice on his door that warned "Your dog may have been injured." Below it, the officer had written his name.

It's the same name that made headlines in Skagway, AK,  10 years ago.

Those headlines in the Skagway News read: "Death of dog concerns some citizens," and "Dog shooting continues to divide community."

In that incident, and subsequent police investigation, Officer Stepp allegedly shot a dog twice while its owner slept nearby.

Again, there were questions of why. The animal shelter there wrote to the paper that there was no proof Stepp was attacked.

The articles say the police department stood behind its officer and claimed his actions were justified.

In both cases, the dogs were not properly secured.

Hillsboro police are investigating the local case.

Washington County Animal Control said the officer was on desk duty Thursday. The agency released a statement Friday. It says:

Washington County Animal Services does not tolerate animal abuse in any form. We care deeply about the well-being of animals and the well-being of our community. As with any incident that involves injury to an animal, we are reviewing the situation and looking at all the facts surrounding the incident. We urge people to remember that the initial report indicates that the dog's owner was not at home when the dogs were at large and the incident occurred. This incident is being investigated separately and independently by the Hillsboro Police Department. We will not be making any comments about the incident until after the police report.

Copyright 2014 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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