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

A man wearing a mask against coronavirus walks past an NHS advertisement about COVID-19 in London, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
92 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths: Interior Health

The region is reporting 92 cases after the weekend

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

The fundraising effort to purchase 40 hectares west of Cottonwood Lake announced its success this week. Photo: Submitted
Cottonwood Lake fundraiser reaches goal

The community group has raised $400,000 to purchase 40 hectares of forest

Electrophysiology (EP) studies the electrical activity of the heart to determine where an arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat) is coming from. Tests must be performed in an EP Lab, a highly specialized medical diagnostic environment. Photo: KGHFoundation.com
New advanced heart rhythm program opens for Interior Health patients

Medical internists provide cardiac care in Trail, Cranbrook, Vernon, Salmon Arm, and Penticton

B.C.’s court of appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Kootenay man appeals 7-year conviction for New Year’s Eve kidnapping, beating

Brandon Coons, 27, was convicted on five charges, including assault with a weapon

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

A copy of the book “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” by Dr. Seuss, rests in a chair, Monday, March 1, 2021, in Walpole, Mass. Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the business that preserves and protects the author and illustrator’s legacy, announced on his birthday, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, that it would cease publication of several children’s titles including “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” and “If I Ran the Zoo,” because of insensitive and racist imagery. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
6 Dr. Seuss books won’t be published for racist images

Books affected include McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super! and The Cat’s Quizzer

FILE – Oshawa Generals forward Anthony Cirelli, left, shoots and scores his team’s first goal against Kelowna Rockets goalie Jackson Whistle during second period action at the Memorial Cup final in Quebec City on Sunday, May 31, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
B.C. government approves plan in principle to allow WHL to resume in the province

League includes Kamloops Blazers, Kelowna Rockets, Prince George Cougars, Vancouver Giants, Victoria Royals

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

AstraZeneca’s vaccine ready for use at the vaccination centre in Apolda, Germany, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michael Reichel/dpa via AP
National panel advises against using Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine on seniors

NACI panel said vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are preferred for seniors ‘due to suggested superior efficacy’

A public health order has extended the types of health care professionals who can give the COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo courtesy of CHI Franciscan)
‘It’s great that midwives are included’ in rollout of B.C.’s COVID vaccine plan, says college

The order will help the province staff the mass vaccination clinics planned for April

Shipping containers are seen at the Fairview Cove Container Terminal in Halifax on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Canadian economy contracted 5.4 per cent in 2020, worst year on record

Drop was largely due to shutdowns in the spring as COVID began to spread

The Nanaimo Clippers in action at Frank Crane Arena in early 2020. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo Clippers for sale, owner says hockey won’t be back to normal any time soon

Wes Mussio says he’s had numerous inquiries about the junior A club already

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

Most Read