Video at SLO County shelter angers animals rights activists

November 1, 2016

Video footage of a San Luis Obispo County Animal Services volunteer swinging a plastic chair at a pit bull has prompted outrage from animal rights activists. SLO County Animal Services officials are investigating the incident, though they do not suspect any wrongdoing and are defending the actions of the volunteer.

Last Tuesday, a Ventura County woman whose first name is Jen was assessing a dog at SLO County Animal Services. While filming the dog, she noticed that a couple kennels over a man was swinging a plastic lawn chair at a pit bull. Jen briefly filmed the volunteer who was saying,”knock it off,” while swinging the chair at the dog.

The chair does not make contact with the dog during the video. But during the clip, a woman can be heard saying the man is hitting the dog.

“The guy over there is acting like a dick. He is hitting a dog with a chair,” the woman said.

Animal rights groups have since posted synopses of the incident in which they quote Jen as saying the man was hitting the dog.

“I kept hearing this guy yell (he was not yelling commands like a trainer might; he was yelling as if he was involved in a bar fight), and I finally looked up with my camera and caught him doing this with a chair,” Jen stated. “He hit the dog with a plastic chair. He seemed to be trying to block him, which was totally unnecessary because, as I said, the dog was not with any other dogs, and he was only barking through the chain link, not aggressively in my opinion. After he did this, he placed a slip leash on the dog and yanked him off the ground, still yelling and took him out of the play yard.”

Eric Anderson, the division manager of SLO County Animal Services, said an investigation into the incident is ongoing. But, Anderson did not see anything in the video that would qualify as abuse or warrant filing charges, he said. [KSBY]

Animal services officials are still looking to see that there was not anything that was physically abusive or truly harmful, Anderson said.

The pit bull had arrived at the shelter two days prior to the incident, and the animal was known to have aggressive interactions with other dogs and people. The pit bull showed dominant and reactive behavior toward other dogs across the fence lines, Anderson said.

Additionally, Anderson said the volunteer may have used the chair so that he would not be put in danger. The volunteer has been donating time to SLO County Animal Services for 15 years, Anderson said.

The investigation is expected to be completed in the next two days.



You have GOT to be kidding! A 10-second clip of someone “moving” (not hitting) a dog showing aggression in order to move the dog in a different direction is the basis for casting a shadow over the character of a 15-year volunteer? I’ve been approached by similar sized VERY aggressive dogs whose owners had irresponsibly let them run loose and I would have paid well for a plastic chair for use in “moving” them away. This is not a story. It’s garbage. Put “Jen” into the area with that same dog but no chair and see how she handles the situation. These kind of things drive me nuts. But I’ll have some tea and move on.


Great posts with some keen insight (about taming the aggressive pit). I say at the end of the day Jen should adopt this friendly little fur ball huh? Just kidding, that would be unfair to the dog.


“Jen” should be removed as a volunteer. She has no understanding about the animals being handled out there. Obviously this Pitbull was showing aggression. Any glare, stare, barking, forward motion towards the handler in non other than a submissive manner is showing aggression! And It was impossible for “Jen” to make that judgement anyway! She was busy filming her own dogs, and was not in the pen facing this Pitbull. I wonder how she would have reacted if that Pitbull stared her down? I assume that is what happened, he felt he needed to gain authority and fast. SMART move on his part. What would you do if a known aggressive Pitbull was facing and barking at you?

We all Love the animals, but when you are dealing with an aggressive animal you Must take authority! This Lady should know that!

“Jen” needs to apologize to this Guy. That was an underhanded, conniving and just wrong to post her video, viciously assume and remark to the press on something she had no idea about. She put an aggressive DOG above a Human? Plus it sounded like he was saying “Knock it off”, how is that like a Bar fight? Sounds like she has very little respect for Humans.

I don’t know her or the other Handler. Just this frustrates me to see how little respect for People this woman has.


If they give this guy a bull whip to go with the chair, then he would sadly fit in at a circus with his perverse talent.

It should never get to the point where one has to use lawn furniture to manage a stressed-out abused Dog! This obviously cruel method is unnecessary and abhorrent, especially in an animal shelter setting for all their staff including “volunteers” should be fully trained how to deal with these situations and the proper use of a leash or a catch pole if necessary.

I hope and pray SLO County Animal Control takes the time, rather than take offense; to actually review their training policies on correct animal handling, being certain they are followed to the letter, rather than simply brush this incident under the artificial grass carpet of their kennels…

Indy thinker

If your in a cage with a stressed animal and you feel threatened, you grab whatever you find to protect yourself. What if there is no catch pole nearby? Your statement of “sweeping under the artificial grass” was cute but too bad your arguement and thought process was not as well concocted.


People, WAIT! Please WAIT! Please do not let this get out of proportion.

The man is NOT hitting the dog. The man is NOT being abusive. He is acting appropriately: he is using the chair to disrupt the dog’s fixation/aggression.

Notice he is moving the dog AWAY FROM the agitating event (i.e. the other dog on the other side of the fence).

Look at this objectively: the aggressive dog was going to fence fight, that should not ever be allowed as it is dangerous in the moment and creates a future pattern for that behavior. The correct reaction is to safely break up the interaction (i.e. use the chair to move the dog away from the other dog) and then when at a safe distance, leash the dog and remove it from the area.

The man did the right thing. What should be looked at is that dogs are able to connect between fences – that is not a good set up. Perhaps the attention this story will get will be used appropriately: improve the Animal Services facility.

Please do not waste my tax dollars “investigating” a non issue.


There is nothing wrong going on in this video period.The dog is acting out aggressively and being blocked, plain and simple.The only over reaction is on the part of the lady who reported this.Bill her not us please!! If you go to the pound realize that the volunteers are dealing with a very mixed group of dogs from trained to allowed to grow without any guidance from former owners.Some of the dogs are great,others a work in progress.



Why isn’t the woman in the article named? There is NO “outrage form animal rights activists.” We know the work this guy does. Name the woman and I will personally contact her and set her straight about this volunteer.

Why isn’t the woman named, Karen?


This is a complete and utter BULLSHIT story. Shame on Cal Coast News for publishing this animal rights propaganda by “activists” who are clueless about that volunteer.

I know that guy. He’s been volunteering full time for more than 20 years. He is responsible for saving the lives of THOUSANDS OF DOGS in SLO County, especially pit bulls. There is NO ONE in SLO County who has done more to save homeless dogs than this guy.

I would trust this guy with my life. Total BULLSHIT STORY.


What a non-story. The guy did not hit the dog, the “Jen” person was wrong, the manager sees no problem, the dog was enclosed and acting aggressively, and the volunteer was using voice and gesture commands. PETA actually kills puppies, remember?


The woman doesn’t know the situation she is filming out of context. Everyone who works and volunteers at the shelter loves the animals. She might have talked to the man and found out the facts before trying to make herself famous. Hopefully she won’t adopt an animal that would be real cruelty.