HILLSBORO, Ore. – A Washington County Animal Control officer will not face charges after an investigation into alleged animal abuse, Hillsboro police said.
Marlin Starr in February told KATU that an officer hit his dog, Dojie, in the head, costing the dog her right eye. Starr reported the incident to Hillsboro police.
"I am outraged for Dojie and I am outraged for every animal in Washington County. No animal is safe from Animal Control at this point," Starr said.
Dojie is an experienced river rescue dog trained to help people who fall out of rafts.
"She will no longer be able to be a professional K-9 rescue animal," Starr said.
Starr said he got home from work and found a notice on his door from Washington County Animal Control. He found Dojie with her right eye injured.
Someone called animal control complaining that Dojie and another dog were loose and barking. Starr thinks wind blew open the gate to his backyard.
Starr said witnesses told him his dog ran into his backyard, followed by an animal control officer, who pulled out a collapsible baton known as a bite stick, and hit Dojie.
"We are sincerely sorry for the injuries to Dojie but we ask a fair amount of responsibility to lie with Mr. Starr because he did not have his fence locked and his dogs licensed," said Animal Services Field Supervisor Randall Covey.
The Washington County District Attorney’s Office reviewed the case earlier this month and notified police that no charges would be filed.
“HPD detectives completed a very through and detailed investigation into this matter and at the conclusion the facts of the case as known did not contain the necessary elements of the crime of animal abuse,” police said in a news release.