HILLSBORO, Ore. - Nothing means more to Marlin Starr than his dog, Dojie.
“She’s my baby. She’s my life and I love her,” Starr said.
Starr believes an animal control officer went too far hitting his dog in the head Tuesday. That injury will likely cost Dojie her right eye.
“I don’t want any other animal owner to have to go through what I’m going through now,” Starr said. “To have to worry about their animal. To wonder whether Dojie will ever be able to rescue another soul from the river.”
Starr says Dojie is an experienced river rescue dog trained to help people who fall out of rafts on whitewater trips find their way to shore.
When Starr got home from work Tuesday, he found a notice on his door from Washington County Animal Control. Inside his house, he found Dojie with her right eye injured.
Starr said a veterinarian told him his dog will likely lose that eye because it’s so badly injured.
Someone called animal control complaining that Dojie and another dog were loose and barking. Starr thinks wind blew open the gate to his back yard.
Reports to police say the animal control officer was confronted by aggressive dogs in front of Starr’s home.
Starr says three people told him his dog ran into his home’s back yard, followed by an animal control officer, who pulled out a collapsible baton known as a bite stick and hit his dog.
Washington County Animal Control would only say it’s handed the case over to Hillsboro Police for investigation. Hillsboro Police say a detective will question witnesses Friday and hope to wrap up the investigation in a couple of days.
Starr says if the officer involved doesn’t face criminal charges he may sue.
“Absolutely. Absolutely,” said Starr. “If I do not take legal action, this will go unstopped.”