Seven arrested for abusing police dogs in training

Police dog
Police dogPhoto: Politie

The police arrested seven people from the east of the Netherlands on Monday morning on suspicion of animal cruelty. The arrests follow a broadcast of television program Undercover in Nederland, which showed video footage of police dogs in training being seriously abused. Four dogs were confiscated and taken to a safe shelter. The police also seized prog chains, shock collars, and other prohibited objects used to “train” the dogs, AD reports.

Undercover in Nederland showed trainers beating, kicking and shocking the dogs who were being trained to be police dogs. This happened at three locations sanctioned by the Dutch police dog association KNPV in Doetinchem, Didam and Harreveld.

Dick Smid of KNPV told AD it is “a good thing” that the seven suspects have been arrested. “You don’t want such people working with dogs this way,” he said to the newspaper. “You don’t treat animals like that.” He stressed that the KNPV already expelled the trainers from the association. In conversation with them, some acknowledged that they acted wrongly. “But they should have thought of that in advance. It is no reason to keep them in the club, because we do not want such people at the KNPV.”

The three involved training clubs lost their KNPV accreditation and will not regain it until after the police investigation is done and the clubs can demonstrate that their training programs were adjusted and structurally improved, Smid said. 

The police stressed to AD that the KNPV is not part of the police organization. The police immediately stopped working with the relevant trainers and their clubs after Undercover in Nederland revealed the abuses. The investigation is ongoing.

The arrested suspects are from Doetinchem, Montferland, Oude IJsselstreek, and Elburg. They are in custody for questioning.