By Kohr Harlan
(CNN) — A dog owner in Oregon is upset, saying authorities abused his pet. The animal control officer says restraint was needed because the dog was allegedly causing problems. However, that’s not what witnesses say.
“I don’t want any other animal to have to go through what I’m having to go through now,” said Marlin Starr.
Starr’s pudgy 9 year old lab got out of the backyard Monday and into the street. A Washington County Animal Control Officer Hoyt Stepp told Starr that his dog Dojie and another dog were blocking traffic and being so aggressive that the officer said he had to strike Dojie with a bite stick to the face to get the dog to back down.
But at least two neighbors who saw what was happening say the dogs were not being aggressive and actually ran back into their own backyard after being confronted by animal control officers.
“At that point witnesses say that the officers followed the dogs into the backyard,” said Starr. “One witness told me that
‘Your animals were perfectly fine until we could no longer see them.'”
None of the witnesses saw what happened in the back yard, but Dojie was hit so hard she’s likely to lose her right eye as a result of the bite stick to the face.
Washington County’s Manager of Animal Services Debby Wood told me the Animal Control Authority does not that believe animal abuse occurred, but withheld further comment until Hillsboro Police have finished their investigation. Hillsboro police are
just beginning their investigation.
Authorities confirm Stepp was investigated for his role in a fatal dog shooting incident years ago, but he was cleared.