LAS VEGAS -- It took more than eight months, but the I-Team has the investigation Las Vegas city spin doctors didn't want you to see. It involves allegations of animal abuse against two Las Vegas animal control officers.
Since January, the I-Team has asked for the city's investigation into this incident. Finally, earlier this month, a representative for the city's communications office insisted she wouldn't release the report and she wouldn't give a legal reason for her decision. The I-Team took its request to the city attorney's office and the investigation information was released in a matter of days.
"You can see from the garage, you can see the trail of blood down the driveway and then it comes right through here," witness Randy Reyes described what he saw at a home on Ophir Street.
Real estate professional Randy Reyes spoke to Las Vegas City investigators on behalf of two dogs that couldn't speak for themselves.
"You don't really think things like that go on," he said.
The animal control officers were at the home to remove dogs that had been left behind following an eviction.
Reyes said the abandoned dogs were screaming and wailing as they were removed from their yard. He saw a trail of blood and one of the animal control officers.
"When the dogs came up to the gate on the side of the house there, she basically pulled out a foot-long shock stick, like a taser, or something and just shocked the dogs right through the gate before even making any attempt to catch the dogs or do anything," Reyes.
Despite Reyes' account to the I-Team, the city concluded the officer did not stun either dog. According to the memo, Reyes acknowledged to city investigators, he didn't actually see the officer touch the dogs with the baton. Instead, he explained he heard a loud noise and when questioned, the officer herself volunteered that she shocked the dogs.
"She said, 'well it's more to see how they're going to react, if they're going to be aggressive or not.' But I mean I would think if you taze a dog it's probably going to be aggressive, even if it was never going to be aggressive in the first place," Reyes said.
The officer denies even speaking to Reyes. She told investigators, she discharged the taser at the ground, not at the dogs, to see if they would back away from the fence. The memo notes her failure to report that discharge as a violation of department policy.
"It was fine before, and then suddenly you could hear all the wailing and whining and screaming and then there was just a bloodied up dog," Reyes said.
The bleeding, according to the memo, was likely caused by the shepherd biting the catch-pole. However, the amount of blood caught the attention of investigators. They recommend future incidents involving substantial blood loss be documented and referred to a supervisors.
It's been eight months since the incident and both dogs, Cash and Henry, have new homes.
The reports don't say whether the investigation resulted in any disciplinary action. The city concluded the officer did not stun the dogs. The animal officer remains on the job. The other officer left the department in March, the day before the report was issued.
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