NORTH LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Accusations of animal abuse have been leveled at a local dog training facility after a viral video shows an employee using a baseball bat during a training session.
Police have opened an investigation into Off Leash K-9 Training in North Las Vegas. The video shows the trainer, Willie Harrell, Jr., the now-former owner of Off Leash K9 Training using a baseball bat and foul language to train a dog, as the dog cowards to the commands.
At one point, the dog can be heard whimpering. People like Stacy Wolfram who have watched the video believe Harrell hit the dog with the bat.
“It makes me very sad,” said Wolfram.
North Las Vegas Police are now investigating this as an alleged case of animal abuse.
Wolfram says she brought her dogs to the training and boarding facility in late April, but when she picked them up earlier this month, she claims there were clear signs of abuse.
“Two of the male’s testicles were rashed with yellow puss spots on them; [there was] a gash in my other dog’s leg,” said Wolfram. [They were] very, very skinny; you could see their ribs.”
Wolfram claims her dogs’ fur was also matted. She said she contacted Harrell to figure out what happened.
“He just gave excuses after excuses of why my dog was hurt, because he was roughhousing with other dogs, and that’s just not an excuse,” Wolfram said.
In an interview with 8 News Now, Harrell denied abusing any dogs, including the one seen in the viral video that’s been shared thousands of times.
“I’m being judged,” Harrell said. “I’ve been called names I’ve never been called before.”
Harrell said he never hit the dog in the video. He said he only picked up the bat to defend himself because the dog has a history of violence.
“That video didn’t show the best light of me, but if I had to put it against biting another child or biting me; would I pick up the bat again? Probably,” Harrell said.
With that said, Harrell said he admits he could have acted differently.
“The training technique was innappropriate,” said Harrell.
Off Leash’s corporate team says they immediately removed Harrell’s license, along with the license of the North Las Vegas location.
In a statement, the corporate team said: “The location will remain closed until further notice. Mr. Harell is no longer affiliated with the company. The company does not condone the conduct displayed in the recent video.”
Wolfram thinks justice should be served.
“This is just a horrible experience for anybody to have to go through and the animals, they can’t talk, they don’t have a say for themselves.”
“I’d like to see them shut down completely,” Wolfram said.