To me, it looks as if that is what they were taught to do.
We may not like it, and we may not do this ourselves, and it may seem despicable to us, but that is what that department had its K9 handlers do.
Trooper James R. Pickard, III testified as follows:
Q. Now in your training as a canine
handler with the North Carolina Highway
Patrol, would you just tell us some of the
things that you have personally been trained
to do and what you’ve seen with respect to
dog handling with, for instance, concerning
compliance techniques? What are some of the
things you’ve been taught to do?
A. It all depends on what the dog is
doing. If the dog, of course, is acting in
an undesirable manner, you would use the
choke collar primarily for compliance. But
let’s say there is something more extreme,
like [Jones] was having to deal with with
his dog, as far as handler aggression, which
would usually happen whenever he tried to
retrieve the toy from the dog.
times, he’d get bitten by the dog, and it -9-
usually would end up being a fight between
him and the dog. Nine times out of ten,
[Jones] came out on the short end of the
stick, to be very honest with you.
Whenever displayed handler aggression
by the dog [sic], you use any means
necessary to discipline that dog, whatever
you can get a hold of, whatever you can do,
whatever it takes to reinforce this canine,
you don’t do this. You cannot do this. The
handler has to be in control. If he’s not
in control, let’s be honest. The dog turns
into a four-wheel-drive stabbing machine
because he can do whatever he wants and he
has no control over him.
You have to have total control of the
dog at all times. If that means kicking
him, hitting him, choking him, whatever it
takes to make sure he understands, “This is
not acceptable. You cannot do this.” It
becomes an extreme liability on the side of
the road if you can’t control that dog.
Mike Evitt, a member of the Patrol, testified as follows:
Q. All right. And in an effort to kind of
speed up the process here today, are you
familiar with various compliance or training
techniques employed by the Highway Patrol
for canine handling?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. All right. Are you familiar with the
choke-out technique on a dog?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Have you ever seen that done?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Can you tell us about that?
A. When you’re trying to get a dog to
comply, there are steps that we try first,
you know, verbal, but when they don’t’
respond to that and you have to choke them
out, there are several ways to choke them
out. You can put them in an airplane spin,
it’s called. You can hold them up by the
choke collar and choke them out. You can
tie them off and choke them out.
Q. And are these techniques that you have
learned in your training as a canine handler
in the North Carolina Highway Patrol?