AMARILLO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) — The Amarillo Police Department is investigating after one of their officers kicked their K9 partner last week.
Just after midnight Dec. 30, the officer deployed his K9 partner to assist patrol officers in arresting a suspect who stole a vehicle. As other officers were handcuffing the suspect, the K9’s handler kicked the dog as he was returning to the vehicle.
The APD is holding an internal affairs investigation to determine if the officer violated any department policies or procedures. And the officer’s chain of command will determine disciplinary actions if there are sustained allegations of policy violations.
Under Texas Penal Code Section 38.151, a person who recklessly taunts, torments, or strikes a police service animal is committing a Class C misdemeanor. A criminal investigation division detective will also review this incident to determine if a case will be referred to the municipal court for prosecution.
Since Amarillo K9 officers live with their handlers and their families, the APD has removed the K9 from the officer’s residence and is currently being kenneled with the K9 unit supervisor.
Officials said the dog does not appear to have any injuries from the incident, but is scheduled to be checked by a veterinarian for good measure.
The officer is continuing to work, but without a K9 partner while the investigations are ongoing.