Sheriff opens investigation into K9 training academy over dog abuse videos
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The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office has launched an investigation into a K9 academy after videos surfaced on social media showing allegations of dog abuse.
Cypress Arrow K9 Academy in Lena, La is accused of abusing dogs at his facility, nearly torturing them.
A video surfaced on Facebook on August 10 showing a trainer trying to teach a Cane Corso how to sit and heel, but throwing the dog to the ground to listen.
In another video nearly a minute and 30 seconds long, two people are seen holding the ends of a rope around a dog’s neck while one person punches the dog multiple times.
Rapides Parish Sheriff Mark Wood said he saw the videos Thursday morning and added that the footage did not look good.
“It’s not a nice video,” he said. “It sounds pretty awful. I’m a dog lover. I have animals and there must be other ways to train. We’re looking at both sides of this. Hopefully we should , knowing the next day or so that we will play our game on what we are going to do.
Kayci Gonzales sent her year-long lab to Cypress Arrow. She said she received a message from someone telling her there was a video of her lab being abused.
“At first I didn’t know it was a video of my dog,” she said. “I told her that I didn’t want to see the video and that I took her word for it. I won’t be using this place again. But she said it was my dog. So I said OK, and she sent me the video and it was really sad to see someone do this to her because she’s so nice. I got really angry because I trusted those people with my dog.
Gonzales said Cypress Arrow is a highly rated establishment and Frey comes highly recommended by people she knows. Gonzales said she had her two dogs at the facility and picked them up Aug. 11 after paying $3,000.
“I don’t think I even watched the whole video the first time around,” Gonzales recalled. “I just called Tina the owner and told her I had the video and to see what she was going to tell me. They are (dogs) more than animals that we keep. When my kids are at land, they go up to our dogs and cuddle them or get them ready for the night and everything, they mean a lot to our family.
Craig Tibbetts, United States Police Canine Association national K9 trainer and owner of Tibbetts Canine Specialist, was surprised by the videos.
“These videos are disturbing,” Tibbetts said. “I’ve been doing canine police dogs for about 20 years actively and I don’t think we’ve ever tied a dog like that by tying them. The only time we would have even come close to tying a dog up like this is if the dog was trying to bite everyone and showing aggression so we could try to create some sociability in the dog.
Tibbetts said Gonzales’ dog didn’t understand what the exercise was about and it was evident in the video.
“What I saw was a very submissive dog,” Tibbetts said. “To me, she didn’t understand what they were trying to show her or teach her. Forcing her to the ugly ground like that, then lifting her up, I felt like the person didn’t know what they were doing. In the civil field (dog training), I have been doing it for eight years. That wouldn’t even come to me in any type of training. There’s no direction I can think of to train a civilian dog like that.
Unfiltered with Kiran called Cypress Arrow and the owner. To date, all calls and texts have gone unanswered.