[googlead tip=”vertical_mare” aliniat=”dreapta”] Ryan Matthews, the head trainer and owner of Off Leash Dog Training in Loveland, Colorado, has been arrested Saturday and charged Monday with aggravated cruelty to animals – severely beating a Belgian Malinois, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
The allegations involve a Belgian Malinois that was reported by a witness to have been severely beaten.
The Belgian Shepherd Dog (Malinois) is a breed of dog, sometimes classified as a variety of the Belgian Shepherd Dog rather than as a separate breed. These dogs are popular in use of police departments, as are German Shepherds.
Like all Belgian Shepherds, the Belgian Malinois is a medium-sized and square-proportioned dog in the sheepdog family. The Belgian Malinois has a short mahogany coat with black overlay. It has black erect ears and a black muzzle. It has a square build in comparison to the German Shepherd.
The witness reported she saw Ryan Matthews strike and kick the Belgian Malinois several times and even dog a “body slam.”
The person called police on July 17, two days after witnessing the alleged abuse.
Larimer County Humane Society investigators obtained a video surveillance taken inside the kennel that confirmed allegations of the beating.
Investigators found blood on the carpet and a hole in the wall, which supports the witness testimony that Matthews slammed the Belgian Malinois’ muzzled nose into the sheetrock wall, causing the hole.
The dog trainer denied that he ever hit or kicked dogs during training, and a veterinarian found no neurological or skeletal abnormalities on the dog, according to the arrest affidavit.
[googlead tip=”lista_mare” aliniat=”dreapta”] According to Matthews’ website:
“Ryan served in the US Army for six years and has been training police and working dogs since 2002. He has developed green dogs (untrained working dogs), protection dogs and both narcotic and explosive detection canines. Ryan has worked with the United States Secret Service on Presidential and Vice Presidential protection missions and has been called to serve on numerous bomb threats in support of local police departments. He served as an explosive canine handler in Mosul, Iraq.
“Ryan is a certified Narcotic Dog Handler, a certified Explosive Dog Handler, and a certified Patrol/Attack Dog Handler…”
[googlead tip=”patrat_mare”] Tuesday afternoon – Ryan Matthews’ first court appearance on the felony animal cruelty charge.
Persons who worked next door to Matthews said they could not believe the allegations because he preached a non-violent approach to dog training.
“I was shocked and dismayed that the possibility exists that Ryan would raise a hand to an animal,” said his landlord, Ron Busby. “From what I’ve seen, it would be completely out of character.”
Ron Busby also said Matthews had recently been under extreme stress after a cancer scare.