Watch: Police officer 'kicked' small dog during emergency call defended by PSNI

The PSNI has defended the actions of a police officer who appeared to kick at a small dog while on an emergency call out in Lurgan, Co Armagh.

Police were responding to a serious domestic incident on May 23, 2024 with a number of response officers and a dog handler on scene.

Video and photos of an incident at the scene appears to show a male officer swinging his leg at a small terrier type dog who appeared on the road.

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Footage and images of the incident have been circulating on social media, sparking outrage amongst animal lovers, welfare campaigners and supporters.

The scene unfolded in a housing estate on last Thursday night when a 999 call was made to police during a domestic incident. Police in full riot gear secured the area while other officers approached the property.

The image of the PSNI officer appears to show his boot coming in contact with the small dog at the scene in Lurgan on May 23
The image of the PSNI officer appears to show his boot coming in contact with the small dog at the scene in Lurgan on May 23 -Credit:Belfast Live

Video captured footage of a PSNI dog, a Belgian Malinois, being held back by the handler and the second officer kicking out towards a straying pet dog which runs off. Video footage and photos of the incident appear to show the officer's foot coming into contact with the dog.

A spokesperson for the PSNI said the officer had been forced to take 'defensive action' from the dog because it was trying to 'bite them'. They said the move by the officer was intended to protect the Police Dog and other officers from the terrier - and they urged dog owners to ensure their dogs did not stray or put people at risk.

A police spokesperson said: "Police are aware of a video which has been circulating on social media and enquiries were carried out to establish the full circumstances.

The small dog runs off after being in contact with the PSNI officer
The small dog runs off after being in contact with the PSNI officer -Credit:Belfast Live

"While officers were attempting to effect an arrest for a serious domestic related incident, an officer had to take defensive action to protect themselves, the Police Dog and other officers from another dog that was trying to bite them.

"We have liaised with local community representatives to explain the circumstances around this incident.

"We would encourage dog owners to ensure that their dogs are kept on their property to prevent straying or putting other people at risk."

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