Skip to content

Owner shares dog’s painful death to warn against ‘e-collar’ shock collars

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — The use of electronic collars, or “e-collars,” to shock an animal to train them is currently being debated in the legislature. Some families blame those collars for harming and even killing their dogs.

A bill from Assemblyperson Adrin Nazarian would require dog trainers to disclose their methods before selling their services. AB 1901 currently has no specific language addressing E-collars, but it does mandate that a trainer disclose all training methods, including the use of e-collars, leaving it up to the dog’s owner to decide whether to allow its use on their dog.

Supporters hope it will end the use of what they consider a cruel practice. We warn you that some of the images in the video are disturbing.

Jason Stock found his dog Bubba in a pool of diarrhea and vomit 20 minutes after he received electronic jolts from an e-collar by a dog trainer.

He says Bubba appeared motionless, almost paralyzed.

VIDEO: Crackdown on untrained dog trainers underground

“He wanted to stand,” Stock said. “He was trying to stand, but he could n’t. He simply could n’t get his legs up because his back legs were n’t working.”

The next morning, Bubba died.

Stock turned the body over and found a 2-inch burn on Bubba’s neck.

“You have a bruise. I think it’s about this big with a quarter-size sore,” Stock said.

Kim Medeiros is a dog trainer and says a lot of other trainers use the collars at very high levels.

“Dogs are just in fear. The collars are cranked up, so to speak,” Medeiros said.

Trenton Holthaus says he regrets allowing an e-collar to be used on his dog.

“It’s not like a low shock if he’s doing good,” Holthaus said. “A high shock if he’s doing bad. It was just, you just shock them.”

Holthaus believes the e-collar training just made his dog bitter.

“I truly think that it made him pissed off at every other dog that he ever sees. He doesn’t even have to have a shock collar on,” Holthaus said.

Dog trainer Jeffrey Smith warns e-collars must be used with care.

VIDEO: East Bay vet hospital abruptly closes, pet owners look for answers

“You can make it unbelievably painful if you don’t know what you’re doing,” Smith said.

Smith uses e-collars in his training. He demonstrated on his own dog how the device works.

“But as you can see, I’m utilizing the button right now,” Smith said during a demonstration. “We’re only at an 11. This thing goes up to a 36.”

His dog apparently did not react to the shock at all.

It’s the same sort of demonstration Stock says was done on him. His trainer asked him to wear the collar on his wrist to experience the shock first hand.

“And it felt like a tickle,” he said. “Just very… nothing almost. Just enough to distract you.”

Based on that experience, I have allowed the trainer to use it on Bubba.

It’s a decision I regret.

Richard Villa of the Humane Society says he would never allow an e-collar to be used on an animal.

“That’s just abusive. That’s abusive to a dog,” Villa said. “You’re abusing your own dog doing that. If you can’t get a trainer or learn how to train an animal without causing it pain, then you shouldn’t have an animal and you shouldn’t be a trainer.”

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

Have a question for Michael and the 7 On Your Side team? Fill out the form HERE!
7OYS’s consumer hotline is a free consumer mediation service for those in the San Francisco Bay Area. We assist individuals with consumer-related issues; we cannot assist on cases between businesses, or cases involving family law, criminal matters, landlord/tenant disputes, labor issues, or medical issues. Please review our FAQ here. As a part of our process in assisting you, it is necessary that we contact the company / agency you are writing about. If you do not wish us to contact them, please let us know right away, as it will affect our ability to work on your case. Due to the high volume of emails we receive, please allow 3-5 business days for a response.

Copyright © 2022 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.

.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.