Electric dog collar like this one allegedly used on 8-year-old girl
A Wisconsin man is behind bars for allegedly using an electric dog collar to zap his 8-year-old stepdaughter as punishment for eating breakfast too slowly.
A charge of felony child abuse has been filed against the 34-year-old filed in Washington County Circuit Court, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The stepfather, whose name was not released to protect the girl’s identity, reportedly also threatened to shoot the child’s pet rabbit due to the girl’s alleged inadequate care of the animal.
The child told authorities when the shock was administered, she “cried a lot because it hurt a lot.”
“To use on a human is pretty bizarre,” Joe Nyland of Action Dog Training in Waukesha, Wis., told the paper.
“It’s very bad. It would scare the daylights out of you and be extremely painful, but it wouldn’t cause any damage,” he said, noting he doesn’t use shock collars to train dogs. “They’re not bad in the hands of someone who knows how to use them. It’s not something you’d ever want to use carelessly with a dog.”
The device, a SportDOG SD-400, has settings ranging from one to eight, delivering electrical shocks ranging from 760 volts to 6,520 volts. The higher settings are designed for larger or harder-to-control dogs.
The company specifications indicate a setting of “4″ delivers 2,680 volts, enough to control a medium-size dog.
According to the complaint:
A Washington County social worker was called to Jackson Elementary School Monday after school staff noticed a bruise on the girl’s thigh.
The girl said her stepdad attached the collar, operated by a remote control, to her thigh, set its shock intensity at “4″ and told her she was lucky he didn’t set it on “6,” as he does with the family dog.
Two marks were left on her thigh from by the metal electrodes.
According to the Journal Sentinel, Jackson Police Chief Jed Dolnick said the girl’s 29-year-old mother threatened to wake up her stepfather if the girl didn’t finish her breakfast more quickly.
The mother then followed through with the threat, woke up her husband, who then attached the collar to the girl, administered the shock and threatened to put the collar on her every morning “so that she gets done faster,” the criminal complaint said.
Dolnick says at first, the stepfather denied any use of the dog collar, then later admitted he placed it on her “to calm her down.”
The man is facing a felony count of physical abuse of a child, a charge carrying a prison term up to six years and a $10,000 fine upon conviction.
The mother has not been charged, and the girl is now living with a relative.