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Animal Services investigates dog trainer

By January 11, 2011

El Dorado County Animal Services is investigating a Placerville dog trainer after allegations of abuse arose last week.

Animal Services Chief Henry Brzezinski said Regina Collins, of El Dorado Hills, filed a formal complaint Jan. 3 against Ridley K9 Academy, alleging her 3-month-old standard poodle Chance was abused over a span of several days.

Because the complaint is still being investigated, Brzezinski would not offer any further details of the allegations.

But late last week, KCRA TV reported that Collins’ dog showed signs of being strangled, was covered in urine, dehydrated and had hemorrhaged eyes when she picked the dog up from the academy.

Garrett Ridley, who founded Ridley K9 Academy in 2007, was cited for failing to obtain a commercial animal establishment license, according to Brzezinski.

Animal Services’ report will be forwarded to the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office upon completion, he said.

This is the first complaint filed against Ridley K9 Academy, Brzezinski said.

Ridley did not immediately return a call seeking comment Tuesday morning, but his academy’s Website states his business was founded on the principles of integrity, character, reliability and professionalism.

The academy uses reward-based training method, the Website states, but will use  “negative reinforcement or punishment to correct unwanted behavior when we are sure that your dog knows and understands what we ask of them.”

Ridley’s site features several client testimonials praising his skills and professionalism.

Brzezinski advised anyone seeking professional training help to thoroughly research facilities. Suggestions include: Personally visit the location, research the types of training methods used, get references from local veterinarians, check with the local Kennel Club and previous clients for recommendations, and confirm if the person and/or business has the appropriate permits or licenses.

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Jim Ratajczak

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