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We love bacon and slaughter countless pigs annually to indulge our passion for salty and fatty meats. But we just can't stand to see a pot-bellied pig hurt on TV.
Or that's the impression that has arisen after an animal rights activist called media outlet TMZ and the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control after an airing of Cesar Millan's Nat-Geo Show "Cesar 911." The complaint was about cruelty to a pig and it prompted a county investigation, plus lots of national media coverage.
In the television show in question, the famous problem-dog trainer works with a French bulldog mix who has previously attacked pigs. The dog's owner called Millan in for help but after the dog attacked a pig on TV, it is the Dog Whisperer who is under attack and needs help.
Aaron Reyes, deputy director for LA's Animal Care and Control confirmed that an investigation is under way. "There's no question that what happened, happened. A dog under Cesar Millan's control escaped and attacked another live animal, in this case a pot-bellied pig."
The French bulldog mix, named Simon, did attack a pig during training, Nat-Geo confirms. Still, it issued a statement in defense of the televised event. "A short clip from the episode was shared online and showed Simon chasing a pig and nipping its ear, causing the ear to bleed. The clip caused some concern for viewers who did not see or understand the full context of the encounter," the statement said. "The pig that was nipped by Simon was tended to immediately afterward, healed quickly and showed no lasting signs of distress."
Few Words From the Whisperer
Although LA authorities did visit Millan's home to follow up on the complaint, he was not there and authorities reportedly spoke to his minor son who relayed news of the investigation to his father. Cesar Millan is cooperating with the county and told the Associated Press that the situation is being blown out of proportion by a small group of people who oppose his methods.
Meanwhile, Reyes, of Animal Care and Control, reminds us that Cesar Millan himself is not the one under investigation. Rather, it's the whole situation that will be considered. "We don't investigate people; we investigate allegations," Reyes said.