'Dog Whisperer' Cesar Millan accused of animal cruelty

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Authorities launched an investigation into famed “Dog Whisperer” Cesar Millan after receiving complaints of possible animal cruelty related to his show “Cesar 911,” according to multiple reports.

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Los Angeles County Animal Control received multiple tips after a recent segment of Millan's show aired where the animal behaviorist used a live pig to train a dog who had already attacked two other pet pigs, according to KNBC.

“In the segment, the dog bit part of the pig's ear off before it could be stopped,” the TV station reported.

Investigators with the Los Angeles County's sheriff's department and animal control visited Millan's Dog Psychology Center in Santa Clarita Thursday, but Millan was not there. Animal Control told KNBC the 46-year-old would have 24 hours to get in contact with investigators.

"There was a complaint that we received and we are investigating the matter," Deputy Director Danny Ubario, of Los Angeles County Animal Control, told TheWrap on Thursday. "An officer visited the center today and it is currently under investigation."

In a statement released to KNBC, a representative from Nat Geo WILD, which airs “Cesar 911,” said Millan took precautions before bringing the dog into contact with the pig and that his methods were successful in keeping the dog from being euthanized.

"Cesar Millan has dedicated his life to helping dogs and to showing how even the most difficult 'problem dog' can be rescued and rehabilitated," the statement said. "In a recent episode of the Nat Geo WILD series 'Cesar 911,' Cesar works with an aggressive French bulldog/terrier mix named Simon, who has a history of attacking other animals, including his owner’s pet potbellied pigs. 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.

"We have included an additional clip from the same episode to provide missing context (embedded above). Cesar has created a safe and controlled environment at his Dog Psychology Center (DPC) in California in which to rehabilitate some of the most extreme -- or 'red zone' -- cases of dog aggression, such as Simon’s. It is important to clarify that Cesar took precautions, such as putting Simon on a long lead to assess his behavior, before making initial corrections and removing the leash. The pig that was nipped by Simon was tended to immediately afterward, healed quickly and showed no lasting signs of distress. As the additional clip reveals, Cesar and his animal pack effectively helped Simon to overcome his aggressive behavior toward other animals; as a result, Simon did not have to be separated from his owner or euthanized."

Millan, a self-taught dog behaviorist, quickly rose to fame with his reality television show "Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan." On the show Millan worked with problem dogs to correct their behaviors. The show aired from 2004 to 2012.

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