Advocates for Oregonians with disabilities are calling for a ban on the use of dogs to control jail inmates.
Disability Rights Oregon legal director Emily Cooper said she was shocked and wants to see a ban.
“You’re talking about an animal that may have difficulty releasing bites on command and that can inflict serious injuries,” said Cooper.
Columbia County paid a quarter of a million dollars to settle the case with inmate Christopher Bartlett. He claimed the deputies used the dog in retaliation after he called them an offensive name.
Emails and phone calls to Columbia County were not immediately returned. But a grand jury there said dogs could continue being used as long as staff consult with a mental health professional beforehand, and other uses of force are considered.
Oregon is one of only six states to allow animals to be used as a method of inmate control.