Owner shares painful dog death to warn against ‘e-collar’ shock collars

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — The use of electronic collars, or “electronic collars,” to shock an animal into training it is currently being debated in the legislature. Some families blame these collars for injuring and even killing their dogs.

A bill by Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian would require dog trainers to disclose their methods before selling their services. AB 1901 currently has no specific language regarding electronic collars, but does require a trainer to disclose all training methods including the use of electronic collars, leaving it up to the dog owner to decide whether to allow or not its use on his dog.

Supporters hope this will end the use of what they consider a cruel practice. We warn you that some images in the video are disturbing.

Jason Stock found his dog Bubba in a pool of diarrhea and vomiting 20 minutes after being electronically shaken from an electronic collar by a dog trainer.

He says Bubba seemed motionless, almost paralyzed.

VIDEO: The crackdown on untrained dog trainers is underway

“He wanted to stay up,” Stock said. “He was trying to stand up, but he couldn’t. He just couldn’t get his legs up because his back legs weren’t working.”

The next morning, Bubba died.

Stock turned the body over and found a 2 inch burn on Bubba’s neck.

“You have a bruise. I think it’s about as big with a quarter-sized wound,” Stock said.

Kim Medeiros is a dog trainer and says many other trainers use the collars to very high levels.

“The dogs are just scared. The collars have come up, so to speak,” Medeiros said.

Trenton Holthaus says he regrets allowing his dog to use an electronic collar.

“It’s not like a low shock if he’s okay,” Holthaus said. “A big shock if he hurts. It was just, you just shock them.”

Holthaus thinks the electronic collar training just made his dog bitter.

“I really think it pissed him off against every other dog he’s ever seen. He doesn’t even have to have a shock collar,” Holthaus said.

Dog trainer Jeffrey Smith warns that electronic collars should be used with care.

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“You can make it incredibly painful if you don’t know what you’re doing,” Smith said.

Smith uses electronic collars in her training. He demonstrated on his own dog how the device works.

“But as you can see, I’m using the button right now,” Smith said during a demonstration. “We’re only down to an 11. This thing goes up to a 36.”

Her dog apparently did not react to the shock at all.

It’s the same kind of demonstration that Stock says was made on him. Her trainer asked her to wear the necklace on her wrist to experience the shock firsthand.

“And it felt like a tickle,” he said. “Just very…almost nothing. Just enough to distract you.”

Based on this experience, he allowed the trainer to use it on Bubba.

It’s a decision he regrets.

Richard Villa of the Humane Society says he would never allow an electronic collar to be used on an animal.

“It’s just abusive. It’s abusive to a dog,” Villa said. “You’re abusing your own dog by doing this. If you can’t find a trainer or learn to train an animal without causing it pain, then you shouldn’t have an animal and you shouldn’t be a trainer.”

Check out more stories and videos from Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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