The owner of a dog at the center of the controversy surrounding Cesar Millan’s latest project is defending the renowned dog trainer.
Sandy says Millan only helped her troubled pooch, Simon.
“Nothing but good came out of this episode,” she said.
Sandy asked 10News not to reveal her last name for fear critics will target her.
“The deal that everyone’s making about animal cruelty and animal rights and everything is absurd,” she said. “It’s not what happened."
Authorities are investigating complaints of animal cruelty against Millan after an episode of his Nat Geo Wild series, "Cesar 911,” according to the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control.
A short clip from the episode was shared online and shows Simon, the dog, chasing a pig and nipping its ear.
“I’m deeply saddened because Cesar helped me tremendously,” Sandy said. “My life is totally different with Simon.”
Sandy got Simon when he was just a pup. She admits, the French bulldog-terrier mix has shown aggression toward pigs and severely injured pigs in the past.
Sandy decided it was finally time for Simon to make peace with pigs, so she called Nat Geo and Cesar for help.
“I was a fan of the show, but more accurately put, was a fan of Cesar’s philosophy,” she said.
Sandy said the show clip in question is a misunderstanding. She said while Millan was working with Simon and the pigs, the dog suddenly took off and bit one pig’s ear, making it bleed.
She said the situation was under control in less than a minute, and a veterinarian was called immediately.
“There was no negligence on Cesar’s part,” she said. “It’s been totally blown out of proportion and taken out of context.”
A Nat Geo WILD spokesperson said the clip caused some concern for viewers who did not see or understand the full context of the encounter.
According to a Nat Geo WILD statement:
“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.”
Sandy said thanks to Cesar’s help, Simon is now easygoing and friendly.
“This whole process of Simon’s rehabilitation is a dream come true,” Sandy said. “I never thought it would happen in my lifetime or his lifetime.”
Millan is cooperating with authorities in any investigation, according to Nat Geo WILD. A spokesperson said Millan is confident that the investigation will show there was no wrongdoing.
Animal control officials say they will complete a thorough investigation and plan on speaking with everyone who witnessed the incident.
There is a Change.org petition demanding that Cesar Millan’s shows be taken off the air. As of this writing, it had more than 11,000 signatures.