GVSU student seen holding dog by the tail, issues statement

The student in the photo issued a statement today.

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - A photo making the rounds on multiple social media sites now has several police departments involved.

The photo shows a young woman, Gillian Nemeth, holding a mini-dachshund by it's tail. 

Multiple Twitter users tweeted at Grand Valley State University regarding the photo, and they issued the following response:

Ottawa County Sheriff Captain Mark Bennett confirmed that their department is working to identify those in the photo, so that they can check on the status of the dog. But Bennett said there is no real charge that can be filed against the woman in the photo, even though, he said this is obviously not the right way to handle an animal. 

Nemeth issued the following statement:

On Sunday, September 3, 2017, I made a very poor decision, for which I profusely apologize.

While with friends that day, I had my purebred mini-dachshund, Diesel, with me.

I received Diesel as a gift from my parents when he was just a puppy. I have raised him to be a friendly and loving companion; he goes everywhere with me and even sleeps with me. I have spent many hours researching the breed and am very familiar with the history of dachshunds. Please know that I would never intentionally hurt any animal, especially my own dog.

That evening, my friends and I began talking about the dachshund breed and their hunting techniques. I told the group that a dachshund’s tail has two purposes: to be seen more easily in long grass and to help haul the dog out if it becomes stuck in a hole while hunting rabbits. To illustrate the strength of a dachshund’s tail, I held Diesel by the tail. That was very poor judgement on my part.

I understand what I did was wrong and nothing like this will ever happen again. I have been in close contact with the Ottawa County Sherriff’s Department and Grand Valley State University Dean’s office, for which I am extremely grateful. Please know that I honestly did not believe I was injuring Diesel in any way that evening. Due to the level of concern I will be taking Diesel in for an examination to make sure he was not injured and remains in excellent health.

I understand that the photo taken and posted that night has upset many people—I am truly sorry. I would like to personally apologize to my family, Grand Valley State University, and to those that I have offended.

This a developing story, check back for details. 

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