Missouri Man Fired, Charged with Animal Cruelty After Video Shows Him Abusing Young German Shepherd During Training

Matt Fiala
Matt Fiala in stills from the video and a screenshot of his now-inactive website. Facebook

A Pleasant Hill, Missouri, dog trainer has been suspended from his job as a school bus driver and charged with animal cruelty after he was filmed hurting a young German shepherd he was supposed to train.

Matt Fiala, 25, has been charged with animal cruelty, in addition to two other misdemeanor charges.

The disturbing video footage circulating on social media shows Fiala leading a dog on a leash while trying to take pictures of the dog in his yard. After Fiala leads the dog to the kennel, he is seen throwing a bucket of water in the dog's face, eventually flipping the kennel, and then kicked the door closed multiple times, all while the dog is audibly crying out.

"It's tough to watch," said Pleasant Hill police chief Tommy Wright. "It's tough for us to see that all of us in the police department, all the city employees. It's a tough video for us to watch."

As reported by KCTV, Fiala was a local school bus driver and was fired from the bus company in the wake of the video.

"We can confirm that the individual in the video was employed by our company, and we were appalled to learn about this type of behavior," the company said in a statement to KCTV. " When we learned of the charges, the employee was immediately suspended and is no longer with the company."

In addition to his bus driver job, Fiala owned a dog training company called Advanced Canine Training. The company's website is no longer active.

State records list Fiala as the registered agent of a business started in October called Heartland K9 PSA, to associate with members who train "with the common goal of entering competitive obedience and controlled aggression trials in the sport of PSA."

PSA, or Protection Sports Association training, provides an outlet for civilian competition in canine obedience and controlled protection training.

Fiala is expected to appear in court on March 19.