N.C. Police Officer Resigns After Video Shows Him Hitting K-9, Lifting Dog up by Collar

A North Carolina police officer has resigned after a video of him mistreating his K-9 leaked online.

On Wednesday, Salisbury Police Officer James Hampton announced his resignation, about one month after a video of him roughly handling his K-9 Zuul sparked outrage.

The police department said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE that the decision comes after an "extensive investigation by a third-party agency."

The video appeared to show Hampton placing a collar on 4-year-old Zuul, then lifting the dog off the ground by the collar and striking the animal after having difficulty getting the dog to go into a vehicle.

The incident occurred in October but the video did not surface until last month, when WSOC broke the news.

In its statement, the department called Hampton's actions "inappropriate."

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"The Police Department's review determined that Officer Hampton had acted in a manner entirely inconsistent with his K-9 training and had violated Police Department policy. As a result, he was recommended for termination," the statement reads.

Following Wednesday's announcement, PETA's Rachel Bellis told WSOC the story is not over.

"Will criminal charges be taken out against this individual? And what is going to happen to the other officers who sat by while Hampton choked, dragged, slammed and hit Zuul," Bellis said.

According to their statement, the police department will continue to review and make the necessary changes to their K-9 training operations, policies and procedures. No charges have been filed.

PEOPLE was unable to immediately reach Hampton.

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