Dog trainer Stephen King convicted
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2002:
LONDON, U.K.–“Yesterday, August 14, [dog trainer] Stephen
Barry King was found guilty” of two counts of animal abuse, with
separate trials on two similar sets of charges scheduled for
September and October, his former girlfriend Sarah Boat e-mailed to
ANIMAL PEOPLE from London.
Boat and the British online animal advocacy publication Ooze
both reported that British news media were barred from publishing
details of the first verdict, pending completion of the second and
third trials. The cases were heavily publicized earlier.
King, 41, became notorious in Portland, Oregon, during
the late 1980s for allegedly brutal tactics including “helicoptering”
dogs by their chains. Disapproved by most humane societies, similar
methods are used by many other trainers, and are recommended by
William Koehler, author of The Koehler Method of Dog Training (1962,
1990, 1996). Thus King was not charged with abusing dogs in Oregon.
But there are precedents for conviction in Britain. Former
Essex police dog trainers Andrew White, 41, and Kenneth Boorman,
46, were fired and jailed in 1999 as result of November 1998
convictions for abusing five German shepherds during training
sessions in 1997. One dog died after being hung by his chain and
A third Essex trainer, Stephen Hopkins, 45, was also
convicted and barred from working with dogs, but was allowed to
remain a police officer.
The British Association of Chief Police Officers soon
afterward introduced six reforms of police dog training procedures,
at recommendation of the RSPCA and the National Canine Defence League.
King claimed to have worked with police canine units in
Oregon and California. The police departments in question told
cruelty investigator Bobbi Michaels of the Portland organization
CAPER that they never hired him–but some knew of him.
“Between 1989 and 1991, King had several run-ins with local
police: complaints of menacing, a family disturbance, an
altercation with a neighbor, and a restraining order filed by his
ex-wife,” Robin Roth of the Willamette Weekly reported in 1997.
Former King helper Kristin Beck told Roth that King used her
as a “human shield” while threatening to shoot her, along with his
then-pregnant first wife, Brenda Carrothers, and Carothers’
daughter from a previous marriage during an April 1991 confrontation
with the Washington County SWAT team.
King claims to have spent some time in Costa Rica circa 1993,
before returning to Portland.
“In 1999, King was charged with kidnap, menacing, and a
felony assault on his third wife, after she started divorce
proceedings,” Addie Gallagher and Frances Gavin reported for Ooze in
October 2001. “The charges were later dropped.”
King began an e-mail relationship with Boat in 1998. On
January 1, 2000, Boat was jailed for 14 hours, Gallagher and Gavin
wrote, after King accused her of beating and stabbing him. King
eventually admitted that the injuries were self-inflicted, but was
not prosecuted for filing a false report because Boat had returned to
King followed Boat to London, married another British woman
after Boat rejected him, and reportedly began training dogs there in