“Why would we punish him? He didn’t do anything wrong,” Nat Geo spokesman tells TheWrap
Nat Geo Wild has no plans to punish Cesar Millan.
A spokesperson for the network told TheWrap that while Millan is under investigation for animal cruelty after a potbellied pig was bitten at his training center, he is cooperating fully with authorities and the investigation is not expected to take long.
“Why would we punish him? He didn’t do anything wrong,” SVP, Communications & Talent Relations for National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD Chris Albert told TheWrap.
He also emphasized that this is a routine investigation and that the dog, its owner, and the pig are all healthy and doing fine. The network stands behind the episode and will not pull it from the air.
Millan, who currently has a show on Nat Geo Wild titled “Cesar 911,” was named in a complaint filed against his Santa Clarita, California, dog psychology center on Thursday.
“There was a complaint that we received and we are investigating the matter,” Deputy Director Danny Ubario of L.A. County Animal Control told TheWrap.
A TMZ report claimed that the incident involved a dog attacking and injuring a pig during a training session.
Millan is a self-taught dog behaviorist who quickly rose to fame with his series “Dog Whisperer With Cesar Millan,” which was broadcast in more than 80 countries worldwide from 2004 to 2012.
Nat Geo issued a statement after the complaint became public, which read in part:
“In a recent episode of the Nat Geo WILD series “Cesar 911,” Cesar works with an aggressive French bulldog/terrier mix named Simon, who has a history of attacking other animals, including his owner’s pet potbellied pigs. A short clip from the episode was shared online and showed Simon chasing a pig and nipping its ear, causing the ear to bleed. The clip caused some concern for viewers who did not see or understand the full context of the encounter.”
“Cesar 911” premiered on Nat Geo WILD in 2014, and a new episode of the series is airing tonight, as planned.
“There wasn’t even really a discussion about it,” Albert said.