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Ramsey Co. deputy gets probation after abusing police dog partner

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The sheriff's deputy who pleaded guilty to charges that he hit his police dog partner won't see jail time if he follows the conditions of his probation.

Brett Berry, 48, was at Black Bear Casino in Carlton County back in June for K-9 Officer certification trials when surveillance footage showed him hitting his K-9 partner, Boone, after slamming him to the ground.

Berry pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty last month, while a charge of assaulting a public safety dog was dismissed at Wednesday's sentencing hearing, WDIO reports.

He was sentenced to 90 days in jail, plus $500 in fines and fees, Carlton County Attorney Thom Pertler told BringMeTheNews. But he won't have to serve any time in jail if he abides by the conditions of his year-long probation, which includes restitution to the vet, having no pets and committing no similar offenses.

At the hearing, Berry told the court, "I made a mistake. I'm sorry," WDIO says.

Berry's case drew a lot of public attention from around the country, which surprised both the prosecution and the defense, reports note.

"It was a misdemeanor that was a raw nerve for the community, which was hugely atypical," Kevin Short, Berry's attorney, told KBJR 6.

Demonstrators who attended Wednesday's hearing say Berry's sentence wasn't enough.

"The problem was the law and not knowing what to do and not being able to do anything. So we need to get our laws changed. As a public, we need to go to our legislatures and demand that change. Otherwise this just happens again," animal rights activist Mary Nelson told FOX 21.

Berry was placed on administrative leave following the charges, and was then assigned to the department's detention division. Boone was assigned to a new partner.

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