This Man Claims He Was Fired For Trying To Save A Service Dog From Harm

Joey Bergmanis of Fremont, Nebraska says he was fired for trying to save a dog from being abused, and his claims are intense.

The dog in question is a gorgeous Labradoodle named Meelo.

This Man Claims He Was Fired for Trying to Save a Dog
credit: GoFundMe

Meelo works as a support dog at The Jefferson House, a shelter for at-risk kids, according to WOWT. Bergmanis also worked at The Jefferson House — until he was fired. Bergmanis says he was fired after he reported Meelo's abuse to the Dodge County Humane Society.

“My bosses told me 'you love Meelo more than the kids.' and I said 'absolutely right I do,’” he said.

In a Facebook post detailing his complaints, Bergmanis shared some of his frightening allegations.

"Over the first 2yrs of his young life, Meelo has been slapped, punched, kicked, choked, intentionally fed chocolate (because kids heard that can kill a dog), sexually abused by multiple youth on multiple occasions, fed a bagel that was soaked in extremely potent hot sauce (which severely hurt his bowels) and then when he recovered, had the same hot sauce put on his rectum (because it would be funny)," he wrote. "He's been slammed in a door and intentionally let out the gate in the hopes he runs away or gets hit by a car."

This Man Claims He Was Fired for Trying to Save a Dog
credit: GoFundMe

Then, he added:

"All of that is in addition to the trauma of being in an extremely stressful, and at times, violent atmosphere. On any given day he would be exposed to yelling, screaming, chairs being thrown, furniture being flipped over, fighting and various things being smashed against the walls. In 2 short yrs, Meelo has experienced 20 lifetimes of abuse, trauma and violence."

Bergmanis says that Meelo's only relief was when he was able to take the dog home with him on the weekends — which he did for 18 months. Eventually, he says, the shelter banned him from taking Meelo home after he raised too many concerns about the dog's treatment. He took his case to the DCHS and initiated an official investigation into abuse against Meelo.

This Man Claims He Was Fired for Trying to Save a Dog
credit: GoFundMe

Donna Dostal from the Jefferson House insists that Meelo has not been abused. She says a vet examined Meelo and certified him healthy.

"They were talking about coming here, stealing the dog, and taking the dog away, and immediately that, not only Meelo at risk, but it also puts the children here at risk," she said. "He's our dog. He's part of the family."

The investigation is ongoing, but a spokesperson at Dodge County Humane Society said they believe Meelo is safe and, as such, he hasn't been removed from Jefferson House. Bergmanis says he will continue to fight and has a GoFundMe page to raise money for his cause.