06 May 2009

Father uses dog collar to shock kids

May 6, 2009

The Salem man faces four charges of mistreatment

By Stacey Barchenger
Statesman Journal
A Salem man was arrested Tuesday for putting an electric dog collar on each of his four children and shocking them.
Todd Marcum, 41, said he did it "because he thought it was funny," Salem Police Lt. Dave Okada said.
The four children, ages 3, 6, 8 and 9, had been shocked while wearing the collar at least once, according to a statement from their father, Okada said.
Marcum told police that he would chase the 3-year-old boy around with the collar, making him cry at the thought of being shocked. Okada said that because of the boy's behavior, it is likely that the children were shocked more than once.
Oregon Department of Human Services workers on Tuesday summoned police to Marcum's Salem home.
Marcum was taken into custody on four charges of first-degree criminal mistreatment. He is in the Marion County jail.
The four children were left in the custody of their mother, Okada said. The case has been handed over to DHS.
Dog shock collars are used in training and to control barking, said John Seroczynski, the national sales manager for D.T. Systems.
The Dallas, Texas, company manufactures the electronic collars.
It is unknown whether the collar used on the children was made by D.T. Systems.
"There's not one collar made today that can actually burn a dog or a person," Seroczynski said.
Most collars are powered by a 9-volt battery and don't produce a large enough shock to injure a person, he said. Seroczynski said it was not likely that the children were seriously injured.
"He definitely would not have hurt them to the point that it would have damaged any organs or caused them to be hospitalized," he said.
The charge of one collar is less powerful than that of a Taser, such as the kind used by police, he said.
Seroczynski said the collars are not to be used on humans.
"Regardless of what your kids are like, it's sure not going to cure any behavioral problems," he said. "Bottom line is, what he did was dead wrong."

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