K9 Baron’s death could lead to criminal charges

| 12/01/2023 | 29 Comments
Cayman News Service
RCIPS dog Baron

(CNS): The findings of an investigation by the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) and the Department of Agriculture into the death of RCIPS canine Baron last year were handed to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions four months ago, the OMB has revealed. While there were unofficial reports at the time that the dog’s death was due to neglect, an OMB spokesperson told CNS the office was unable to comment on the actual cause of death and would not be able to release the full report until the ODPP had made a decision about whether or not anyone should be charged.

The specially trained Belgian shepherd died at the George Town Police Station kennels, which are located outside in the back of the property. The recommendations made as a result of the investigation, which was carried out by the DoA Animal Welfare and Control Unit and overseen by the OMB, suggest that the dog had been left in poor conditions when he died on 9 July 2022.

Among the issues identified by the OMB and the DoA following a site inspection early on in their review was the need to clear debris outside the kennels to prevent rats from entering the area and potentially biting the dogs.

In addition, the report identified the need for a permanent roof outside the kennels, the creation of a welfare log for each RCIPS dog handler, the need to clean debris from unused kennels for use as a quarantine area in the event another animal became unwell, the removal of chemical and cleaning supplies from the kennel area, the need to provide an area for the dogs to exercise, and the need for regular air-conditioning maintenance at the kennels.

However, the ombudsman confirmed that the recommendations were all “promptly adopted” adopted by the RCIPS.

After Baron died last summer, the RCIPS notified the OMB, which immediately opened an own-motion investigation (OMI) under section 3(2)(c) of the Police (Complaints by the Public) Act and requested the assistance of the DoA Animal Welfare and Control Unit to carry out an independent investigation into the circumstances.

K9 Baron joined the RCIPS in 2018. He had been involved in numerous operations and was noted for his crime-fighting skills. His death in the police kennels caused an outpouring of concern from the community given early allegations that the dog had been left out in the heat without enough water.

“At the conclusion of the joint investigation into the death of K9 Baron, a file was submitted to the
Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) on 13 September 2022,” the OMB stated. “We will not be substantively commenting on our own findings until the completion of any action taken by the ODPP and/or the Cayman Islands court system with respect to this matter as a result of the legal ruling recommendation on 6 January 2023.”

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Category: Crime, Police

Comments (29)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I am actually shocked that such basic recommendations had to be made in the first place. What it says to me is that the RCIPS is not a fit a proper place for a dog and that the canine unit should be disbanded to prevent any other dogs from being mistreated. What is also of concern to me is why it is taking the ODPP so long to make a decision on how to move forward with this matter. I suspect that some excuse will be found as to why nobody can be held legally responsible. It’s just going to be more of the same in the Cayman Islands.

  2. Anonymous says:

    @DLM – Dogs’ Lives Matter!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Black Dogs Matter

  4. Anonymous says:

    Nothing will every happen as Caymanians will not pursue justice for a dog, unfortunately

  5. Animal Lover says:

    First and foremost- WHO decides who gets to be a K9 handler?? My question is based on the fact that earlier last year- I witnessed a Police Officer taking a dog (not saying it is the same dog referred to in the article) into a vet office in Savannah and the Officer had ZERO control or command of the dog. The dog was basically handling himself. It appeared almost as the dog had the handler scared or petrified. With this being said- there must be accountability for this death and some person or persons charged for criminality. I cant even imagine the level of suffering the K9 went through. RIP Baron, you served well although you had no one serving you the way they were supposed to.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The list of improvements / remedies following the death of Baron shows just how inept the RCIPS were and are in their animal caring duties. Basically this whole affair shows that CIPS should not, as a body, be allowed to keep any animals. If this was a household pet it would likely be dealt with in the criminal courts – even in Cayman (certainly a court matter if it happened in the civilised world) – but because it is an institution that is responsible for the dog – I see little hope. But yes, this is criminal negligence all day long!

  7. Anonymous says:

    With all the social issues the island has to deal with this surely has to be a waste of taxpayers time and money.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Real justice for Baron! About time!

  9. The remaining police dog. says:

    Very unfortunate how the best officers get the worse treatment in the RCIPS. NEWS FLASH!!!POLICE ARE SUPPOSED TO PROTECT!!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    And will the right person be charged?

  11. Anonymous says:

    What about K9 that was hit and killed by a car?

  12. Two Cents says:

    So when will we know the ‘legal ruling recommendation’? Four months is a long time SMH

  13. Anonymous says:

    Slumsville at the RCIP 🐀

  14. Anonymous says:

    We should all follow this story through to the end. The suffering this dog (and important asset) went through is unacceptable.

  15. Anonymous says:

    the list of “improvements” demonstrates a despicable level of “care” for these canine officers.

    It paints a picture of animals being kept in conditions that in the UK would see you arrested for animal abuse with a custodial sentence.

    utterly disgraceful.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Whatever the case may be, this poor guy deserved much, much better.

    It’s always human stupidity at the end of the day. Let’s see if it passed the criminal threshold.

  17. Anonymous says:

    why does it a full year + to investigate?

  18. Anonymous says:

    If anyone is held accountable to the max for this, I’ll eat my hat in a public performance!

    Watch this space!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Still housing these specialized animal assets outside in the furnace heat of Cayman, then expecting these animals to perform on command. Those that can’t figure out what’s wrong with this picture need to be fired asap. They don’t deserve to be their custodians.

  20. G says:

    Justice for Baron! 🙁

  21. Anonymous says:

    what a glorious start to the new year for our world class civil service…..zzz
    no respect for the police farce.


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