Officer cleared over death of K9 at GT Police Station

| 07/02/2024 | 33 Comments
Cayman News Service
RCIPS dog Baron

(CNS): A police constable charged with animal cruelty following the death in 2022 of Baron, a police dog in the RCIPS K-9 Unit, has been acquitted after a magistrate found he was not to blame. The dog died of heat stroke after he was left outside the George Town Police Station in the sun without access to water or food. PC Timothy Munroe, who denied the allegation, was charged following an investigation by the ombudsman’s Government and Police Complaints unit, which passed on its findings to the Office of Public Prosecutions.

Munroe was accused of causing the animal’s death due to negligence because he forgot to open a kennel door, which blocked off Baron’s access to food and water for a whole day as the temperature rose to as much as 104°F.

But following a Summary Court trial, defence attorney Dennis Brady successfully argued that more senior members of the RCIPS had blamed Munroe, a junior officer who had only been with the unit for a month, as those really responsible for Baron were on leave or off sick, leaving the younger inexperienced officer to take care of the dog.

No one else from the RCIPS was charged in connection with his death.

Magistrate Vanessa Allard, who presided over the case, noted that under the Animals Act, the prosecution had to prove that Munroe had denied Baron access to food and water with ill intent. She said she found that the prosecution did not prove he had done anything to intentionally harm the dog and had followed the unit’s policy of cleaning the kennels and ensuring water and food were provided.

He had simply forgotten to make the last critical step of providing access and opening the sliding door between the outside exercise yard and the kennel.

The court heard that Munroe had already worked a night shift before he attended to the dog on behalf of his official handler, who was on vacation. He had been called out to the scene of a firearms-related operation during that shift, which came at the end of a four-day rotation.

The court heard during the trial that he was feeling unwell at the time, and the next day he tested positive for COVID-19. When he left the station later that day, he told colleagues he was exhausted and feeling ill.

Despite the charges, Munroe was not fully suspended and has remained on duty as his case wound its way through the criminal justice system.


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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (33)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The K9 unit is the most poorly run dept in RCIPS and has been for years. And the young lad on trial should NEVER have been there anyway. He only had about 2 months service when he was chucked in. Crap decision by the bosses. He was set up to fail.

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  2. Some guy with odd shoes says:

    Good. Always felt that he didn’t know, wasn’t given enough information to know about how to deal with Baron. I don’t know if you know it, but Mr. Timothy was heartbroken over this when he found out what happened. I mean, it has changed his life. He would have wished with all his heart that he had done things differently. He will live with this, and it has changed him. He has well suffered enough.

    It wasn’t your fault, Timothy. Try to make peace with yourself. Maybe you can assuage your unfounded guilt by working with a veterinary or unwanted dog place.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Wasn’t given enough information on how to deal with Baron?? REALLY?!! Its just common sense to ensure an animal is given plenty of water, food and access to shade and/or air conditioning in this climate! THERE IS NO EXUSE FOR THIS DEATH!

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  3. Anonymous says:

    All round incompetence

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    • Anonymous says:

      He is human, humans make mistakes now and fhen. Give the man a break. Perhaps they should have given the chore to a more senior person during the handler’s absence. I think the judge made the correct judgement.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    A simple checklist would have prevented this tragedy.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Forgetting to open such an obvious physical partition is negligence of the first order. COVID or not, we don’t need imbeciles on the Police force in any capacity. He should be fired for cause.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Classic – the judge does not know the law, which does not require ill intent for an offence to occur. How do these judges get appointed? But this is a systemic problem in Cayman.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    (b) by wantonly or unreasonably doing or omitting to do any act, or causing or procuring the commission or omission of any act, causes any unnecessary suffering or, being the owner, permits any unnecessary suffering to be so caused to any animal;
    The word ‘intent’ doesn’t appear in the Animals Act

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  8. Anonymous says:

    For anyone with compassion and love for animals this is very upsetting news. How can we trust that the police is treating the dogs better after this case if no one takes responsibility and was held accountable? These dogs trust and serve us unconditionally and should be treated with respect not like slaves.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    My heart breaks for the agony this poor dog must have gone through. And as usual, no one is held accountable.

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  10. Catcha Fire says:

    Por ole Baron even dogs cant get No justice here now!

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  11. Anonymous says:

    He left the dog in a baking hot car the whole day without access to food and water. How can he not be responsible?? The animal laws need changing/updating. If he was inexperienced then why the hell was he given a dog to look after.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Even a child knows that an animal needs access to food and water.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Car????
      You obviously haven’t bothered to read it numnut!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Did you actually read the article? He was not in a car – he was in a kennel, locked outside. If you are going to critique, at least read before you type.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    The officer actualkt worked a shift, geez his duty, recovered from COVID, the dog did not recover from his cruel, unnecessary death!

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Rule of thumb in Cayman courts
    Caymanian – elect jury trial = not guilty
    Expat – go for Judge only (as Caymanian Jury = guilty as hell!)

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    • Anonymous says:

      truth!…but you might get arrested for it!

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      • Anonymous says:

        He “forgot” to open the divider for him to get shelter and covering from the sun. How can he not be charged? I bet he doesn’t forget to get into the shade when its hot or turn the AC on. This is BS

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  14. Anonymous says:

    “He had simply forgotten to make the last critical step…” this is called Criminal Negligence.

    Criminal negligence (sometimes called culpable negligence) refers to a defendant who acts in disregard of a serious risk of harm that a reasonable person in the same situation would have perceived. Another common definition includes an act that amounts to a gross deviation from the general standard of care.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Ho much experience do you need to used common sense when taking care of the dog?

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  16. Abby says:

    Business as usual. A LIFE WAS LOST! If I attacked that dog unna would pull a gun and shoot me! Make this had been someone working in a warehouse who “forgot” to check the corner and impaled another employee with a forklift and I bet you the outcome would be different!

    The next time I “forget” to not break the speed limit or DUI as to endanger another person’s life, I trust the “i feeling sick so don’t test me like jon jon” excuse will fly just as easily.

    The RCIPS LOVE to ruin other people’s lives yet act like they shouldn’t be held accountable for their wrongs. If you’ve ever filed a complaint against a police officer (eg pulling me – a woman – over to have a “conversation/flirt” after having not broken any laws) you would know the ombudsman sides with them and at most results in someone giving them advice to “not do it again”.

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  17. Radio Rich says:

    so no one is held responsible.

    Poor pup, rest in peace.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely disgusting no one is being held accountable for this. Am I surprised? No, this is the norm here in Cayman but still, I’m sick to my stomach. That poor dog deserved better.
    CNS, can you find out what measures are being put in place to ensure this doesn’t happen again? I’m so concerned about the other police dogs still there. How could anyone not notice or think to check on the dogs before leaving? SO HORRIBLE of that officer and everyone else working at RCIPS.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    This case is Cayman civil service in a nutshell, no responsibility and no consequences. RIP Baron, what a horrible way to die.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    disgusting and yet another reason to have no respect for the rcips…

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    • Anonymous says:

      The RCIPS doesn’t have respect for itself, because this negligent actor has been retained on full pay.

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  21. Anonymous says:

    so if not munroe, then who???

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  22. Anonymous says:

    but of course!…no such thing as accountability in the civil service.
    cayman justice=no justice.
    great job again by dpp….zzzzz
    think this whole case sums up everything wrong with cig, civil service and justice system…
    just another day in wonderland.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    Given the facts as outlined in the post, I can’t understand why anyone thought the officer should be charged. Waste of time and money, not to mention the negative effects on the officer who was obviously not criminally responsible.

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    • Anonymous says:

      He should have got some kind ofpunishment, he caused the death of this 15,000 $ dog in such a horrible way without any kind punishment ? .He forgot so that makes it ok ???. How can the public trust such a man as a policeman ??

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      • Anonymous says:

        …He had simply forgotten…

        No consequences whatsoever?? RCIPS could just continue K9 “care” the way it is? Did Baron die in vain?

        Does Cayman K9 Unit have a checklist?

        Summertime Police K-9 Checklist
        • Checking the temperature monitoring system and door release of the cruiser. Change out any batteries-fully test the unit for complete operability-research with the manufacturer to see if there are any updates/recalls that should be addressed.
        • A full review (with department Veterinarian) of the K-9 First Aid Kit.
        • A well-documented and thorough inventory of any and all drug, explosive, cadaver, and so on training aids.
        •. Inspect the interior kennel unit from the perspective of the K-9.
        https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/summertime-police-k-9-checklist-dr-david-lou-ferland

        Patrol Canines
        • Canine handlers are personally responsible for the daily care and overall welfare of their animal
        https://www.theiacp.org/sites/default/files/2020-06/Patrol%20Canine%20FULL%20-%2006232020.pdf

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