(CMR) The Office of Ombudsman has revealed that a file regarding the death of RCIPS' K9 Baron was submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) on 13 September 2022.
“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,” a release issued by the Office of the Ombudsman stated.
According to the release, the Office of the Ombudsman was notified of the death of the police dog on 9 July 2022, and 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 Department of Agriculture Animal Welfare and Control Unit (DOA) to carry out an independent investigation into the circumstances.
As part of our review, the OMB conducted an early inspection of the kennels along with the DOA and identified several areas needing immediate attention. The inspection found there is a need for a permanent roof outside the kennels, which are located outside in the back of the police station property.
It also revealed there is a need for a welfare and observation log for each RCIPS dog handler. It also identified 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, and the need to provide an enrichment area for the police dogs to exercise were also areas identified for immediate attention. Also identified were the need for air conditioning maintenance at the kennels to be conducted on a regular basis, and the need to clear debris outside the kennels to prevent rodents from entering the area and potentially biting the dogs.
Based on these findings, early recommendations were made to the RCIPS, and periodic inspections of the kennels were conducted. All the above recommendations were promptly actioned by RCIPS.