No action over neglected dog

NO action will be taken against Suffolk police after a young dog went without food or water for six days while in its care, it has emerged.The Suffolk force was investigated by the RSPCA after “an administrative” error meant a stray border collie cross was caged behind its station in Bury St Edmunds without food or water for nearly a week.

NO action will be taken against Suffolk police after a young dog went without food or water for six days while in its care, it has emerged.

The Suffolk force was investigated by the RSPCA after “an administrative” error meant a stray border collie cross was caged behind its station in Bury St Edmunds without food or water for nearly a week.

Yesterday the RSPCA said it did not have proof the dog had suffered adding that, after discussions between its chief inspector and Simon Ash, Suffolk's chief constable, it was reassured procedures had been tightened.

But the RSPCA's decision not to take further action has been condemned by other animal charities who claimed it was a case of one rule for the police and one rule for everybody else.


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Andrew Tyler, director of Animal Aid, said: “I am not amazed but I am disappointed that the RSPCA decided not to prosecute the police.

“I don't think its good enough. All sorts of people end up in court saying it wasn't deliberate and that it won't happen again.

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“Under the Animal Act, the police had a duty of care for this animal. It fell short of that duty.”

A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said the fact it was the police under investigation was immaterial to its decision against prosecution.

She said: “When we heard about the incident it was three or four days after it happened, and by that point we could not prove that suffering occurred.”

The RSPCA was, she said, reassured by the force that procedures had been bolstered, meaning such a situation was unlikely to arise in the future.

“It was a full investigation. We investigated it in the way we would any other complaint,” she added.

Suffolk police held up its hands to the error and said an investigation had been carried out internally with a view to tightening its procedures.

A police spokesman said: “This was a genuine human error which officers and staff were left distressed by, we have taken action to strengthen our procedures to avoid a repeat of this type of incident, and no disciplinary action will be taken.”

After its ordeal, the dog was taken to West End Farm Kennels in Buxhall, near Stowmarket, by St Edmundsbury Borough Council's dog warden.

A spokeswoman for the kennels yesterday said “Red” - the temporary name given to the dog - is about to go to a new home.

She added: “He is absolutely fine and he is now spoken for. He has not been collected yet but will be staying in Suffolk.

“He does not seem to have been affected at all by his ordeal.”

The family offering a new home for Red, who apparently has a passion for tennis balls, have asked not to be identified.

n. What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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