Animal cruelty case results in conditional discharge

Rufus, a dog who suffered burns after his owner applied Pine-Sol to his back, is the only animal cruelty case handled by the Department of Agriculture over the last two years that is currently in the court system. – Photo: Courtesy of the Humane Society

A West Bay man was sentenced to a conditional discharge Monday for a pair of animal cruelty charges stemming from an incident in which a dog suffered chemical burns last August.

Desland St. Aubyn Bailey had pleaded guilty to a pair of cruelty charges for administering Pine-Sol to his dog Rufus and for failing to seek medical attention in a timely manner. The dog suffered second degree burns and was treated at Island Veterinary Services and subsequently surrendered to the Cayman Islands Humane Society.

Mr. Bailey’s discharge is dependent on him not re-offending over the next 12 months.

The court heard that Mr. Bailey was attempting to treat a dog bite on Rufus’s back when he administered the Pine-Sol. On prior court appearances, it was said that he had been trying to treat an external parasite.

Crown counsel Emma Hutchinson asked Magistrate Grace Donalds to issue an order prohibiting Mr. Bailey from owning another pet, but the magistrate did not issue that directive.

The social inquiry report penned for Mr. Bailey suggested that no conviction be recorded, and Magistrate Donalds subsequently ordered that to be the case.

A Cayman Compass review of Department of Agriculture records found that Mr. Bailey’s animal cruelty case was the only one of 105 investigations by the DoA in 2016 and 2017 that resulted in prosecution.

Mr. Bailey was also sentenced Monday for a separate incident in which he had failed to control his dog. His dog bit a passerby in that incident, and Mr. Bailey was ordered to pay $1,000 in compensation for the victim’s medical bills and for four lost days of employment due to the injury. Mr. Bailey has three months to pay that order, and if he does not, he will be sentenced to three months’ imprisonment.

Mr. Bailey will also have no conviction recorded for failing to control his dog if he does not commit any other offenses over the next 12 months.