Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sergeant who left police dogs to die in hot car slashes wrists in 'suicide bid' after throwing himself from colleague's car


Slashed his wrists: Met Police Dog trainer Sergeant Ian Craven apparently attempted suicide after two dogs died in his care

A police dog handler whose two animals died in his car on the hottest days of the year threw himself from a colleague's vehicle after the incident.

Sergeant Ian Craven, 49, flung himself from the car and later slashed his wrists in an apparent suicide attempt after learning of their deaths.

The officer, who is now being investigated, was found in Newham, east London, and was today still receiving medical treatment for his injuries.

Sgt Craven, who faces prosecution for animal cruelty, left the two police dogs - a working Belgian Malinois and a German Shepherd puppy - in an unventilated car at the Metropolitan Police's dog training centre in Keston, Kent, on Sunday as temperatures soared to 29c.

Deaths: The Metropolitan Police Dog Training Establishment in Keston, near Bromley in Kent, where two police dogs died from excessive heat

It is the second time he has been responsible for the death of a dog left in a vehicle.

He was disciplined over the loss of a spaniel at the Metropolitan Police's prestigious dog training centre in July 2004 – but went on to be promoted.

In Sunday's incident the animals collapsed in the rear of his airless car as temperatures rose to 29c (84f) at the same training centre.

The dying Belgian Malinois and German Shepherd were discovered at the Met's dog training centre in Keston, Kent, by a member of staff as temperatures reached 29C (file pictures)

Staff pulled the Belgian malinois Chay and five-month-old alsatian Milly from the vehicle by smashing its closed windows.

They doused the dogs in water and raced them to an emergency vet but nothing could be done.

Kennel assistant, Tina Dale, 54, who was among those who tried to save the animals, described it as the 'worst day of my life'.

Temperatures reached 29C at the Keston dog training centre yesterday, before a member of staff discovered the dying animals in a vehicle

She said on a social networking site: 'The suffering those dogs went through is too unbearable to think about. I'm in bits, we tried so so hard, but it was too long, the damage had been done. What a bloody awful way to die.'

Animal welfare charities called for Sergeant Craven to face the full force of the law.

Jan Creamer, head of Animal Defenders International, said: 'It is the golden rule that you never ever leave dogs in hot cars.

'While we do not doubt that this was a tragic accident, we would have thought that the Met Police dog unit should be setting an example to others.

'We would question why dogs were in the car at all as there are kennelling facilities on-site, we believe.

'Surely it should have been standard operating procedure to put the dogs in kennels on hot days.'

PC Mark Johnson was given a six-month conditional discharge last year after leaving his two German Shepherds to die in the back of his car

All dogs must be kept in kennels whilst at Sherwood Lodge and handlers have been given key fobs which alert them to any change in their car's temperature.

PC Johnson is currently paying off £2,500, a contribution towards the costs of the RSPCA's prosecution. But he has not been banned from keeping animals.

PC Johnson told a court last year that he forgot he had left the animals in searing heat outside Nottinghamshire Police's HQ in Arnold, just north of Nottingham

source :dailymail

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