POISONING CASES INVESTIGATION PROCESS FOR PETS
The deliberate act of poisoning of animals is strictly illegal and punishable by law. According to Article 4 of the Protection and Welfare of Animals Act "prohibits any person willfully and without reasonable cause to grant or to procure or to authorize or supply any poison or other harmful substance to any animal or cause such as substance taken from any animal. "Any citizen who finds their pet or animal of some unknown owner, poisoned, not only can report the matter to the area police station but has an OBLIGATION to do so in order to avoid such incidents in the future. The report can be made, even if the person who committed the crime is unknown. If you suspect a person then you should declare it.
The police are obliged to investigate any complaint of animal poisoning/s.
IN ANY CASE, YOU SHOULD FOLLOW THE FOLLOWING PROCEDURE:
1. DIRECT ACTION
a) Registration of the event in the incident book of the Local Police Station.
b) Departure to the crime scene with the complainant.
2. ON THE SCENE ACTIONS- HANDLING A DEAD ANIMAL AND EVIDENCE
a) Foreclosure of the scene, inspection of room and receipt of food, water or pharmaceutical products suspected of being used for the poisoning of the animal.
b) Detailed examination of the scene to find any other evidence or testimony that will help in solving the case.
c) Proper packaging of items received
d) Receipt of the dead animal from the Police and transport to the Veterinary Services to perform autopsy
e) If necessary, before anything is moved Police Photographer to be contacted to photograph the scene.
3. AUTOPSY ACTIONS
a) The autopsy must be done by the Veterinary Services Veterinary Officer in the presence of police
b) In the case the Veterinary Officer's findings suggest as possible cause of death poisoning, he receives all the necessary samples for chemical and other tests in order to detect the poison. Please note that during the autopsy findings are not pathognomonic of poisoning. There may be findings that put simply poisoning as one of the possible causes of death such as pulmonary edema and cyanosis of mucus.
c) The required samples are taken during the autopsy and placed in plastic containers that are sealed with adhesive tape that is signed by the Veterinary Officer and the Police Officer
d) The samples are handed over by the Veterinary Officer to the Police Officer, who will transfer them to the police station that is investigating the case. There, the items are placed in a cold chamber
e) If the differential diagnosis of the Veterinary Services suggests that it is poisoning, it is immediately forwarded to the police station investigating the case
f) If the autopsy is conducted under the investigation by the police, the complainant is not charged with any expenses.
4. POLICE ACTION-AFTER THE SCENE
4.1 IF THERE IS A SPECIFIC SUSPECT
a) The suspect is called in to the police station where he/she will be interrogated and a deposition will have to be made after the police have drawn their attention to the Law
b) Research of the house and premises of the suspect either by court order or with his consent, in order to identify the poison or media used
c) If the results of the police investigations on reasonable suspicion and / or
witness / s under which prosecution may be followed on a specific suspect, then the samples taken during the autopsy are sent by the Police to the State Laboratory for the required exams. If there is suspicion or evidence that the animal was poisoned with the substance, it must be referred to on the documents that are accompanying the samples
d) Written suspect prosecution, if it may be a case
e) Continue to investigate the case and completing the file until the case is solved and the accused is brought to justice.
4.2 IF THERE IS NO SPECIFIC SUSPECT
The samples are stored by the police in a cold chamber for a period of two (2) months and if after the above time no evidence is found against a person, they are then destroyed.
Sirius Dog Sanctuary is home of stray dogs that have been abandoned in Limassol, Cyprus. The sanctuary is run by a group of volunteers, without any government funding, relying on charitable donations from the public.