FIVE days after the incident went public the RSPCA have made a public statement on the video of a police officer pepper spraying a chained dog.
We have continued to be in touch with the AFP regarding this incident. Many people may not realise that police officers are also authorised by the Animal Welfare Act as animal cruelty inspectors. Since the original complaint went to the AFP rather than to RSPCA ACT, they are obligated to continue with this investigation even though it is an internal case.
Since our RSPCA inspectors are not armed or trained in self-defence by us, we often work with the AFP to handle the more difficult cases. In these other incidents, we have found their officers to be quite professional and to take their duties regarding animal welfare very seriously. The fact that this recent incident has occurred by an authorised animal cruelty inspector as a police officer is disturbing. However, it has not been something that we have witnessed before from other officers.
We have offered our assistance to the AFP in this matter. They have told us that the dog was not actually hit by the capsicum spray. However, they did not know whether or not it was hit by the stick that was thrown. We will continue to stay in touch with them as their internal investigation progresses, and will let you know about any new information that we might receive regarding this case.