Former Corporal with Office of State Fire Marshal accused of abusing his K9 to point of death
BATON ROUGE – Authorities say a former Corporal with the Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal is behind bars for abusing his state-issued K9 to the point of death.
According to a police report, 29-year-old Robert Daniel Fain of Shreveport was issued a K9 named Maily in July of 2017.
Authorities say Fain underwent six weeks of training focused on teaching him how to care for Maily.
But police reports indicate Fain didn't put this training into practice; while under his care, Maily lost 58% of her body weight in a little over two years.
Police say Maily weighed 74.8 pounds when she was first handed over to Fain, but over the next several months her weight continued to drop until she was only 31 pounds.
Maily was frequently brought to the veterinarian and her food was changed multiple times as doctors attempted to identify the cause of her weight loss.
According to a report, it was during this time that Fain complained Maily had diarrhea in his state-issued vehicle.
Police say Maily was hospitalized in July of 2018, though doctors could not identify her illness.
After this hospitalization, reports go on to say Maily was taken to the vet once more for a recommended test that doctors believed would assist in identifying her illness.
After this visit, reports say veterinarians tried to contact Fain to have him bring Maily back to their offices for follow-ups, but their calls went unreturned.
Authorities say though Maily’s health and startling weight loss continued to worsen over the next 14 months, Fain refused to bring her to the vet.
The police report says Maily’s emaciated state was due to Fain’s refusal to feed her.
An investigation revealed that Fain used his state-issued credit card to purchase 151 lbs. of dog food on July 11, 2019 and after that date, no other dog food purchases were made. This was in sharp contrast to the 4 cups of food Maily should have been fed on a daily basis.
Maily died shortly thereafter, at only four years of age.
According to a police report, Dr. Dawn Evans performed a necropsy of Maily's body and said her corpse showed ‘evidence of severe atrophy of fat and extensive muscle wasting.’
Dr. Evans described Maily’s eyes as being sunken in and reported other physical indications of dehydration.
Dr. Evans described Maily’s death as “the worse case she had seen in her 30 years of practicing medicine in which the K9 wasn’t euthanized prior to the animal’s death.”
Authorities say that in addition to neglecting Maily's care, Fain stole money from the state and falsified records, making it seem as though he was using state money to care for Maily, when he actually wasn’t.
For example, a police report says Fain boarded Maily at the 'Bed and Biscuit Pet Resort' in Shreveport for a total of 13 days, and paid for her stay with his state-issued credit card.
But, the report goes on to say that, at the same time, Fain submitted timesheets, requesting that the state pay him for taking care of Maily for one hour a day.
Investigators point to this as a lie, saying Maily was not under Fain's care at this time, but was staying at the 'Bed and Biscuit.'
Authorities say Fain defrauded the state of $490 in this particular incident.
Investigators leveled yet another accusation against Fain, saying he lied about utilizing Maily during investigations of crime scenes.
One such incident, according to a report, took place on July 11 when Fain was sent to investigate a ‘burn complaint’ from a person who had been set on fire while inside of their truck.
A police report says Fain went to the crime scene, investigated the area, and wrote a report about his investigation which included the following statement, “I introduced K9 Maily into the fire scene where she signaled a positive alert for ignitable liquids on the bench seat of the pickup truck.”
But the police report goes on to say Fain later changed his story, claiming he hadn't brought Maily to the crime scene at all.
Fain was arrested on multiple charges, which included public payroll fraud, theft, injuring of public records, cruelty to animals, and malfeasance in office.
The Office of State Fire Marshal says Fain resigned his position when he was arrested.
Shortly after his arrest, the agency released a statement that says, in part, "In the wake of the findings in K-9 Maily’s death, the SFM is taking steps to review its K-9 program."
State Fire Marshal Butch Browning says of Fain's arrest, "As a dog owner and former K-9 handler myself, these findings make me sick. We consider all of our K-9 officers part of our law enforcement family and treatment of these animals as anything less is unacceptable."
"Outright neglect and abuse like this will not be tolerated or excused," Browning continued. "These actions alleged against Robert Fain are the actions of one individual and are not reflective of the dedication our handlers have to their K-9 partners nor of our agency’s commitment to public safety and abating arson.”
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