Sunday, 22 February 2009


Had yet another dog brought in last night for attacking kids. Not the dogs fault he was only young. Apparently he had been "trained" with various methods that scum train fighting dogs with.

The police Sargent sent a message they wanted us to test it for DNA, fine but no instructions on what to use to store or keep it in. This is a new one usually we just keep any dog faeces and bag it for the forensics.
The vet rang the police control said they would get the sgt who was dealing with the case to ring up sometime. So as she is a new vet to our place and very quiet and believing she said ok and put the phone down.

I was not happy with this. They would ring up when we were up to our necks, and at some time means if lucky at all and most importantly how long would the dog have to go without food and water just so it was convenient for the police.

So l rang police control and asked for anyone in a forensics capacity who could give us advice. They said no one was available but that the sgt would ring back. Nope not good enough l want it sorted now, not at some vague point. We can not leave the dog without food and water for hours, just because it is not convenient for some Sargent to ring us back They promised he would ring back within 10minutes would that do. I glared at the phone and agreed.

Sure enough l got a call back. Yes he confirmed they wanted DNA.

"Ok l said how do we collect it and what do we store it in"

Silence.. "l don't know that's your job we just need it" He was being sulky and obtuse over it.

Now he had me annoyed and that is not good. "You want it you need to tell us how etc. If you do not know who is there in forensics to help? we can not leave the animal for hours with no food and water"

Sarcastic laughter "It is a Saturday night what do you mean forensics, they don't work weekends"

"Well what happens if someone is shot"

"They come out, that is a major crime"

"Well tell them someone has been shot"

Shocked silence "What...."

Me now very pissed off at what is asked and no advice given and a sarcastic Sgt being unhelpful. "Ok give me the phone number and l will deal with your forensics and get the info, no need for you to ask them and get you in trouble for waking them up. I can get the info and am happy to wake them. I am not leaving the dog for hours without food and water, because it is not convenient to you lot."

More silence as possible he sees a problem he may have just started asking for DNA, namely the realisation that if need be the vetnurse will make the night hell for the police and go higher up the food chain and piss off any senior officers who are skulking about. Or l may say sod you and wreck the DNA he is being so prissy about by giving the dog food and water and it will be his fault for being unhelpful.

"Ok ok l will have someone there within an hour with the kit. I assume the dog will be alright that long without food and water" He added the last part somewhat sarcasticly.

I refrained form making any comments which l was wanting to do "One hour yes that's fine the dog will survive, l gave him details of where we were and left him to spit his dummy into the corner and sort things"

Around time 2 WPC turned up. One knew all about the practice one did not and was puzzled about what we were. She seemed to have trouble grasping that we were a vet practice. The important thing was they had 2 BIG new packs of swabs for DNA.

We sedated the dog. He was a very mixed temperament. One second sweet the next nasty. No way were we sticking our hands near his mouth with him awake. One jab of dom/torb (sedative) and he slept peacefully. I popped the dog, onto the table.

I asked how many swabs to use and they didn't know but guessed about 2 or 3. They were adamant they were just couriers. I said nope looking at the 2 packs and feeling evil If they sent about 60 swabs they must want the lot. I grabbed about 10 out of one of their hands to start with, and said hang onto the others l will be back.
I held the mouth open and the vet swabbed. One of the WPC got a bit nervous about how many swabs l grabbed and rang the sgt.
He said he only wanted about four, two each from two different areas. Tough l handed the 4th mouth swab to the vet who was not really listening.

Being as l feel kind, and the two WPC were looking a bit intimidated at me holding the wadge of swabs in my hand and not knowing what to say. I grinned at them and as soon as the vet finished the mouth with the fourth swab, l pulled the tail up handed her another swab.
The WPC went a bit pale. I think they are new to the job and still a bit squeamish. If they were not new they would have been a tad more forthright over things not so shy.

Afterwards one of them was filling out a statement and had to ask where we swabbed. I said "mouth" but she wanted to know areas. So l told her the areas within the mouth that had been swabbed, she looked at me and muttered "mouth will do". I grinned at her.

My suggestion that she also write. "Shoved 5th swab up dogs arse" was vetoed by nurses, vet, and all others in the prep area watching. Some people are much to serious about life.

As to the dog that will be going off to holding kennels and up to the courts to decide on his fate.


Auntie Jane said...

Oh dear... what a rigmarol.

JuliaM said...

"..most importantly how long would the dog have to go without food and water just so it was convenient for the police. "

Hopefully, not as long as this one...

Vetnurse said...

Very tragic with the greyhound and it has happened a few times.

The dog at work and l have got on really well and l have given him a few cuddles over the last few hours. It may be cupboard love, at one point tonight he burped and looked rather jaded when l slipped another bonio into the kennel. Took him about 30mins to eat it, l think he felt obliged.

Having said that he does not like many people and makes it clear. And even if they try and give him treats he won't take them.

Hogday said...

I was never required to get samples from a dog or any other animal, but the process for the obtaining, preserving and proving continuity of evidence obtained is pretty much a standard format ie sample A was taken by surgeon/nurse B on day,date,time and place and placed in a sealed bag ref 1234/vetnurseB. What a prick!

If you expect to get more of these requests in the future it would be well worth just drafting out a short aide memoire and filing it in the `book of useful info!` It wouldn't take 5 mins for a scenes of crime officer to draft out what's needed from a police perspective. It is not rocket science, just forensic science.

Vetnurse said...

Yup worked that part out Hogday but it was what to take it with and seal into that was the problem. We did not know the type of swab and did it have to go into anything special and obviously had to be sealed but what and hows and wheres were needed.

The customs friend said that when he requested it he should also have sent someone down straight away with the swabs and evidence bags.
He told me that before l had even got into the story of what had gone on. Apparently that is SOP.

I did think of grabbing some swabs and bags off the WPC who brought them down for future use. I decided against itthough in case some funky lawyer wrigged out of something due to how the bags/swabs were stored or some other excuse.

Hogday said...

Your customs chum was correct. Police should supply - along with the guidance as to what they want! Basics. Duh.