State Fire Marshal Deputy charged with cruelty following death of K9

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Robert Fain, 28, is charged with one count each of aggravated cruelty to animals and malfeasance in office as well as six counts of 1st degree injuring public records and four counts each of theft and payroll fraud. (Photo: East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office)

BOSSIER PARISH (KTAL/KMSS) – A State Fire Marshal deputy has been arrested and is facing several charges following the death of an agency K-9 officer.

Cpl. Robert Fain and K9 Mally (Photo: Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal, July 27, 2017)

According to the State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFM), arrest warrants for 28-year-old Robert Fain, a corporal in the Shreveport area, include one count each of aggravated cruelty to animals and malfeasance in office as well as six counts of 1st degree injuring public records and four counts each of theft and payroll fraud.

The SFM Fain resigned his position with the agency upon his arrest on those charges Friday. He was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.

The investigation into Robert Fain began in October following the death of his department-issued K-9 officer, Maily. A necropsy of the dog, conducted per agency protocol, revealed neglectful malnourishment as the cause of Maily’s death, as opposed to a lengthy illness as claimed by Fain. Additionally, a subsequent review of Fain’s K-9 activity showed he claimed fraudulent hours and expenses related to working with the dog.

A separate investigation was already underway into Fain at the time of Maily’s death. In August, a supervisor’s regular review of Fain’s fire investigation case files revealed inconsistencies. It was later learned Fain had taken steps to cover up incomplete investigative work on one of his fire cases which included fabricating reports involving K-9 Maily.

In the wake of the findings in K-9 Maily’s death, the SFM is taking steps to review its K-9 program.

“As a dog owner and former K-9 handler myself, these findings make me sick,” said State Fire Marshal Butch Browning, “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. 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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