July 1, 2022

The Editor Speaks: Sadness

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It is with much sadness to learn that a man I have known for years, Marcel Deardon Archer, has been found guilty for cruelty to animals. His sentence of home confinement may seem light since the Cayman Islands Animal Welfare Officer Margaret Baldino had testified she had found dead rabbits, chickens and pigeons and a dog at a farm Archer had leased in North Side

Magistrate Kirsty-Ann Gunn also referred to recent reports of dog poisonings, interference with horses and mistreatment of iguanas. Archer’s offending involved numerous animals over an extended period.

Animals had been left without food or water and been exposed to daytime temperatures averaging 88 degrees Fahrenheit.

Whether Archer himself committed the offences is questionable but he was responsible as it was he who leased the property. He employed a farm hand to look after the animals as he has been ill and is still for a long time.

The farm hand had told Archer he was leaving and could not feed and/or look after the animals anymore.

Baldino had told the court the dead dog had been chained to a tree with no sign of food or water nearby. None of the cages in which the animals were confined had any food or water. A container of food was on the premises but the animals would not have had access to it.

This does not sound at all the man I have known would deliberately do these things.

Archer is a man who is well known for his community service, he has assisted me, he runs errands for people who cannot do this himself, he takes the elderly and others shopping and he is a kind and caring person. I have never heard him ever say “No” and he is a very sick man himself.

The magistrate took all this into account when sentencing Archer to home confinement.

Archer has to spend the first eight weeks of his sentence confined to an address his attorney would provide and must remain at his home 24 hours per day, except for such errands as are necessary to his health, which he may undertake between 12 noon and 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday. On Sundays, he will be allowed to leave home between 8 a.m. and 12 noon for attending church.

His confinement will be eased with a curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m after the first eight weeks,

All medical appointments Archer may have, must be reported to his probation officer who will inform the police. Any breach could may lead to incarceration at Northward Prison.

If these factors had not been taken into consideration Archer would probably have been sentenced to eight months in jail.

Therefore I believe the sentencing is fair even if Archer was not aware of what was happening. He was still responsible.

That is why it is sad but a warning to all of us.

Animals cannot report their suffering. And that is the saddest fact of all.

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