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Several dog attacks this year prompt RCIPS and DOA to remind Cayman Islands’ dog owners of their obligations


So far this year police have receive a total of 68 reports of ferocious dogs or dogs dangerously out of control.  In seven of these incidents people have been bitten and required medical treatment; just last weekend, 17-20 June, police responded to two reports, one in Bodden Town and another in the Rock Hole area of George Town, where victims had to be transported to hospital by ambulance for treatment.

In many of these cases victims have been either walking or riding along public streets when they have encountered untethered and unleashed dogs that have aggressively pursued them.  In some cases people have climbed on top of parked cars or had to rush indoors to avoid being bitten; in three of the cases where dog bites occurred, the victim was chased by multiple dogs. In none of the cases, though, have victims sustained serious or life-changing injuries.

While in some cases the dogs were not located and an owner could not be determined, in many of the incidents the dogs in question did belong to an owner but were not properly licensed or secured as required under the Animal Law.

The RCIPS is working together with colleagues in the Department of Agriculture to reduce the numbers of incidents of dog bites or dogs out of control, as well as form strategies to educate the public about the importance of keeping their animals secured.

“Being attacked and bitten by a dog can be a terrifying experience,” said Robbie Graham, Superintendent of Uniform Operations. “We are seeing a trend of dog attacks as of late and want to remind dog owners of their obligations under the law.  You are responsible for what your dog does.”

“Dog owners know their animals as pets, and often have a hard time seeing them as a potential threat,” said Brian Crichlow, Assistant Director Department of Agriculture, “but the fact is that their dog can be a threat to those it does not know, and often may display an aggressive territoriality in the area around its home.  Dog owners therefore need to and are required by the Law, to confine their dogs to their property either in a fenced enclosure or tethered in a humane manner. ”

The RCIPS and DOA are reminding dog owners of their legal obligations under the Animal Law and Penal Code. Below are excerpts from the law for ease of reference:

–          Under Section 40 & 41 of the Animal Law (2015 Revision),  the court may order that an animal found to be dangerously  out of control, be disposed of (put down), or a record be made by the court of this occurrence, in which case,  a second offence would lead to the dog being put down and the owner of the dog fined and liable to summary conviction up to 6 months or indictment of up to 2 years, depending on whether or not the offence is considered an aggravated offence.

–          Under Section 44 a dog is regarded as dangerously out of control where ‘there are reasonable apprehension that it will injure a person or another domestic animal, whether or not it does so,”

–          Under section 46 of the Animal Law 2015 Revision a person is liable for a fine of $500 and 6 months imprisonment if found guilty of having a ferocious dog at large.

–          Under Section 26 a dog must be on a lead in any highway or other public place and Under section 36 a person who owns a dog and allows said dog to stray on the road is liable to a fine of $500.

–          Under Section 39 of the Animal Law states that the owners of every dog are liable for any damages or injuries that their dogs inflict on any person, property or other animal. Such damage or injury does not require the knowledge of the owner or negligence to be a factor of consideration.

–          Under section 211 of the Penal Code 2017 Revision anyone found guilty of a reckless and negligent act, to include section 210(d) is liable to pay a fine of up to $2000 fine and up to 2 years imprisonment.

There are other sections of the Animal Law that speak to the proper care and control of animals, especially dogs.  The RCIPS would like to encourage any animal owner to purchase and familiarize themselves with the animal law as well as the guidelines on the proper care for animals. All laws can be purchased at the Legislative Assembly.






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