May 10, 2021

The Editor speaks: Stray dogs

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Colin Wilson

At last something is being done to round up the stray dogs that walk around our neighborhood both day and night.

Most of these strays are vicious, and have plagued communities here all over Grand Cayman, from East End to West Bay, but in particular the Seven Mile Beach area, and between Snug Harbour and Camana Bay.

Government Minister, Joey Hew, even had his pet cat killed recently by these strays. His is not the only cat that has recently been savaged by these dogs. There have been reports of one at Poinsettia Condos on West Bay Road by The Captains Bakery, and another at Brittania.

These dogs have done worse than savaging poor cats. They have attacked adults and children, especially those kids attending Cayman International School at Camana bay.

A public meeting was called last Tuesday inviting residents who have come in contact with these dogs and other concerned persons. At the meeting it was revealed that dogs more often than not roam in packs, making them even more vicious.

Many of these strays have now been caught and DoA Director, Adrian Estwick, confirmed at the meeting that the captured dogs, due to their “extremely aggressive behaviour and territorial tendencies”, have been put down.

Although it was learned the department has plans for a public awareness campaign to educate pet owners about the Animals Law and their responsibility, the main problem is with dogs that have been abandoned. It is, therefore, difficult to track down the owners of these dogs and hold the owners responsible. Even when it is discovered who the animal used to belong to, the owner has left our shores.

The Animal law says all dogs must be on a leash when out in the public. However,I have not heard of anyone actually being prosecuted for this offence.

Apparently, there is a lot of red tape to wade through before a prosecution can be executed and it becomes costly. With the courts already bogged down with more pressing matters I can now understand why that approach would seem to be a non-starter.

So what is the answer?

It is mainly up to us, the general public. We must act responsible when we own a pet, especially a dog. The best place for a dog is inside the home. A dog left unattended outside, even in a fenced yard, will look for a way out. Dogs love to wander.

If you are leaving our islands and you own a pet you cannot just leave it to wander off and fend for itself. If you do that it shows instantly you never ever had any real love for your pet.

If you can’t find a home for your pet then you must notify the authorities and see if they can help. If not the pet will sadly have to be put down.

Most times it is not that difficult. Advertise it. A cheap way is to have flyers printed and even cheaper – use social media,

Things to include:
Describe the appearance, size, and age of the animal.
Include the pet’s name and a good photograph of the pet.
If the pet is spayed or neutered, include that information.
Describe his/her nature and appealing qualities.
Define any limitations the pet might have (e.g., not good with cats or small children).
Don’t forget your phone number and the times you can be reached and/or leave an Email address

A good place for the flyers is at your local veterinarian. Ask him/her to put them in their office, then there is the pet stores, workplaces of you and your friends, an advert in the local media (most though will charge for this – we at iNews do not). Post them anywhere that accepts community flyers.

As a last resort there is the local shelters but they already have too many pets they themselves are trying to find good homes for.

Above all else – do not let your dog STRAY!!!

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