Dozens of dangerous dog reports filed

| 28/07/2015 | 55 Comments
Cayman News Service

Government House, Cayman Islands Governor’s Residence

(CNS): The RCIPS has confirmed that it has received several dozen reports relating to stray or dangerous dogs biting and attacking members of the public or their pets over the last few months. However, the issue, which has raised concern in the community for years, has now become more of a focus after the governor was injured when she went to the aid of her cat, which was attacked by a pack of strays along Seven Mile Beach.

But dozens of joggers, walkers, cyclists and pet owners have also been subjected to varying degrees of canine attacks, from single bites to full-scale attacks, over the last three months, with police recording almost 40 incidences involving dogs behaving badly.

Police confirmed that on Thursday (23 July) that a 38-year-old woman from George Town was treated in hospital for lacerations to her arm and legs after she was attacked by dogs in the capital close to Solomon’s Grocery at the junction of Mary Street and Rock Hole Road. Officers visited the woman at the hospital and she reported being attacked by two animals at around 5pm but the animals have not yet been tracked down.

Meanwhile, the police were also involved in efforts to find the dogs involved in the attack on the governor. Helen Kilpatrick received minor injuries when she was bitten and scratched as she rescued her cat from a pack of dogs attempting to maul the pet on the beach close to Government House on 16 July.

The Department of Agriculture has said that they have set baited traps near to where the incident took place as this particular pack of dogs appears to have been involved in several other attacks in the area recently. The high-profile attack on the governor has seen a more concerted effort by the authorities to address the problem but issues regarding enforcement of the animal law, like enforcement failings regarding many other laws in Cayman, appears to stem from a lack of resources.

Local activist Sandra Hill (née Catron), who has been campaigning for the authorities to address the problem of stray dogs and pet owners who mistreat and neglect their animals for years, welcomed the increased action by the agriculture department and the police, even if it took an attack on the UK’s representative to do it. Having been the victim of dog attacks on her own pet and herself, she urged enforcement of the animal law.

“I’m glad that this issue is finally being given some serious attention from the authorities,” she told CNS. “We sustained four attacks over a two-year period and the authorities have never charged the owners or enforced the Animal Law.”

She said it was only when she contacted the governor directly, who clearly now has an even greater understanding of Hill’s position, did the authorities temporarily remove the dog which was attacking her and her dog, Coco.

“After the governor’s attack, now this has become a priority for the authorities. Many persons in the past have lost their family pets to attacks and been attacked themselves. However, it appears to me that only when certain people are involved do the wheels of justice appear to operate as they should. This is a sad indictment on the police and responsible government agencies. Had they taken a more serious policy and enforcement approach perhaps the governor would not have fallen prey herself. I look forward to seeking an equal application of the Animal Law for all persons,” she added.

Another issue that has seen government departments react forcibly to the problem of dangerous stray dogs is the continuing attacks on the Queen Elizabeth Botanic Park’s iconic blue iguanas. A star blue, Inky, was recently killed by dogs in the grounds of the park, which is home to the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme, and officials say they have lost five other blues over the last few months.

As a result, the Department of Environment has written to all the residents in the surrounding area of Frank Side and North Side warning that stray dogs encroaching into the park will be put down in an effort to protect the indigenous and endangered iguanas. The DoE has enlisted the assistance of a gun club member to deal with dangerous dogs.,

There are concerns across the community, however, that the number of abandoned and stray dogs roaming in packs is out of control and that baited traps or dog snipers will not address the wider problem of poor pet management, animal cruelty and neglect, which is fuelling the growth, not just in the numbers of strays but the increasingly aggressive behaviour.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank you. This was going to be my suggestion.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Even seen some wild dogs in Camana Bay recently-hunting iguana’s in packs. But by far the worst ones are hunting in packs right now on the CNS Gay legalisation comments. We should allow Gay dog marriage, in a short period they will all disappear, no puppies, see?

  3. Anonymous says:

    The Department of Agriculture do try and take some action, but they do not have enough capability. The dogs at the Dump live at the dump. Probably after having been abandoned. A lot of the dogs, especially in West Bay, are allowed to roam by their owners. The sad thing here is that the Humane Society who receive Government money to deal with this problem (spay and neuter) are actually on their knees due to the past two years chaos following the misguided take over by the current board of directors and lack of community direction and involvement. They have dogs in there that have been there for years.

  4. Anonymous says:

    a system of licensing/fines and strict enforcement would eradicate this problem over night….end of story.
    however the sorry excuse for politicians around here have not got the intelligence or poltical will to tackle the issue.
    just another day in wonderland…..

  5. SKEPTICAL says:

    Government should check out the bush along the Harquail Bye-Pass. I have started using it again after a long time, and in ten days on three occasions have seen a pack of 6/8 extremely nasty looking animals on the grass verge on the eastern side of the road. What I believe Americans refer to as ” Junk Yard Dogs “

  6. Jenny says:

    While it is a horrible experience for you cat to be killed or you yourself to be injured by a stray dog. It is not the animals fault. Why not put the blame on the owners themselves! Improve and enforce our animals laws, mandatory spay/neuter,proper licensing, stop the importation of new animals for a few years,have proper licensing for breeders,close the puppy mills yes we do have them on island! In a lot of states in the U.S. it is illegal to tie a dog up outside for more than a couple of hours most dogs here live all their life on a chain I would love to see the owner try that! We as a nation have little respect for Gods creatures. A responsible owner is a person that keeps their animal from getting hurt this goes for cat owners too,wild dogs are not the only threat outside the home.

  7. anon says:

    A little bit of Parquet on a nice piece of fried chicken, dropped along the road by the dump and along the other roads these dog packs roam used to take care of these problems in short order. As an added benefit, it also got rid of a few green iguanas as well.
    If your beloved family pet got some, it was your fault as you should have kept him home lovingly…………..there, I said it!

    The common sense those days was that, if you love your pet so much, take care of them at home and keep them well fed so they do not roam the streets with stray dogs. I never heard of a previous Governor getting bitten by uncontrolled wild stray dogs before Parquet was outlawed, sorry

    • Anonymous says:

      You are a pathetic excuse for a human being and everything that is wrong with this world!

    • Anonymous says:

      Dude, if you really believe this was a satisfactory solution, you should speak to your Pastor or someone you trust. Your advocacy of animal cruelty, and lack of empathy is a classic sign of sociopathic behaviour.

    • Anonymous says:

      And in those days your neighbor’s yapping dog was an easily sorted problem too. Sadly the tree huggerd are taking control.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hope your kids aren’t walking around hungry

  8. Anonymous says:

    If there was an anonymous way I could report the two puppy mills in my area, the cruelly chained up animals and the two dogs “owned” by a former member of the Agricultural Department (so their trappers don’t want to deal with her) that roam unchained and crap in neighbors’ yards I would do it but I am a driftwood and these people are all West Indians and the first thing you hear if you complain is “foreigner” or “white” and life becomes intolerable. Ah so it go. No enforcement.

    CNS: If you want to pass the information to me via the CNS comments I can send it onto the authorities without publishing if you ask me not to. If you comment from a public hotspot, there is no way to identify you.

    • Real Men Love Jesus says:

      If you are doing the rounds, come get the ones in Tropical Gardens too.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agricultural is a waste of time. There is a so called “pet shop” here that breeds all types of small breeds. Its appalling the way they are keeping these poor dogs. In bird cages and not the macaw cages, 6 to a small pen, sitting in their mess. Reported it repeatedly to Agriculture and nothing absolutely nothing has been done. Their response was “we are trying to educate them”…educate them my ass, this shouldn’t be going on in a business, period, full stop!!! This has been going on for years, the puppies are not healthy yet they get quite a sum for them. I shall continue, Agriculture passed the Animal Law long long time ago, if you are breeding from a profit, you MUST have a license…is this happening NOPE!!! You are not suppose to breed BANNED DOGS, if you do fines and jail can happen. Has this ever happened, again NOPE. Cropping and Docking is AGAINST THE LAW and the person who seen this law pass is Cropping and Docking. So here you go, laws are implemented only certain people get fined (if this happens) and the rest go about their merry way. Dog fights, dog attacks have been going on for a long time, and nothing has ever been done. But now that it effects the Governor OH BOY, here we go.

      A few years back, not to long ago, the police dogs were brought in for I believe a check up, they were skinny and were tested positive for Heart Worms…does that tell you something. In all the years we heard about this so called K9 Unit, I have never seen any K9s being used by the Police, nor do I see them at the airport. More wasted money!!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    The same old from government resources are an issue. Is the issue that you don’t have resources or your resources aren’t doing anything. Funnily enough, I saw the dog catcher truck for the first time in years the other day, it was nice to see they had resources to buy a nice new shiny truck but nobody to drive it!

  10. Baha Man says:

    Nobody seems to be asking the most pertinent question here.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why would you let your cat out to roam???? Letting cats out unless the owner has it on a leash needs to realize the circumstances that can happen. Its a cat, not like a dog that comes when you want it to and normally won’t wonder to far.

      • bob smith says:

        Outdoor cats or the feral cats that are caught and spayed or neutered are not a good thing either. Yes, it makes certain groups happy keeping a kitty alive, but when high season is over and all the tourists leave, the cats are not fed. Well, what happens then…they eat to survive. That means our local birds, lizards, etc are dying. Have you seen curly tailed lizards out in the Rum Point area lately…not too many. Have you seen lots of cats that nobody owns.

        I guess we need to get rid of all expats it seems.

  11. Megan says:

    It took the Governor getting bitten before our RCIPS decided to act on all those reports!

    • Anonymous says:

      …and in a strange and unfortunate way (and I in no way cast any aspersions on Her Excellency who has done nothing wrong and is as much a victim as anyone) THAT IS PROOF WE ARE INHERENTLY CORRUPT! If we were not every citizen could expect and demand equal application of (and protection by) the Law.

      At least something will happen now. Any idea when the police are going to notice that dark windows on cars and smoking ganja are illegal?

  12. Anonymous says:

    They can’t be that hard to track, many a morning at 7:15 a pack of 8 dogs can be seen roaming on the side of the bypass near the dump.

    • Anonymous says:

      You expect the police or govt be on the road at that time of the morning? Let’s be realistic.

  13. Julie says:

    These poor dogs, my heart goes out to them, they did not ask to be roaming the streets, homeless, starving, thirsty and many injured, they have been abandoned, mistreated and neglected, left to fend for themselves. If they could speak they would tell you that they would much rather be part of a family being loved and cared for. Human beings domesticated dogs to be pets so when they are thrown out on the streets like trash what other option do they have but try to survive. I have come across the so called dangerous aggressive pack of dogs on the West Bay Road area several times, I stop my car to feed and give them water, they are starving and scared, I wish they could understand that I won’t in any way hurt them unlike so many other humans who see them as dangerous stray dogs, I see a broken soul that needs help. If they would trust me I would take them in but they have lost all faith in people because of how they have been treated. The problem is solely down to people who have no heart or empathy for these poor lovely dogs.

    • Just Sayin' says:

      Animal ownership, much like child bearing, is in dire need of strict contro mechanisms if we are to survive as a society.

  14. Sharkey says:

    If the wild dogs are such a problem, stop commenting, and start a petition that Government put a law in place that every dog owner register and licence their pets, then that pet must wear the licence on its collar, then that pet can be identified , then the owner becomes responsible for any liability. Then all wild dogs /pets be shipped out of the Islands is the nicest way I can say it.

  15. Anonymous says:

    “enforcement of the animal law, like enforcement failings regarding many other laws in Cayman, appears to stem from a lack of resources” – absolute rubbish. As with many other laws these are not enforced because it takes “work” to do it. I pity these dogs as it is the owners who are at fault: if you cannot look after your animal in the PROPER way (food, water, shade, exercise, love) then please don’t have one. IF one owner could be made an example of and the dog is either removed if it can be proved it is not in suitable surroundings or the owner is fined for letting it roam, a list is then kept so that if the same owner does it again then the penalty is more severe, then maybe, it will make a difference. Sadly so many “owners” are just that: they own this possession and feel that they can do exactly as they want with it. Enforcement of the laws are also necessary to protect those animals that are not looked after and please, don’t tell me that the Dept of Ag or the Welfare Officer “do their best” – they choose the easiest and quickest route (if at all) and opt to either destroy these animals or do nothing. Meanwhile those animals left in dire need of proper care are left to a miserable existence. There is a dog on Prospect Drive with an owner who KNOWS it has a fatal condition which can be remedied but said owner who cannot even be bothered to feed this animal which is tied up 24/7 will not get it treated. Instead a local charity has stepped in to medically treat it, yet the owner will not even try to contribute financially (he has a job and could afford to contribute even a little) and will also not surrender the animal to be re-homed as he wants to mate his dog with a friend’s to get puppies which, he thinks (and he is sadly misled) will sell for CI$1,000 each. The mentality (of lack of) unfortunately is not just in Prospect but appears to be island wide. In the UK the RSPCA has the backing of the Police and when the RSPCA go in to remove an animal from the owner, the Police attend to ensure that the removal takes place and the RSPCA officer is not threatened in any way. Job done. Why can’t that happen here? There are too many dogs on this island already yet breeders are carrying on to make a profit – yet another part of the law that needs tightening. The law is an ass and enforcement is non-existent – pathetic.

  16. Cheese Face says:

    I wish someone “important” lived down Prospect Drive where the pitbulls roam free beside the illegal fishing boats. This place is going to the dogs……

    • Anonymous says:

      Prospect has gone to the dogs a long time ago. Consider it Windsor park 2.0. It is even more ghetto than parts of West Bay.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I own two dogs and am unable to walk them on leash in my own neighborhood because I am being chased and attacked by dogs at almost every other house/yard/drive way when walking. I have called animal control unit several times and as is standard on Island, the negligent pet owner is cuddled and a little warning with a little slap is given so the problem is resolved for 1 week and then goes back to square one.

    Unless Government is prepared to implement a zero tolerance approach towards those negligent dog owners and hit them where it hurts them most by handing out hefty fines NOTHING will change.

    • Anonymous says:

      Have the same problem both on the estate where I live and also when walking them (on leashes) on the beach most mornings. Its a crying shame that it takes something to happen to the Gov for this matter to get any true attention.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s is the thing about the tropics. Nothing does change

  18. Ron says:

    For many years when farmers and home owners complained about these dogs attacking farm animals and digging into garbage fell on deaf ears – nothing done by the authorities. Yet when the farmers and homeowners take matters into their own hands, government banned a pesticide that assisted most farmers with their livelihood. Now the governor got attacked and a blue iguana is killed and all of a sudden a “sniper” from the gun club is hired and steps are now being made to rid the island of these stray dogs. My isn’t this island really one sided.

    • Anonymous says:

      So, 6:43, it was ok to poison the dogs (“take matters into their own hands”) and cause them terrible deaths?

      • Anonymous says:

        OK by me if the mutts were a nuisance. Best way to sort out a yapping pest.

        • Anonymous says:

          Well said. There are too many who seem to equate annoying dogs to humans.

          • Anonymous says:

            No… I put the dogs above monsters like you and I know who I want “taken care of” hint: not the dogs!

      • Ron says:

        So a bullet to the heart or stomach or head is much more humane? Didn’t Cecil the lion lived with an arrow in him for 40 hours before he was dispatched? 40 hours is long time to suffer?

      • Responsible dog owner says:

        Is it legal to let your dog run the streets? Dogs should not be allowed to roam and attack children or other people’s pets. If a dog is dangerous or a continuous nuisance, what is the best action to take? Guns are outlawed. Paraquat is outlawed. Animal control doesn’t do anything. How are you going to get rid of them?

    • Anonymous says:

      That pesticide might work with the “nuisance” but it was also killing many well-kept and responsibly cared for pets that were loved by their families – including (over the last decade) my horse – who must have picked up the poison grazing, and three dogs, who are kept on chains attached to their kennels at home, and walked regularly on leashes.

      With all due respect, murdering innocent animals because of the negligence of people who do not even deserve to own pets, is not the way to go.

  19. Ah Progress says:

    The Humane Society was established, in part, to address the problem of large numbers of stray dogs roaming West Bay Beach in the early seventies. In some cases the police were called and packs of dogs shot to death with .303 rifles as tourists looked on. It seems we have come full circle.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Dangerous dogs have been running around terrorizing the general public including attacking..now that the Governor was attacked its like sound the alarm….remember the banned dog list??? Watch, that will be enforced now

    • Anonymous says:

      No, 12:12, we don’t do “enforcement” here.

      • Anonymous says:

        Just to repeat people: we do NOT enforce many laws here. Do something about it or quit bitching.

        • Anonymous says:

          What do you do (otherwise than being reduced to anonymous bitching) when the authorities themselves, including the FCO, seem to refuse to do anything, even when faced with formal complaints?

      • Anonymous says:

        Don’t I know it 7:50am…lolll…spend money passing a law but never ever will they enforce the law

  21. Anonymous says:

    So all of a sudden dangerous wild dogs roaming in the community becomes an issue when it happens at the Governors residence ?

    It appears that so many pressing community concerns & issues which has been reported for many years and should have been addressed and solved a long time ago – has simply fallen by the wayside like most other things. However, when it happens in or near a gated community then it becomes top priority to be fixed.

    Aaaaaahhhhhh The poor man can finally have a smile on his face – even for a short time.

    Hey, please send the Agriculture Department to Boltins Avenue in West Bay where we have roaming dogs that will soon eat the school children of Grace Christian Academy and Wesleyan Christian Academy.

  22. Anonymous says:

    The laws are not enforced because of a mix of incompetence and corruption. Nothing to do with inadequate resources. There, I said it!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Put the owners in jail for a year.

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