Animal cruelty issues mounting

| 12/12/2016 | 57 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): Concerns are mounting that animal cruelty in Cayman is increasing but the authorities are turning a blind eye. Over the last few weeks the Humane Society, Paws and concerned members of the public have found and reported several worrying cases to the police and the Department of Agriculture but very little is being done to combat the cruelty, activists believe. From the recent sexual abuse of ponies at a riding centre and concerns about dog fighting to daily abuse of animals, many people believe that while cruelty is on the rise, the authorities are not following up on reports.

Taura Ebanks, who has started a petition calling for animal protection and welfare laws to be enforced against those that commit acts of torture, abuse and neglect, thinks the time has come to raise the alarm and call out the failing authorities. She claims to have made numerous reports to the Department of Agriculture’s animal welfare department that have been ignored and said that unless the authorities step up and start investigating, the abuse will get worse.

On Friday, the local charity Paws was contacted by a member of the public who had taken video footage of a dog that was in terrible condition (see below). Although the charity reported the situation to the authorities and mobilised the help of the Humane Society, the dog died. It turned out that the animal was infected with heartworm and had been slowing dying for months but no one had reported the situation and the owners have not been held to account, Ebanks stated.

Cayman News ServiceAnother dog suffering from an horrific tumour on its eye was also recently taken to the animal shelter and had to be put down because of its poor health and neglect by its owner. But although the owner attended the shelter, the DoA failed to follow up, Ebanks told CNS.

The grizzly remains of the body of a burned dog was found on land in Prospect last month and reported to the department, but there was no investigation, Ebanks said. The dog, which was a pit-bull, was believed to have been involved in dog fighting.

The DoA claims that it does follow up and investigate all reports, though just two animal abuse cases have been referred for prosecution so far this year and over the last five years just seven cases have reached the courts. The DoA said it had not received reports on all of the most recent cases but that the case of the burned dog was referred to the RCIPS.

While the department said that there is always room for improvement when it comes to investigating reports, the DoA’s policy is to educate and work with owners to ensure acceptable animal welfare practices are followed.

If education and cooperation fail to achieve the desired results, they then move on to enforcement and prosecution.

“In cases of severe animal cruelty, neglect, abandonment, a stern approach would be taken. In cases where enforcement and/or prosecution are necessary the DoA works closely with the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service,” a spokesperson told CNS.

However, Ebanks believes that the authorities are turning a blind eye. While NGOs and volunteers work hard to reduce the unwanted pet population, rehabilitate and re-home animals, cover the costs of caring for animals where owners struggle, the authorities are not taking their part seriously.

She pointed to concerns about dog fights, caged animals that are starved and imprisoned, tied up and left to die, beaten and tortured, as she urged the authorities to prosecute owners.

“The Department of Agriculture is not taking even the basic steps to enforce the animal welfare laws,” she said. “People have stopped reporting to the Department of Agriculture because they feel that nothing will be done.”

Ebanks suggested that the community needs to know more about what steps to take to report animal abuse or neglect. But she said when they do, they need to see what steps are taken by the DoA and other appropriate authorities, such as the police, to find the abuser and investigate the claims in a timely manner. She called for transparent documentation of reported incidents and to see animals removed immediately where there are obvious signs of abuse and neglect, or regular monitoring of animals where the abuse is not so easily apparent.

“These voiceless animals can’t speak for themselves,” Ebanks said. “It is our responsibility to stand up for them to help keep them safe.”

See the petition here

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Comments (57)

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  1. Ex-Patriat says:

    We are all obligated by laws of God and mankind to protect the creatures of the earth over which we have been put in charge. Cruelty to animals is a crime and MUST be dealt with as such by the authorities.

    It is however important to not follow the footstep of the crazy Americans who have evolved overtime to treat their pets with greater compassion, love, and attention than their children and fellow human beings.

    Curse me if you want for my 2nd paragraph but that won’t change the truth.

    • Crazy American says:

      I’m a crazy American…here’s why: my pets have never done anything as remotely heinous or disgusting to a human or another animal as what humans do to each other, their children, and animals every day.

      The Department of Agriculture is useless and a ridiculous excuse for an organization meant to watch out for animal welfare. They’re inefficient, and nepotism is the name of the game in that place. From experience I can tell you that XXXX and XXXXX don’t even have the courtesy to respond to inquiries or answer their phones. You better look elsewhere if you expect them to help you.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I wish to Christ people would keep God out of (mostly) sensible arguments about topics on CNS.

  3. Anonymous says:

    “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

    ― Mahatma Gandhi

    • Anonymous says:

      Ancient Egyptians pretty much idolized cats and they’re greater nations at the present that don’t hold cats to the high esteem they once we’re and, some also eat the felines but, none the less exhibit genuine morality within society needed to progrees in todays world.
      Ghandi was just a crazy old fart but the point is clear.

  4. MM says:

    Proverbs 29:18

    18 “A nation without God’s guidance is a nation without order. Happy are those who keep God’s law!”

    The above verse can quickly sum up what is happening in Cayman and why our country was once the safest, most beautiful, successful and blessed little place on earth many, many years ago.

    It is bad enough to completely deny God but much worst to make a mockery of Him and hide behind Him claiming to be a God-fearing nation while committing obvious acts of disregard; man cannot serve two masters.

    Our nation cannot claim to love God and yet we worship money, international fame and sell-out our own people for profits – God don’t like ugly.

    We were put on this earth to care for the animals and environment, instead we have raped everything and taken all that was given to us freely – what is to be expected in a world that counts its value based on computerized (and manipulated) digits on a computer screen?

    • Cognitive Dissonance says:

      Gods word
      13 [a]If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, 2 and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” 3 you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. 5 That prophet or dreamer must be put to death for inciting rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. That prophet or dreamer tried to turn you from the way the Lord your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you.

      6 If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, 7 gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), 8 do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them. 9 You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people. 10 Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 11 Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again.

      12 If you hear it said about one of the towns the Lord your God is giving you to live in 13 that troublemakers have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods you have not known), 14 then you must inquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly. And if it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done among you, 15 you must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town. You must destroy it completely,[b] both its people and its livestock. 16 You are to gather all the plunder of the town into the middle of the public square and completely burn the town and all its plunder as a whole burnt offering to the Lord your God. That town is to remain a ruin forever, never to be rebuilt, 17 and none of the condemned things[c] are to be found in your hands. Then the Lord will turn from his fierce anger, will show you mercy, and will have compassion on you. He will increase your numbers, as he promised on oath to your ancestors— 18 because you obey the Lord your God by keeping all his commands that I am giving you today and doing what is right in his eyes.

      MM I see you regard the text of the bible as guidance and absolute. I’m sure a nation where people are put to death by stoning in the name of the lord is exactly what we need to live a peaceful lifestyle.

    • Duhh says:

      Peter 2:18
      “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ”.

      The above verse sums up your successful and blessed little place on earth many many years ago.

    • Anonymous says:

      Factually, not one single African citizen was subject to the enslaver’s god(s) until they stole us from Mama Africa. It’s bad enough to completely deny our Ancestor’s beliefs but much worse to make truth out of the word of colonizers who should have NEVER been believed. They whipped, beat, chained, raped, and terrorized ‘the word of god’ into our great-great Grandparents so that we lose sight of who and what we truly are and have been…so much so, that this ‘word’ is taken as ‘holy fact’, over and over for generations. It’s time to wake up and smell the natural tea. Look up “LAWS OF MA’AT” if you want Truth. If you want ‘actual’ holy word. #42LawsOfMaat and let’s take care of our Spirits, our Elders, our Babies, our Animals, and each other. Only TRUTH is truth. (Bless!)

  5. MM says:

    The type of people doing this do not take accountability for their own children’s lives much less.

    Law enforcement must crack down on every aspect of lawlessness because the same bunch murdering and raping animals are murdering and raping people, selling drugs, abusing children and then mixing themselves in to the community and wreaking havoc for the rest of the population trying to live peacefully. It is all related and starts from the birth of one innocent, unsuspecting child to some ill-bred woman and half-breed boy who believe that the proof of their maturity is in siring children.

    Any boy can make a child – it takes a man to raise one.

    Just a scroll through social media profiles alone should bag a load of Cayman’s criminals.

  6. Sharkey says:

    Ms. Julie Murray, yes we might a Law on animals , called the Animal protection Law .
    But if this law don’t have enforceable claws in the law , then the law is not what we need to be able to deal with the despicable behavior of people who are cruel and kill , sexuly molest animals .

    To me this law you are talking about , is like the saying goes . Is not what say , but how you say it .

  7. Sunrise says:

    Horrible!! Let us just get on with getting the law passed, or if it is to enforce it to the fullest!! Really disgusting, maybe the punishment to the criminals, should be the same as done to those poor innocent animals!!!! Heartless A——S!!

  8. ? says:

    Thank you for taking this on and bring it to the forefront.

    CNS readers, may you find some understanding and empathy with the below contribution.

    -Eulogy of the Dog-

    Gentlemen of the jury—
    The best friend a man has in the world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter whom he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with out happiness and our good name, may become traitors to their faith. The money that a man has he may lose. It flies from him perhaps when he needs it most. A man’s reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads. The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is the dog.

    Gentlemen of the jury, a man’s dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground when the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he can be near his master’s side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounter with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince.

    When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens. If fortune drives the master forth an outcast into the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him, to guard him against danger, to fight against his enemies. And when the last scene of all comes, and death takes his master in its embrace and his body is laid in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by his graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws and his eyes sad but open, in alert watchfulness, faithful and true, even unto death. —George G. Vest – 23 September 1870

  9. Hope says:

    This is so sad at many levels. I fear for my children.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Let us be thankful to CNS for their excellent reporting, allowing all voices to be heard. This country is so blessed to have them.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Agriculture Department is a useless Department to assist in any animal abuse. Years ago Dr Benjamin placed a law no docking/no croping, The law stated all ban dogs were to be spayed and neutured. No ban dog to be bred. Non of these laws were ever enforced. XXXX Hence he passed laws never enforced. Animal abuse has been going on forever and nothing is ever done about it, but a slap on the wrist. It is disgusting and disgraceful how the government allows abuse to innocent animals and nothing is ever done. But the sad part, if a child’s life doesn’t mean much (example, father raping his own child, gets a year, drunk driver kills innocent person, maybe two years), do you really think they will do anything about an animal. Cayman passes so many laws but non are enforced, from tint on cars, loud music being played, pit bulls being bred, docked and cropped, i am missing many, but I think you get the gist of it.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The righteous care for the needs of their animals…..
    Proverbs 12:10

  12. rollin says:

    While we can argue these acts represents an unknown percentage of the population. I cant help but know this is home grown behavior.
    I recall and know of many locals who revert to animal cruelty out of frustration and ignorance . So we have a problem with our approach to animal care it seems

    Yet we are placing the measure of change on government. Sounds like the same minority way of thinking that I will go ahead and assume are also responsible for this behavior.

    You are responsible for you . And if you choose to take the life of an animal on as a pet , you are now responsible for it .

    That means attending to its quality of life including happiness,protection, food and shelter. If your unable to commit then you are clearly unfit to act as an owner.

    The wise thing is to shrink government and not hold it responsible for everything.BTW to say govt is turning a blind eye is to make light of all the rights in place that protect criminal behavior.

    This will not make sense to many sadly enough, after all govt is apparently here to walk you through life nah true?!

  13. WTF? says:

    People who torture animals usually do not stop there. To do what they did to a horse or burn a dog alive sounds like sociopath behaviour. How is this not taken more seriously?

  14. Sharkey says:

    I think that every careing citizen and animal lover and their animals should all March to the LA building in protest for Legislation for and against animals cruelty. The animals should all be wearing a banner that says “protect us today , or we don’t elect you next year”.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Just a reminder to all that dogs eat other animals. During a normal dog’s lifespan, they end up eating the tissue of thousands of other animals.

    Dogs also kill/maim other animals (cats, iguanas etc) purely for the pleasure/sport of killing/maiming.

    So people should stop being so hypocritical. Poor innocent doggies…please….

  16. Anonymous says:

    Thank you to all those who are brave enough to help these animals – personally I find it very hard to see such horrific pictures. Just wondering which politician is going to be brave enough to take up the cause for these defenceless creatures? Somebody who deserves our vote I think!!! Can’t buy votes if you promote the plight of animal cruelty though can you? The heart of the man is seen however, a person who is willing to put the plight of animals before voting buying is someone who deserves consideration.

  17. Anonymous says:

    CNS, Please follow up w/ an article listing the ways we can help get protection for our voiceless, faithful furry friends! Aside from Petitions, what else can we do.. what are the proper steps to take? etc. Let’s get some action here, starting with the asshole owners of the poor dogs pictured above!!!!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Whats the point in even having a government if they do nothing. Oh wait, they do act and do something if it’s financial. You screw over a bank for 32 cents and a financial services officer will be knocking at your door to repay or they will lock you up. You abuse animals or flaunt the law in other ways and its no big deal mon…

    • Anon says:

      If animals was representation, then they need get out of the kennels, cages, fish tanks and kitty litters to go and vote. I have never seen any dog, cat, pigeon or fish at the voting stations on Election Day, have you?

      You’re busy blaming the government for every single thing. Stop that nonsense. Looking out for the rights or welfare of pets is not their mandate. That is the job of the pet owners solely. Your expectations are unreasonable.

      • Im just saying.. says:

        If you were unlucky enough to be an animal in Cayman, based on your post you would be an Ass.

        Try reading the article properly before hee hawing your feedback, which missed the point entirely.

        PS – there is a reason why people blame the govt. Its because they’re really terrible.

      • Anonymous says:

        It is NOT unreasonable to expect the DOA to do their jobs and to enforce our laws! SHAME on the Minister for being so useless!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes and when you tell the inconvenient truth, no one cares.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Just another step closer to Banana Republic. Useless Civil Servants who refuse to do their jobs, and spineless Government who doesn’t ensure that Civil Servants do their job.

    I also have reported issues and at best, someone showed up, gave the idiot owner who abused or neglected the animal a little lecture and went on his way. No consequences whatsoever!

    It’s time the residents demand that some law and order is restored to this place

  20. Anonymous says:

    Typical answer from the department: “there is always room for improvement” or “we will take a look a it”. I wonder how many pairs of glasses they need to take a look at something..
    In my opinion, this Government is lacking in so many ways that it is almost impossible to list them all.
    “That is progressive”

    • Anonymous says:

      This is nothing to do with the Progressive elected government. This is to do with our civil servants who have the responsibility to investigate and enforce the existing laws. Get on their case. The law exists.

      • Anonymous says:

        The Minister (Kurt Tibbetts) has a responsibility to ensure that the DOA is functioning and if it is not (which is certainly isn’t) to retrain/replace the civil servants which are there now. Enough is enough!

  21. anonymous says:

    The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated. – Mahatma Gandhi – GOD HELP Cayman – I am ashamed to call this my nation

    • Anonymous says:

      Sadly nothing is ever going to change unless someone actually gives a Damon and most people really don’t and God Forbid if a person in charge actually did their job and gave a damn

  22. What is good for the goose.... says:

    Really sick and twisted; just like the ponies and horses being molested….

    It’s all evil actions by angry and twisted folks.

  23. Cheese Face says:

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, there is a pit bull breeder on Prospect drive. Some of the dogs can be seen wandering free among the kids playing and parents pushing prams.
    You will often see one of the mother dogs wandering around who looks like she has spent her entire life producing offspring.

    What will be done about it? I’ll tell ya, SFA.

    • Anonymous says:

      that is terrible!! This would be a perfect case to start with– in seeing if the authorities can be help accountable for taking action! These poor, innocent animals!!! It’s heartbreaking how cruel us humans are, and especially on this small island- the ponies, the tied up dogs left to die, the over breeding! It’s disheartening to say the least. I think it would be helpful if PAWS, Humane Society and the other amazing organizations could give the public a simple “To Do” list to help get things underway for these voiceless creatures… what can we do to move this process along? The CNS article is a huge eye opening for some, but what also needs to be reported is HOW CAN WE HELP? Petitions, yes! But what else can we do? I want to help, as I’m sure a lot of readers do… help us learn how to stop these terrible people and protect our furry friends!

    • Anonymous says:

      If it is where I think it is just off Prospect Drive both the female dogs were rounded up by the DOA and destroyed not so long ago. It is a crying shame but at least these animals will not be constantly pregnant and giving birth to pups that are just adding to the overpopulation problem. These dogs were not cared for and were used purely for money making purposes. One of the charities quickly with the help of local residents, rounded up the very small puppies that were loose and playing in the road as usual and those pups, thankfully, were airlifted off the island. If it is the same person I am thinking of then that person still owns/runs a pet store in town and has copious amounts of dogs crated at the home just off Prospect Drive where these poor animals are bred to death: literally. The noise coming from that house every day is ridiculous. The DoA have been called many times to investigate the home and the state of the animals imprisoned at the pet store: nothing positive to stop the breeding of these animals from the person’s house has been done nor has the health of these poor animals been addressed otherwise something positive would have come out of this. One easy fix just to start: ban imports of puppies and unfixed male/female dogs. The dog population is ridiculous for an island this small: the Humane Society is overrun and full, the charities and the mainly ex-pat volunteers have a never ending job of trying to make these animals’ lives better. Cayman needs to do better!

      • Cheese Face says:

        This one is on Prospect Drive, XXXXXXX. I saw one of the females 2 days ago.

        Hopefully the other operation remains closed down, but it would be nice if the owners were prosecuted.

        Would also be nice to know which pet shop to permanently avoid?

        CNS: I have redacted this comment here but I sent the unredacted version to the police.

        • Anonymous says:

          I would just stick to the pet store opposite Tortuga on North Sound Road and it’s sister store in Countryside – no puppies sold there.

  24. Anonymous says:

    CNS, thank you for posting these horrific photos and video. Yes, they are hard to view but will hopefully bring a much needed sensitivity to the plight of animals at the hands of some callous people. For animal lovers it is hard to conceive how some people can be so heartless. Thanks also Ms. Taura Ebanks.

    Animals are so trusting and faithful, how can anyone commit this kind of cruelty?

    As usual, there is no enforcement despite there being laws on the books to address this. The “powers that be” deserve the same shame cast upon them as do the owners of these poor animals.

    And BTW, I reject an often presented view that Caymanians as a whole are abusive to animals. Sp any posters of such a fallacy, please keep it to yourselves.Just as in any society, we have our share of no-goods who should be subject to the torture they dish out to animals.

  25. Diane says:


  26. Jim from LifeAlert says:

    What kind of government is so blind to not see the blatant issues of a small island? Ours, of course.
    But what can we expect? Constant meandering around problems, creating temporary solutions and always making changes for what’s right in the present.
    Does anyone think about the future? Of course not.
    All problems lead back to this government’s inability, unwillingness and narrow-mindedness to do anything long lasting.
    Time to stop recycling your homeboys from Savannah and start reconsidering the exchange student. Clearly, your own kind don’t care about you.
    Pass the baton Alden, your time is up.

  27. Sharkey says:

    I agree with Taura’s efforts in getting legislation done in the welfare of animals.
    I think that a group of concerned citizens from every district of the Islands should be part of the group, so that after legislation are put in place , the group can still continue to be the voice and protection for the animals that can’t speak or fight for themselves.

    This kind of violent criminal behavior by human should not be tolerated no longer by no one including Law makers and Law enforcement agencies.

    I think that Ms Ebanks or someone else in the group should also be apart of the drafting of the legislation to make sure that the animals get the protection in the Law.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Take all domestic animal welfare away from the DoA and give total responsibility to the DOE. Remove the funding from DoA and employ more DOE enforcement officers to fight this disgusting behaviour.

    • Anonymous says:

      What do pets have to do with the environment? This job belongs to DoA and they need to start doing their damn job!!!

  29. Anonymous says:

    My heart hurts

  30. Anonymous says:

    yep…classic caymankind…..
    what is the point when we have a do-nothing government, an incompetent civil service and a governor who is just here on a jolly……

    this is wonderland.

    • Anonymous says:

      Did you see the person do it? You should report them since you know the nationality……

  31. Good governance says:

    Thank you Taura.

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