DoA defends putting down 3 seized dogs

| 13/03/2019 | 62 Comments
Cayman News Service

One of dogs put down by the DoA

(CNS): The Department of Agriculture has said that it gave the owner of three dogs, which it said were aggressive and out of control, ample warnings about the failure to keep them secure before the animals were put down on Monday. But in a number of social media postings, the owner of the three dogs denied that they were troublesome and said the DoA did not give her the chance to find alternative arrangements for her pets before they were euthanized, despite agreeing to hold them until they could be sent overseas.

The DoA said the dogs were seized on 7 March by an animal welfare officer and police in West Bay after complaints that the “aggressive” animals were roaming around the Watercourse Road area in the district, chasing passersby and cyclists, as well as causing fear to those in the area and injury to at least one person.

“The owner of the dogs was spoken to and it was established that he had been warned by the DoA on two previous occasions for having the same dogs unsecured at a prior address,” officials stated in a release about the incident.

“On the second occasion, in late 2018, the dogs were impounded by the DoA, who then worked with the owner to license the dogs, and also allowed the owner to make adjustments to the property in order to be able to properly secure the dogs. The dogs were then returned to the owner.”

But since then, the dogs’ owner has moved and the DoA claimed that she had again failed to keep the dogs secured. The officials also said that dogs were missing the licence identification tags that they had been provided; as a result the owner had agreed to surrender possession of the dogs to DoA custody and signed the “Agreement for Surrendering Animals” form.

Cayman News Service

Two of the dogs that were euthanized

In accordance with the law, dogs surrendered to the DoA that are of prohibited breeds are euthanized by a licensed veterinarian. “The owner was informed of this when the dogs were surrendered,” the release stated. The DoA did not identify the breed but it is understood that these were rescued mixed-breed dogs.

The owner has said that after the dogs were seized, she asked the department to hold them while she secured a home for them in Canada, and although they had agreed to consider that, the dogs were nevertheless put down while the owner was still overseas.

Explaining this, the DoA said that after assessing the dogs, and based on their breed, behaviour, previous complaints of harassing and causing injury to the public, and the fact that Canada does not accept prohibited breeds, a decision was made to proceed with euthanizing the dogs.

“While this situation is unfortunate, and we sympathize with the feelings of the former owner, we have followed Department of Agriculture policy and the law,” said DoA Acting Director Brian Crichlow. “This is why it is especially important to follow the law when it comes to securing your animals.”

He continued, “While we do work with members of the public as much as possible to educate and provide opportunities for them to come into compliance, as we did in this case, at a certain point education must be followed by enforcement. Unfortunately, it is often the animals that end up paying the price.”

The owner has stated that she had found a home for the dogs in Canada but before she was able to speak with the DoA about the arrangements to fly the dogs to Ontario, the DoA had already put the animals to sleep. She claimed that the DoA had confirmed that the dogs would be held until the flights were organised. She also rebutted allegations that the dogs were aggressive or had bitten anyone.

Hundreds of comments were posted on social media about the decision, which was made after the owner had cleared the dogs’ transportation to Canada, purchased the necessary air tickets and crates for their transportation, only to find that the dogs had been euthanized.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Most people have a negative perception about dogs, especially certain breeds, that the animals just naturally want to attack them. I totally get that.

    A little boy was in my home, about 4 years old, and after we had walked away for less than a minute he decided to go and open a door that leads to the outside patio and let my dogs into the house. We heard the barking and his crying immediately.

    I happen to be the proud owner of 2 Rottweiler female dogs, mother and daughter, ages 4 and 2. They live inside our house so the interactions with strangers are minimal. But we have tons of friends that visit weekly and a friend who stays with us. I love them like they were my kids and I protect them in kind as they do me and my home.

    They are very well trained. They eat on command, they move when asked and they even stop barking if you ask nicely lol.

    Anyway we found the little boy in front of the fridge (which was about 8 feet from the door he opened) screaming at the top of his lungs and both of my girls were in front of him, one barking, but both sitting, wondering what was wrong with this little creature and why was he so loud.

    I’m not ignorant to what animals can do to little children but it was a testament to the fact that we have done an amazing job training and exposing our dogs to the right things. They do have aggressive traits as per their natural lineage but I wholeheartedly believe that the love and attention you give your animals determine their behavior. They are two of the sweetest dogs around!!

    Pet owners in Cayman need to be more responsible. But so does the DoA. I’ve called them on other pet owners and I’m still waiting on a response. I know of multiple animals that have died waiting on DoA to show up to rescue them. That they acted in this situation is great but they seem selective at best, almost like this was personal.

    In no situation do I think the animals should be killed but I do understand why it was done. The lack of resources and places to put them are the main issue. The patience and love it takes to rear particular breeds is an issue as well. The owner in this story must be heartbroken but needs to take full responsibility for this.

    If one of my animals somehow managed to get outside, attacked passerby’s causing harm it would be easy to figure out that it was because they showed fear and was probably trying to protect themselves against what they perceive to be an imminent threat. They wouldn’t know that the 90lb baby just wants to smell them and lick them on as many places as they’ll allow her to.

    That’s why me as their owner has to be considerate, consistent and responsible. I know their behavior and quirks as do my friends and family. Now mind you I still feel like my animals are smart enough to sense fear but not be threatened by it but I’m not trying to find out so I do what I have to to protect them. I want them to die from old age, nothing else.

    P.S. I would never allow them to be alone with kids. As much as I feel like my pets are smart and amazing, it just would never be worth the risk.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why to have pets you “would never allow them to be alone with kids”?

      This sound like insult to those who were attacked by dogs: “…..they showed fear and was probably trying to protect themselves against what they perceive to be an imminent threat”

  2. Dogs in the house says:

    I have been following this story on social media and listened to yesterdays discussion on CMR. As a previous pet owner of a pitbull and now a pet owner of 2 Rotties. I loved my pitbull he was the best dog but I was well aware of the stigma of these dogs and he was an indoor dog. All dogs attack, bite, bark, jump, dig given whatever situation. But pitbulls have turned on there owners for whatever reason and when they bite it is hard to gain control of them then other breeds of dogs.
    My rotties are keep indoors because they are part of the family. But just because they are loving towards me, my kids, my cats doesn’t mean they are the same with other people. You can’t enter my house unless you are invited in and even when I have friends over who might be scared of 100+ lbs dog bouncing up to them for attention, I put them on the dog runner. Intruders are going to think twice before entering a house with 2 dogs. My dogs bark when there is anyone or car in the vicinity of the yard to alert me. I have no doubt in my mind that if an intruder were to enter my dogs would stop them. If you love your dog, why keep them outside? Are they not a member of your family?
    I have no doubt this couple truly loved there dogs and its a sad situation for all involved it really is and i feel DOA acted inappropriate for putting these dogs down. But if you truly love your animal after the first mistake, you would do everything you can to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Your dogs should have been secure either in the house or a secure dog kennel in the yard. Through out this whole story all I can ask myself, if you love your dog why are they out loose in the yard?

  3. Anonymous says:

    The problem we have in Cayman is with irresponsible people. There should be no banned dog breeds. What is needed is responsible dog ownership and meaningful legislation and enforcement to ensure that dogs owners acting responsibly.

  4. Anonymous says:

    It’s a dog.

  5. BracFan says:

    So let me get this straight- the owner says the DOA promised they’d give her dogs free kennel service for as long as it would take for the owner to find an overseas home for the dogs and get them out of the country?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Long overdue. The CAVO and RCIPS have been sitting comfortably over the decades doing little to counter the ongoing breeding and weaponizing of prohibited animals in the Cayman Islands. The breeders and owners of prohibited breeds MUST be fined per the Animals Law for possessing these animals, let alone allowing dangerous animals off-leash to menace or injure the public. All owners of prohibited breeds and crosses should confirm with DOA that their animals are neutered, or submit to have their animals euthanized. All costs should be borne by them, not the public. Anyone harboring a prohibited breed is willfully playing with fire, and they should be made to feel the singe of their decision via the fines mandated in the Law. Are the RCIPS and DPP going to make an arrest and file charges as they are supposed to do under the law? Or do our laws mean nothing to them?

  7. Anonymous says:

    only one question here:
    what is the punishment for the owners?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Why/how were her dogs out roaming when she was not even on the island???????
    Doesn’t sound like the full story.

  9. Anonymous says:

    It amazes me that the DOA choose to uphold and enforce the so-called Animals Law ONLY when it suits THEM. What about the hundreds of complaints made about obvious back street breeders, even back street breeders of “banned breeds” – one in particular that has had many complaints made against him/her and yet he/she continues to breed these dogs AND NOTHING GETS DONE ABOUT IT! Curious to know who he/she has in his/her pocket to be able to get away with this. Animals that are clearly being abused by their waste of space owners and again, NOTHING gets done about it. If there is a law to abide by then this needs to be respected and followed by ALL, not just by the DOA when it suits them. One of the commenters above mentioned that he/she has engaged a lawyer – GOOD FOR YOU – you just need to get a lawyer that is not scared of being unpopular with some for what they are doing. A certain lawyer took the bull by the horns with regards to the Permanent Residency mess, knowing that the law was not being followed properly and Govt was “ignoring” the process that should have been followed. That lawyer and those that had the guts to pursue and get the system rectified legally won. I hope that commenter has managed to engage a decent lawyer that does not get scared and only pursues what is correct and legal and starts the long windy road of forcing Govt and DOA to do their jobs properly by following and enforcing the law that THEY put in place.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The DoA did the right thing. This person is not a responsible pet owner and was warned several times. It is sad for the dogs, but the blame for that rests squarely on the dog owner.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you DOA. Note to dog owners if you own dogs from a prohibited breed you are NOT being responsible.

      • Anonymous says:

        @8:41 am- owning a dog that’s a “prohibited breed” is not being irresponsible! The backyard breeders that continue to be allowed to breed the pitbulls are irresponsible! DOA should put forth some effort to stop that from happening!!!

        The negative stigma that pitbulls have from being raised as fighting dogs (b/c of humans) is blown so far out of proportion b/c they can absolutely be loving pets if they have a loving human owner, instead of a jackass loser who trains them to be aggressive!

        What happened here is a shame, and so sad for those animals! At the very least, DOA should have told the owners that they were going to be put down if they were so hell bent on following the “laws”! Where are they when all of these dogs come into the Humane Society badly abused? Where is the justice for them? Why don’t they uphold the laws then and prosecute the owners??

    • Bayer who has been attacked many times says:

      Having been attacked in West Bay by Pitbulls on numerous occasions and my husband being attacked and our dog having over 18 puncture wounds by roaming West Bay pitbulls, I say HOORAY to the police and a big thank you for getting these dogs off the street. And to DOA another thank you!!!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Please come and euthanize the large brown femail on Mulberry Drive in South Sound!

  12. Anonymous says:

    And send her the bill! For the euthanisation then….charge her for housing, well not really, a banned breed.

  13. Anonymous says:

    After all the fact-free rants in the echo chamber of the animal rights’ pages on Facebook about how unfair this is, it is so refreshing to see the FACTS released promptly on the matter. One minute people are yelling about ferocious dogs and screaming that DoA don’t do their job, the next they are wailing when DoA do their job and take three dogs of a banned breed off the street after multiple warnings to the owners and complaints by neighbors. Good God, will people grow up? And the things said about the DoA guy on Facebook who was just doing his job! Shameful. The owner says they didn’t know the dogs would be put down, but it says this in black and white on the surrender form that the owner signed!!! Will anyone take responsibility for anything they do, or are we all condemned to witnessing tantrums on social media that are spun into news stories??

  14. Anonymous says:

    This is so sad, for the dogs. They’ve done nothing apart from being bred by jerkoffs, and then allowed to roam free by jerkoffs.

    Keep dogs under control, or bad things happen. If you really cared for animals, you wouldn’t let any go roaming around here. Paraquat, terrible drivers, mating with bitches in heat and the threat of them biting a passerby. Fix them, keep them secure, everyone wins.

  15. Anonymous says:

    As a dog owner I feel it very necessary to state some facts for people.

    1) Most dogs are NOT ferrocious. They are a domesticated animal and crave human attention.
    2) Just because a dog barks does not mean it is vicious, unlike popular misguided believe.
    3) Most persons who have been bitten by a dog have been so because they are fearful of ANY animal and have shown this emotion or worse aggrevated the situation by being aggresive themselves towards the dog.
    4) Any animal TIED up will become disassociated with people and WILL become aggresive towards everything eventually because the lack of human interaction.

    I have been the victim recently of a Police Call about my dog attacking someone. I have lived in my house for over 20yrs. My dogs were never tied. They are friendly animals, they bark at stuff, but the most they would do is lick your leg. They chase speeding cars, I live in a 25mph zone, some of the new residents clock nearly 60mph on the road, so the dog reacts.

    The person called in stating my dogs were vicious, they even stated they had a video of it. The police came. I was warned and after 20yrs I now have to tie up my dogs.

    Now after being approached by a neighbor the next day I was shown CCTV footage of the whole incident. One of my dogs barked at a lady walking and the same person who reported it, not the lady walking, started to wave and scream at the dog in a vicious manner. The dog then reacted and started barking at that person, they then started to video it.That same person never explained the situation right.

    Incidently this is the same person, who I have made numerous complaints about regarding the late night drunken domestic fights at their residence. Late night parties and the overwhelming sent of ganja being used at the residence.

    Also another issue now is the strange people driving around, parking their cars on the roadside, that the dogs used to keep away. I even caught someone behind my house in the bushes two days ago.

    Now my dogs used to help keep away the unwanted criminals but now I am having issues.

    So what I have done is:
    A) Engage the services of a lawyer to deal with the report made about my dogs. We will be making a complaint, with evidence, of making a false report as well as a civil action for harrasment.
    B) Make a report relating to the illegal young Cayman Parrotts they have caged up that they obtained recently.
    C) Make another report regarding that person’s dog they keep tied up without food and water for days on end.

    We will also be challenging the fact, in another civil action, that due to the unavailabilty of the RCIPS to combat crime in the area (they are NEVER AROUND) and the fact that I no longer have the use of my dogs as a security measure I am now left in a vunerable situation of their making.

    We have been gathering evindence so it will soon happen.

    The long story short is that their are those persons out there who make stuff up and cause their own issues. Now if we are being fair then I will say that okay, dogs need to be tied up to protect the general public. But some people out there also need to be tied up too, for the safety of the public.

    • Anonymous says:

      Keep your dog secured. I believe that to be humane all owners should have a fenced in yard or a wire that runs across the yard. The wire moves with the dog so the dog still has freedom of movement in the yard.

      You have no clue how terrifying it can be to have a dog coming at you and barking. Even if it doesn’t bite you, the natural reaction is to try to scare it off especially with so many bad dog experiences.

      IMHO, you are a bad dog owner.

      • Anonymous says:

        You sound like you always have BAD DOG experiences.

        Ever thought there might be a reason.

        You are obviously terrified of any animal and react negatively at any and all animal encounters.

        • Anonymous says:

          My Wife (like many people )has been attacked by a dog. She just doesn’t want to get attacked again by a loose dog. Would you?

          • Pedro castle pit bull. says:

            When you get bitten by a bird like a pet bird I bet you still hold him and touch it. I can also bet after your cat claws you, you still pet it and not scared of other cats, I can also bet that when you go crabbing in the month of April to against. After a crab grab a hold of you you still go pick up more.

            But hey no one calls DOA on none of them. Ohh but it’s dogs that’s the problem. Well I DON’T feel sorry for NONE OF THOSE CATS in LIL (little cayman) they all gonna be put to take a dirt nap.

        • Anonymous says:

          I’m not terrified of all animals just dogs having been bitten by one as a teenager.

    • Anonymous says:

      You sound depressingly like one of my neighbors, 10:13. Her dogs, according to her, are sweet and loving blah blah but to ALL of the rest of us in the area plus passers by they are a bloody nuisance, constantly barking and running at people who don’t know whether they will bite them or not.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well, if I am then I am sure you will soon be serviced a civil summons.

        Besides, whenever anyone sees you they are terrified. You always look like a rabid animal, frothing at the mouth, stumbling and screaming.

        Who do I call in order to get you placed on a leash. You look like you MAY BE VICIOUS AND ATTACK.

        BIG SMILE.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well. Tables have turned. My dogs are tied up. Guess who’s dog is now loose. Yep, as usual. And this time the dog came into my yard and attempted to fight my tied up dog.

        Hmm……… There is always a reason someone does the stuff they do…….

        Trying to play victim and milk that for everything it’s worth. Mean while your busy doing all kinds of illegal crap.

        Now unlike you, I HAVE THE WHOLE Incident on video and 4 witnesses.

        Evidence is a building….. BIG SMILE…. BIIIIGGG SMILE…….

    • Anonymous says:

      My understanding from this is not that you need to tie up your dogs but that you need to put a fence around your yard.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are a bad dog owner. Keep them in your yard and not out terrifying everyone. You’re lucky no one has purposefully ran over your nuisance dogs.

    • Anonymous says:

      So your dog only chases speeding cars and not those observing the speed limit!?! That is truly a good boy..and clearly a smart boy knowing how to use a speed gun before trying to bite a car.

    • George Towner says:

      You talk of your dogs like they are people!

      Sorry, they are ANIMALS with certain instincts that can under the right conditions, cause injury to passer bys.


      • Anonymous says:

        “The more people I meet the more I love my dogs”
        The problem is not the dogs. The problem is people. I only wish they would do the same at northward prison that way or society would be much better.

    • Anonymous says:

      So glad not to have a neighbor like you- you are a very selfish dog owner to assume the neighborhood should have to deal with your dogs barking and chasing their cars down. Just because you have lived there for 20 years does not mean you are exempt from following the law!

      • Dogs over cats! says:

        Yep but I also shouldnt have to deal with their ganja smoke 24/7 and their domestic disturbances. THEN when they are building illegal structures on their property AND on other people’s property with out permission. But have the audacity to call police on me for my dogs that’s on a private road across the street. Don’t go to war and don’t expect bullets and bombs.

        • Anonymous says:

          I’m sure they are trying to build a wall to keep your dogs away. Go get yourself help.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are the problem. Not your dogs. The laws are there to protect everyone else from people like you and your animals. You have dogs as a security measure? From the public? We have the police. (when they actually do law enforcement).

    • Anonymous says:

      After 50 years on this planet I can confidently state.

      Animals in general are NOT VICIOUS.

      Humans on the other hand ARE VERY AGGRESIVE and VICIOUS at ANY TIME.

      As for the knuckle head that said “it could have been a child on the road”
      Why are you allowing your child to play on the road where there are cars. Sounds like your a BAD PARENT. You need to go to jail for child endangerment.

      And for the person who said they would run over a dog. How many times have you committed a hit and run? Sounds like you would run over just about anything (humans included) that got in your way and then go hide under a rock.

  16. Anonymous says:

    DOA is a heartless department!! Those beautiful animals weren’t even given an opportunity!! They need to change there name to Dead on arrival, instead as it’s more suited and aligns well with their action if recent.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds like the owners were given two opportunities though…

      • Anonymous says:

        This was “STRIKE THREE” just from the DOA – doesn’t count any other public incidents.

        There is nothing in the Animals Law that provides the discretion to give three chances, and there are prescriptive fines that ought to have been applied and weren’t.

        Our laws become meaningless if our enforcement officers continue to believe they cab indulge themselves in abnormal discretionary power they don’t have.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Poor dogs suffered the price of having an irresponsible owner.

  18. Anonymous says:

    She couldn’t have brought that dog to Ontario anyway. So she is just making noise and looking for attention.

  19. Elvis says:

    It’s the owners that are the problem not the damn dogs

  20. Anonymous says:

    It’s unfortunate when any animal has to be put down, but often it is necessary for the overall good of the people. This is why we have laws about dogs and other pets. The owners are always remorseful when the dog has to be killed, but if they had really cared about the animals, they wouldn’t have let them live in a way that put the dogs themselves and others in danger.

    I don’t doubt that the owner loved the dogs and the dogs loved her. After being warned, there were steps she could have taken to keep the dogs at home, and those steps aren’t terribly costly. Yes, the dogs hate it. People don’t like to be confined either, but it’s a matter of training and respect for those who live around you.

    I have sometimes wished there were a law which allowed for the owners of runaway dogs to be subjected to the same squalid conditions and lack of food and water which the dogs have to suffer.

    • Anonymous says:

      “The owners are always remorseful when the dog has to be killed, but if they had really cared about the animals, they wouldn’t have let them live in a way that put the dogs themselves and others in danger.”

      Yup. Then they want to play the victim

  21. Cay 101 says:

    Euthanized?! Reminds me what we may do to our elderly when ww don’t want to responsibly deal with them! These animals could have still been given a new owner!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Break the law (several times) then cry foul. She should be fined for all the trouble she caused.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Forget the dogs. Can we get the damn cats sorted out?

    • Anonymous says:

      Dumb- cats aren’t butting people

    • Anonymous says:

      Cats don’t generally attack chase cyclists, runners or attack children. They do also serve a purpose of going after rats and young chickens. There are several charities on island doing their best to catch cats and neuter / spay them. If you have a particular problem, recommend you get in touch with Feline Friends.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree with your comment 3:44am, except for the bit about cats chasing young chickens. There are several cats that roam around my and other peoples property, all of them spayed or neutered, and I have never seen them bother with young chickens (unlike the dogs who are vicious with both adult and young chickens and also with cats if they can catch them). The cats do a great job killing rats, though and, especially, young iguanas.

    • Anonymous says:

      Spay and neuter people. But seriously, cats aren’t the problem. They run from you, not at you.

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