Today’s Editorial: New shelter welcomed

The long-awaited opening of a new Animal Rescue Shelter at the Lower Valley Agricultural Complex is indeed a dream come true.

For more than 12 years representatives from the Cayman Islands Humane Society and members of Government have worked to see the development of the new shelter.

The timing of its opening couldn’t be more perfect. The old shelter at the Smith Road dog pound has long been too small to offer a healthy environment for the island’s stray and neglected animals.

To add insult to injury, the old shelter was heavily damaged in Hurricane Ivan. It has since been demolished.

The new shelter has more than just the approval of the people of the Cayman Islands – it has also been praised by representatives from the Humane Society International and the US-based animal welfare organisation Pegasus Foundation.

In addition to offering shelter for dogs and cats, the new facility boasts a medical treatment room for injured animals and a food preparation room.

Shelter workers will also finally have benefit of a small office, something that was lacking at the Smith Road site. That will allow residents to take stray animals directly to the shelter if they so desire.

The timing of opening the new shelter is also good because there appears to be an increase in the number of stray animals since the passage of the hurricane in September.

The proliferation of stray dogs, often running in packs, is not acceptable.

The packs are often joined by normally placid family pets who, in ‘bad company’, may reveal an aspect of their nature that their owners have never seen at home.

There are plenty of unclaimed animals that will take advantage of the new shelter. It is incumbent on owners to be responsible for their pets and make sure that they don’t end up at the shelter.

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