Today’s Editorial April 11: Law there to stop dogs

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service is threatening to clamp down on the owners of bad dogs.

All we can say is, it’s about time.

The Animals Law was amended in 2002 to better regulate the keeping of dangerous and prohibited dogs in the Cayman Islands.

But the law is seldom enforced.

The amendments increased the penalties for owners who allow their dogs to roam at large or threaten the public from $500 to $4,000. Offenders could also face jail time.

Under Cayman law it is an offence if an owner’s dog becomes out of control in a public place and threatens others.

An aggravated offence occurs when the dog actually causes injury.

And that’s what’s been happening in West Bay.

Just in the past two weeks two more dog attacks have occurred in West Bay.

A man who was bitten by a dog had to be taken to hospital.

There have also been reports of beach-goers being driven off because of scary, straying dogs.

People who own dogs should take responsibility for their pets.

That includes more than just feeding them and taking them to the vet when they are ill.

Dogs should remain in their own yards, preferably behind a fence, or on a leash when being walked by their owners.

No dogs should be allowed to roam the streets, beaches and yards of the Cayman Islands.

Dogs that are allowed to roam are a danger to other animals and humans who are out walking, jogging or just going to the beach.

In addition to keeping dogs in their own yards, owners should have them neutered or spayed. Doing so will help extend their lifespan and prevent unwanted puppies clogging the already overflowing population of dogs in the Cayman Islands.

If you know of a problem dog, call the police.

If you are aware of strays, call the Humane Society or the Department of Agriculture.

It’s time for us to take control of our streets away from the dogs.

And it’s time for the police service to begin enforcing the Animals Law that is on the books.

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