In a rare case for the Cayman Islands, a woman faces criminal charges after her dog bit a man on the leg.
The attack happened in West Bay on 4 April (see Caymanian Compass, 11 April ‘Police fed up with strays’). The victim required hospital treatment for his injuries.
The woman was charged with failing to ensure her dog was on a lead and also charged with allowing a ferocious dog to be at large. The latter charge carries a potential six month jail term and a $500 fine upon conviction.
‘Dog owners have a responsibility to ensure their pets are secured at all times,’ West Bay police station commander Angelique Howell said in a prepared statement. ‘If you cannot take proper care of animals, you shouldn’t own any.’
The Cayman Islands Animals Law requires dog owners to keep their pets on a lead (leash) and also requires those animals to wear a collar with an identification tag.
The problem of stray dogs attacking people is nothing new in Cayman.
A Caymanian Compass review earlier this year found at least 10 dog attacks had been reported on island from February through early April.
Six of the incidents occurred in February; three were in West Bay, one on Turtle Lane, one was on Smith Rd., and the other happened on Powery Dr.
Loose and barking dogs were reported 4 March on Comber Ave., and on 6 March a homeowner on Dunlop Close said some dogs were loose in the pool area destroying things.
A near-biting incident was reported to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service on 30 March. A woman there said she was confronted by five dogs on the beach near Sandhole Rd.
Five of the 10 cases ended in someone being bitten.
Former West Bay station commander Richard Simms warned after the last two attacks that police would start prosecuting people who didn’t keep track of their animals.
This case is the first such instance of a charge being filed following those warnings.