Have you lost your pet? Before frantically creating posters of your missing pooch or knocking on all your neighbours’ doors, you can check online to find out whether your dog or cat, or even your chicken, is at the Department of Agriculture’s animal shelter.
The Cayman Islands Animal Recovery Project website features photographs of pets captured by Department of Agriculture staff or handed in to its Animal Rescue Shelter, as well as photos of dogs and cats not at the shelter whose owners are trying to find them.
Veterinary students at St Matthew’s University maintain and run a website that shows images of animals housed at the Department of Agriculture’s shelter in Agricola Drive in Lower Valley.
Student Travis Anderson said the website has been running for a couple of years. “We want to remind people that it’s there and they can check online to see if their pets are at the shelter,” he said.
He and fellow students at the university’s School of Veterinary Medicine volunteer at the shelter and take photos of new animals that are brought in.
“We post pictures of the animals and some information about them, such as whether they’re wearing a collar, where they were found or a brief description,” said Mr. Anderson.
The Department of Agriculture picks up about 60 stray or wandering dogs per month. Between 15 and 18 per cent of the animals are reunited with their owners, said Ronald Green, who manages the shelter.
“We keep the animals a minimum of seven days; based on the space availability, we keep them for up to a month… If a dog is adoptable and we have space, we keep them as long as we can,” he said. “Not all dogs are adoptable, some are really vicious.”
And it’s not just dogs and cats that end up at the shelter. Mr. Green said the department picks up about 170 chickens every month – many of which are then “adopted”. “People come and take them, especially farmers and householders. Some re-home them, some take them and eat them, some raise them for their eggs,” he said.
The Department of Agriculture advises people who have lost an animal, whether they see it on the website or not, to go to the shelter during visiting hours – Monday to Friday, noon to 1pm and 3.30 to 4.30pm.
The website can be visited at www.smustudents.webs.com