Dump dog gets second chance

Cayman Animal Rescue Enthusiasts save dog that was apparently ‘dumped’ by owners

A sad tale may well be headed toward a happy ending after Cayman Animal Rescue Enthusiasts rescued a dog that had apparently been abandoned at the George Town landfill.

Volunteers from CARE have recently been trying to turn the tide at the dump, setting up traps in order to capture the feral dogs and have them spayed or neutered in the hope of reducing the population at the dump in as humane a way as possible.

On 2 March, they caught a skinny black dog, probably not more than a year old. He was wearing a choke chain collar, a clear indication that he once had a home, but with no way to identify him it is impossible to determine how he ended up at the dump.

He was in a sorry state when caught, having lost most of his coat to skin problems and very malnourished.

However, despite his haggard appearance, the skittish animal – affectionately called “Brad Pitt” – was still friendly, even though there were signs that he had seen some of the worst that human nature has to offer.

Question about survival

He was taken to Island Veterinary Services, even though the volunteers who took him there were not certain that he could be saved.

“We were not sure what the prognosis would be or if he would survive and if he could be treated,” said Lesley Agostinelli, a volunteer with CARE.

However, he has since recovered remarkably well and is showing signs of being a wonderful pet.

“Once again, as with so many of our rescue cases, ‘Brad’ is no different and like those before, he is a fine example of the resilience and forgiveness that these wonderful animals demonstrate,” said Ms Agostinelli.

“He is a super-friendly and happy dog and despite his ailments is enjoying his new-found life. He is still on daily antibiotics and daily baths for his skin, and he is sprouting hair by the second,” she said.

The next hurdle for Brad will be heartworm treatment, as he tested positive for the disease. However, due to the invasive nature of the treatment, it will have to wait until his skin has recovered.

Problem of owners giving up on pets

According to Ms Agostinelli, one of the most upsetting elements of Brad’s story is that he was wearing a choke chain when he was captured, indicating that he had been someone’s pet.

“Once again this sadly makes us believe that Brad was once an owned dog and somebody had left him on purpose at the dump,” said Ms Agostinelli.

She believes that this is a symptom of a consumerist society, made even easier by the overpopulation problem that exists.

“[People believe that] once a puppy gets unwell you can easily get a new one, but we are talking about lives here. One can only think that the reason for taking Brad to the dump was that his skin needed fixing and his owner was not prepared to do this,” said Ms Agostinelli.

“This is not the right thing to do and there are other options if you no longer can keep your pet. The answer is not to simply throw it away on the dump to let an animal suffer till it dies!”

She suggests that if people find themselves unable to keep a pet, they should contact one of the animal rescue organisations on the Island or the Department of Agriculture. However, Ms Agostinelli believes that many people do not think things through before deciding to get a pet.

“Owners have to be responsible. Cats and dogs live for an average of 15 years and need healthcare, food, shelter and love, and this is the commitment one should be prepared to give. If they cannot, then don’t get a dog in the first place,” said Ms Agostinelli.


A much happier “Brad” recovering at his foster home.
Photo: Submitted


  1. I hope the irresponsible owner of this dog reads this article and sees the photo and feels shame but I expect them not to care which is a shame in itself.

  2. And I second that advice from Mrs Agostinelli. If you are not willing to/able to, spend THOUSANDS to help your animal (in worst case senarios). Then you should not get one.
    For most, it never comes down to this. but you just never know.

  3. There are far too many irresponsible pet owners in Cayman. I recently took a dog to the Human Society that was coming around my home begging for food — starving, all his ribs showing, extremely timid but a fairly big dog. I had to cut the leather collar off him, obviously put on when he was a puppy, it had cut into his skin. Had he grown bigger, it would have chocked him to death. And so many owners dogs who have had puppies and they too are running around and will be abandoned. Puppies aren’t toys that can be thrown away when they grow up and aren’t so cute any more, or when the novelty wears off, but this seems to be the case in Cayman. No, no everyone of course, but too many. Fines for animal cruely, including abandonment, should be much higher. Dogs should be licenced, and a much higher price for unneutered / spayed animals. This all applies to Cats too. Any responsible owner has his pet spayed or neutered.

  4. Thank goodness for CARE and shame on people who neglect pets when there are resources available. Animals are God’s creation and deserve better than what most of them get on Cayman. In a good Christian country like Cayman, why are there neglected children – do the churches not help these children?

  5. Quote by Bringiton…. If we only cared about the neglected children in our society as much as we care about animals

    Quote by Big Bred…. If we only cared about the neglected children in our society as much as we care about animals…

    Maybe with some effort, the two of you could put your heads together and come up with ONE reasonably intelligent comment together?

    If either of you had actually read the article, you’d realize it was an example of how FEW people on Grand Cayman care about their animals. For an island as tiny as yours, I find it absolutely pathetic that so many animals are consistently sick, starving, injured and neglected.

    Respect to the few people who are actually trying to make a difference.

    Nice attempt at that politically correct nonsense, dumb dumber……

  6. The picture attached to the article was taken on the day that Brad Pitt was rescued from the dump. His fur is growing back and his handsome self is showing through every day. The transformation in 3 weeks is remarkable. To see updated video of Brad taken on the weekend, check out CARE’s Face Book page.

  7. The abuse of an animal is one of the worst sins a person can commit, in my opinion. It is the ultimate betrayal of a being that ask nothing of us in return for their love and unquestioning loyalty. Is it too much for us to provide them with the basics…food, water, shelter, medical care?

    Unlike an abused child who is able to tell of their hurt and name their abuser, an animal must suffer in silence and is always, no matter how old they are, at the mercy of the people around it. That some people take advantage of this power and use it to hurt animals is disgusting and cowardly.

    The attitude towards animals on this island seems to be that they are disposable; to be tossed aside when they are no longer cute and cuddly, young and capable, or healthy and problem free. What if our own parents cast us aside when we stopped being any of those things? What if we found ourselves discarted like so much waste when our health failed or we were going through periods of requiring more care than usual?

    I am not a religious person but I cannot help but feel each time that I look into the eyes of any of my pets that deep within each of them there is a soul as real as any that exists in any person I have ever met. Truth be told, my pets have more soul than most of the people I know.

    I am so very grateful to CARE and organisations like theirs that provide a voice for the four legged ‘people’ among us who have none.

  8. D, I believe Big Berd’s comment was If only we cared about the environment in our society as much as we care about neglected children. – in response/addition to Bringiton’s post.

    Just a highlight that people in society have different priorities and passions. Nothing wrong with that. The point is that people CARE about these things. The fact that some care a great deal about our community – whether it be children in need, animals in need, or the environment in need – are all good and commendable.

    The strength and progress of a society are actually rated by these criteria. How does a country/society value human life? How does it treat it’s women? How do they treat and care for children in need? Do they care for the animals in their sphere of responsibility? Do they look after and maintain natural resources given to them and the environment..?

    These are the questions raised to categorize how developed a country is socially. And they are often interlinked – domestic abuse, child abuse, animals abuse, environmental abuse go hand in hand if a society places little value on LIFE and our purpose on earth.

    A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.
    Mahatma Ghandi

  9. Hey Big Berd, this IS your enviroment on Grand Cayman. Dumping animals as if they were broken cigarette lighters. These animals starve, feel and wonder what happened. They hurt in much the same way as you would with a big boil on your backside, no food and no where to go. Hey Bringiton, the children have many advocates for their suffering and are taken out of neglectful families and placed where they are taken care of. Not thrown in the dump. If Grand Cayman is such a Christian country, I just have to wonder what kind of God is worshiped and what kind of human being would do such a depraved thing. Spay, neuter, and be mindful that the God I know is watching you. Pay back will come.

  10. Fascinated by the comments. Many strike the nail on its head: Cayman has become a selfish, nasty society rather quickly, from what it was some 50 years ago.
    I fear for the generations to come; they don’t deserve their forefathers.

  11. Anyone who cannot love an animal is missing a piece of his soul.I used to hear stories as ridulous as a dog needs to have at least one litter and should not be neutered or wait till the first litter. Before moving to Cayman I never heard of poisoning a dog. This is epidemic in the Caribbean. I take my hat off to those men and women in the humane society who do this badly needed work and believe there will be a special place in heaven for each of you. Unlike people, animals can only show unconditional love no matter how badly you treat them. Each day I see animals slaughtered in road accidents here in Panama by sick people who have no respect for themselves or others. I myself, have two dogs that I love more than my wife, and I would take a bullet to save either one of them. Each has taught me so much about how I should try to live my own life.
    I thank the Humane society and vets on the island for the wonderful work they do. I continue to believe that Cayman has some of the most compassionate and caring people in the world. There are bad apples in Cayman as there are everywhere.

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