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.