Several animal abuse cases have left the Cayman Islands Humane Society outraged and appealing for a solution.
One drastic example of animal cruelty was seen on Feb. 21, when an severely emaciated young dog, Teddy, was dumped at the shelter.
“Staff, volunteers, and two directors present were extremely upset and honestly quite in shock by the condition of Teddy,” said shelter liaison Michele Sabti at a press conference on Friday.
Although staff were unable to give exact statistics of how many animal abuse cases they come across, they said Teddy’s case is far from an isolated incident and that the shelter sees animal abuse on a regular basis.
“The fact is, living amongst us all are a small section of people who see nothing wrong in abusing a defenseless animal, and for most of us, this is totally unacceptable,” said Ms. Sabti.
The Humane Society is also concerned about the police’s apparent lack of enforcement of animal cruelty legislation, pointing out there have been very few prosecutions.
“If a crime is being committed, we will file a report with the police, because ultimately if there is a crime, the police are responsible [for dealing with it],” said the shelter’s treasurer Lesley Walker. “Teddy is just the tip of the iceberg; there are others out there but they are not getting reported, and they are not getting brought to the attention to the police, or the animal welfare officer.
Local veterinarian Brenda Bush said she sees about two cases of “outright-cruelty” against animals per week, and “even more cases” of neglect, as well as two paraquat poisonings per month. Paraquat is a herbicide that is fatal to animals if ingested.
“We have recently seen a dog that was lacerated by a machete that was brought in by PAWS,” said Ms. Bush, adding that the dog is currently recovering.
“It’s been frustrating because we don’t see a lot of investigation and prosecution … We see so many [abuse cases], sometimes it’s kind of overwhelming.
“A lot of stuff that we see is neglect and we see poisonings, at least one or two paraquat poisonings per month. It is really a cruel thing. The animals suffer greatly with that particular poisoning,” she said.
The Humane Society is urging the community to speak up about animal abuse and to join them in fighting animal cruelty. “We are part of the community and, as such, we are pleading with everyone who cares, to stand beside us and put all those abuse or neglect animals on notice that we are not going to tolerate this anymore,” said Ms. Sabti.
“We would ask anyone who believes that a case of animal neglect or cruelty is happening, to call us and give us the details and the location, and we will follow up with the Department of Agriculture,” she added.
The shelter advises that any reports given will be treated in a highly confidential manner and your name or home address will not be required.
The Humane Society can be contacted on 949-1461.