A woman was ordered to pay $350 compensation for medical bills and lost earnings after her dog got loose and bit a child.
Magistrate Angelyn Hernandez heard the facts of the case last week after the defendant pleaded guilty to “suffering a ferocious dog to be at large.”
The magistrate directed that no conviction be recorded after hearing submissions from defense attorney Len de Vries.
He pointed out that there had been an early guilty plea, but the matter had been adjourned for a decision as to whether the dog should be destroyed. The Animals Law states that a court may order that the dog be handed over to the Department of Agriculture for immediate destruction, or the court may order that the person keeping the dog observe specified requirements.
In this case, Mr. de Vries said, the dog had been taunted by children in the neighborhood. His client took reasonable steps to secure the dog in her yard by building a large pen.
The day the boy was bitten was the first time the dog had gotten out of the pen. The attorney noted that the boy was not one of the kids who had taunted the dog.
The injuries were a puncture laceration to the mid right buttocks and an abrasion. The boy’s mother discovered them when she was bathing the boy that evening, Mr. de Vries said. He described the injuries as very minor and more in the nature of a nip.
The defendant had offered and continued to offer compensation, he said.
The claims were for $176.57 in medical bills and $163.85 for the day’s work the mother missed when she took the boy for treatment.
Mr. de Vries said his client gave the dog to a relative after the incident. When the relative was asked about the dog, he said he had given it to someone with a large yard and had not seen it since. The court heard that the Department of Agriculture had taken custody of a dog in relation to the incident, but upon checking, it was discovered it was the wrong dog, with a similar name.
The magistrate said she would not issue any order regarding the animal because she did not know where it was and had no idea how any order could be reinforced.
She asked that the police and the Department of Agriculture make sure the public was safe as far as this dog was concerned.
The Cayman Compass is not naming the defendant since no conviction was recorded.