An 18-year-old North Side resident has been arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty in connection with the case surrounding a dog that was burned earlier this month, police reported on Monday.
The man is out on police bail.
The pregnant dog, named Dora, was allegedly set aflame by her owner on May 13 and underwent surgery by Dr. Brenda Bush at Island Veterinary Services later that day. The dog, believed to be somewhere between one and two years old, has been recovering at the Cayman Islands Humane Society.
The case was originally brought to the public’s attention after a neighbor witnessed the incident and went to a pet retail store in search of a remedy. A clerk at the store, Carly Smith, inquired about the incident and immediately called the Humane Society, who in turn notified the police.
The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service began its investigation that day.
Ms. Smith, who has followed the case since the beginning, issued a statement via email on Monday.
“I am so pleased to hear of the arrest in the case of Dora, the dog that was so brutally abused,” she said. “… I commend the investigating officers who recognized how serious the situation really was. Hopefully this is just the beginning of some changes to our animal welfare system.”
Adrian Estwick, director of the Department of Agriculture, said last Tuesday that custody of Dora will ultimately depend on the result of a joint investigation between RCIPS and his department. If the matter winds up in court, he said, then the court will decide who will become Dora’s guardian.
The Cayman Compass reported in December that just one out of 225 cases investigated in 2016 by the animal control and welfare officers of the Department of Agriculture resulted in criminal charges. Those statistics, acquired through a freedom of information request, included cruelty and neglect cases as well as reports of dangerous or stray dogs. Both farm animals and domestic pets were included in those statistics.