Letter: Ambushed by wild dogs

I am writing to complain about the lack of management of the wild stray dogs roaming around the Camana Bay and Britannia area. I am a seventh grade student at Cayman International School, and my brother and I cycle into school from our condo in Britannia almost every day.

On Jan. 16, we were cycling along the pathway between Britannia and the road to Camana Bay when we noticed a large brown dog lying in the bushes beside the path. Just after we noticed it, the dog and five others jumped out of the bushes and started barking and growling ferociously at us. We were terrified, and for several seconds stood there frozen. Meanwhile, my brother had fallen off the bike in terror. We leapt on to our bikes and cycled away as fast as we could, only keeping the dogs away with our screams.

However, it was an utterly terrifying experience. I have never been so scared in my entire life, but it was worse for my brother. He is 9 years old and he thought he was going to die, and what’s more, even though the most serious dog attack on island has been a bite, wild dogs that come above a grown person’s knee with massive teeth could easily kill a 9 and a 12 year old. And it’s not just us. What if one of my parents and my two younger sisters (aged 6 and 4) were attacked? Or a parent with a child in a stroller? We were lucky, but someone else might not be. How can this have been allowed to happen? As residents of the Cayman Islands, the government should protect us, not let wild dogs wander around, threatening people.

It has occurred to us that the dog attacks have escalated since the massive iguana cull. I was wondering if the dogs often killed and ate iguanas, and since the recent cull, have become hungrier. If that is true, the cull both indirectly harmed people and changed the balance of nature.

I was told that the Department of Agriculture were on site with cages. Surely there must be a way to capture these dogs in a quick, safe and humane manner.

I am writing to you because I will never forget that harrowing experience, and I would never want anyone else to go through it. How many people will have to be attacked before the dogs are taken care of properly?

Evie Sweetman

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