Department of Agriculture seizes roaming dogs

Department of Agriculture and police seize two dogs in Boltins Avenue in West Bay last week.

Four dogs were seized from their owners last week after police officers and Department of Agriculture staff visited local neighborhoods to spread advice about responsible dog ownership.

Community officers from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service and DoA staffers visited Boltins Avenue in West Bay on Monday and locations on John McLean Drive and Java Lane in East End on Wednesday.

Police said those neighborhoods were chosen because of numerous reports about ferocious dogs and dogs dangerously out of control. The police and DoA staffers visited homes and spoke to residents about their concerns and distributed copies of the Responsible Dog Ownership pamphlet.

“As community police officers, we have been working with the DoA to help address the concerns of those who have to deal with aggressive dogs in their neighborhoods, as well as the dog owners who allow those dogs to roam free,” said Sgt. Leslie Laing-Hall of the West Bay community policing sector in a RCIPS press release. “We realized there are a lot of misconceptions about the responsibilities people have as dog owners and that public education was really needed in this area, so we worked on this pamphlet together.”

Two dogs were seized Monday at a home on Boltins Avenue after the officers and DoA staffers found that the dogs were not being secured in a proper manner, according to the release.

“We had actually given this particular dog owner a warning beforehand, and when we returned to the area this week, we found that the dogs were still being allowed to freely roam,” said Erik Bodden of the DoA in the statement. “Roaming dogs are dangerous because even the nicest dog at home can take on a different demeanor in a pack. Pet dogs must be licensed and on a leash in public. That’s the law. Education is important, but enforcement is just as important in changing the habits of dog owners.”

Police said the other two dogs were seized in East End Wednesday after they were seen running freely on the road and chasing children who were riding bicycles in the community. A warning note was left for the homeowners to notify them about the seizure and to provide instructions on how to retrieve the dogs.

Mr. Bodden said owners in East End that the DoA and police officers spoke to were “very receptive of the information that we provided,” adding that by the end of the evening, the DoA had licensed nine dogs in the community that had not been licensed.

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