Police made their largest ever seizure of mistreated dogs on May 6 at a Prospect area residence, confiscating 53 animals, many of which were in poor health. They reported the incident on Friday.
The dogs were smaller breeds, including Shih Tzu, Yorkshire Terriers, Maltese, Dachshund and Pekingese, and were being housed in unsanitary conditions. Photos provided by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service appear to show the animals in small cages lined with feces-smeared paper.
All the dogs showed signs of flea and/or tick infestation, officials said, and many had health problems that were consistent with mange. Dental and eye problems were also observed among the animals, they said.
The dogs were owned by a woman, 54, who police said they expect will be prosecuted for animal welfare violations.
The dogs are now being assessed and cared for by the Department of Agriculture’s animal welfare unit. One dog was in such poor health, officials said, that veterinarians decided it needed to be euthanised.
DoA Assistant Director Brian Crichlow indicated in a statement that this is one of the worst cases the department has seen.
“The health of the animals and conditions in which they were kept are disturbing,” he said. “They do not appear to have been given appropriate preventative health care, and as a result the prognosis of the some of the animals is poor, despite the continuous veterinary care they have been receiving since Monday.”
Crichlow said via email that he could not provide information regarding why so many animals were being housed in one residence as the case is still under investigation.
As for the long-term outcome for the dogs, he said everything is dependent upon their progress.
“The dogs continue to be assessed and monitored based on their health and medical conditions,” Crichlow said. “It is impossible to estimate how long this will continue as it is entirely dependent on the dogs’ health, medical conditions and the advice and recommendation of the veterinarians.”
He said he couldn’t predict when and if the dogs would be made available for adoption.
“At this stage, any decision on the future of these dogs is dependent on the advice and recommendation of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.”