Scores of dogs confiscated in Cayman’s biggest ever seizure of mistreated animals could be put up for adoption in the coming weeks after being given the all-clear following an outbreak of the deadly parvovirus.
Eight of the 53 dogs seized died from the virus and the others were kept in quarantine at the Department of Agriculture’s shelter.
Now officials say there have been no confirmed cases of parvovirus for more than three weeks and vets are confident the outbreak has been contained.
The dogs, a mix of small breeds including Shih Tzu, Yorkshire terriers, Maltese, Dachshund and Pekingese, were seized from a Prospect home in a joint operation between police and the DOA in May.
They were being housed in unsanitary conditions and had serious health issues. Photos provided by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service showed the animals in small cages lined with faeces-smeared paper. DOA deputy director Brian Crichlow said at the time that it was one of the worst cases the department had ever seen.
The outbreak of parvovirus combined with the general ill-health of the animals restricted hopes of rehoming them.
Adrian Estwick, director of the DOA, said this week, “At present, there are now 45 dogs from the Prospect location remaining at the shelter. All of the remaining dogs are now in notably better health and condition.
“In the coming week, the department will engage with the local animal charities to discuss options for the way forward for the rehoming and eventual adoption of the dogs.”
He said the timeline for getting the dogs adopted depended on the charities’ resources, availability of suitable foster care, the dogs health in terms of their fitness for vaccination, spay and neuter and “the appropriate legal authorities”.
He said the recovery of the dogs and the containment of the virus had been made possible by the hard work of the DOA’s veterinary team and other staff.