A Prospect man admitted tampering with a Department of Agriculture animal trap in which his dog became ensnared while in his neighbour’s yard.
Appearing before the Summary Court Tuesday, Kenrick Baron Solomon, 39, pleaded guilty with an explanation to a single count of rescuing an impounded animal.
Solomon told the court that on 28 Oct. last year, he had let his dog out of the house.
“I went outside and tried to call my dog, but he wasn’t coming,” said Solomon. “I looked over at my neighbour’s yard and saw [my neighbour] on the phone. Then I heard my dog barking as if it was in pain. I looked and saw my dog in the cage and so I jumped the fence and freed my dog.”
Prosecutor Kenneth Ferguson told Magistrate Valdis Foldats that the neighbour and Solomon lived across the road from each other.
“The neighbour had complained to police and DoA officers about the defendant’s dog,” said Ferguson. “The defendant has dogs, [and] they live across from the complainant’s yard. The man says over the course of a few months, the dogs would come over to his yard and defecate in the yard. When the dog was captured, the complainant was on the phone with the DoA. Solomon came over and the complainant told him not to enter his property.”
Ferguson said a day or two before the incident, the DoA had placed a humane trap on the property, which was clearly marked with warning signs.
When asked by Foldats if he saw the warning signs on the cage, and if he heard the warning from the neighbour not to enter the property, Solomon said yes.
“I’m not going to lie, I did see the signs, but I didn’t read them, and I did hear him but I still freed my dog,” said Solomon. “I was doing what any dog-owner would do. But it doesn’t matter now, my dog [has since been] poisoned and is now dead.”
“The issue is that in freeing your dog, you broke the law,” the magistrate said. “The signs clearly say that you should not interfere with the traps. You did not have permission to be on the complainant’s property, so in entering it, you did so as a trespasser.”
Foldats added, “As a responsible pet-owner, you should have your dog leashed when it goes outside. Your dog might not have a history of attacking another animal or person, but they are animals and you never know what might happen or when it might happen.”
He spoke about “horrific pictures” of a dog attack that left a 6-year-old girl with severe wounds.
“The laws are there for a reason; it is to protect against these sorts of things,” said Foldats before handing down a $250 fine.