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Residents call for more to be done on ongoing stray dog problem

Residents along the Esterley Tibbetts Highway said on Wednesday (13 February) that not enough was being done to tackle the continuing threat from stray dogs in their communities.

And in spite of “numerous” sightings, the Department of Agriculture said it has been unable to capture any more than the eight dogs rounded up in an initial push.

“I dread to think what would have happened. It’s concerning that they’re not doing more to actually stop the problem completely,” runner Kym Bailey told Cayman 27.

Ms. Bailey was recently cornered by the pack of stray dogs while running near Camana Bay.

“The dogs were not backing off. They wouldn’t let us move. When we tried to move, they just got more vicious, they were right up to us encircling us… I was absolutely terrified,” she recalled, adding: “this was another level. These dogs were not backing off, they were ready to attack.”

The DOA’s Animal Welfare Officer admitted this week that they were still receiving reports of roaming dogs.

“After that eight dogs, we weren’t able to capture anymore. But there have been numerous sightings of these particular dogs,” Erik Bodden revealed.

The Department seized two dogs from their owners last week in East End, as part of a wider crackdown into improperly kept animals.

But Mr. Bodden said they were often unable to catch the dogs once they had been sighted.

“Officers are dispatched, however, these dogs are currently on the move. So by the time the animal control officers are dispatched or attend the location, these dogs are not able to be found,” Mr. Bodden explained.

Ms. Bailey said it was not enough.

“It’s like: ‘oh great, we caught the ones that were here’. But we know for sure there were more than that. Those dogs have probably now multiplied …. it’s still a problem,” she insisted.

Meanwhile, the DOA is still reliant on traps as a means of catching the dogs:

“The traps are the only type of equipment we have, the traps and the catch-poles,” Mr. Bodden stated.

For those like Ms. Bailey, who have experienced the pack’s viciousness firsthand, the time has come for more decisive action.

“I just think something needs to be done to get this situation under control before someone gets seriously hurt,” Ms. Bailey reiterated.

She went on: “if that had been someone with a small child or an elderly person, I dread to think what would have happened. Those dogs were ready to attack.”

About the author

Caroline James

Caroline James

Caroline joined Cayman 27 in September 2018 after seven years working for Sky News in London, both as a Producer on the World News programme and, latterly, as News Editor on the Foreign Desk, where she led coverage on the ground of stories as diverse as the 2016 US Election, corruption allegations surrounding FIFA and The Oscars. Before this, she worked as a Producer for Associated Press Television News (APTN) for two years, based in their London headquarters. Caroline graduated with a BA Hons degree in Arabic, French and German from Durham University, before gaining an MA in Television Journalism with distinction at City University, London. When not hunting down stories in Cayman, she can be found playing tennis, practicing Bikram yoga or enjoying a beer on Seven Mile Beach. You can reach Caroline at carolinejames@hurleysmedia.ky or 326-2243.

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