As we prepare to turn the page on a new calendar year, the Humane Society told Cayman 27 cases of animal cruelty and neglect are becoming more blatant and more gruesome.
Just this week, they were alerted to a home where one of several chained dogs was without food or water and had nearly been strangled by its chain.
For an abused or neglected animal, there’s no such thing as a holiday. Concerned citizens snapped this picture of a malnourished dog on boxing day, without food or water, and perilously tangled in its chain.
“If we didn’t go there, the dog would have died within a couple of hours, because it’s a big heavy chain, and the dog has like a feet long of hanging,” said Humane Society shelter manager Jason Jairam.
He told Cayman 27 he went to the home on Shedden Road to assist, and found several other dogs on the property, all lacking basic necessities.
“There’s no proper shade, no water, no food, no nothing, the dogs are infested with fleas and ticks, they’re emaciated and things like that,” he said.
He told Cayman 27 this is just the latest in what has been, sadly, a banner year for animal abuse and neglect.
“This year has been pretty bad, some pretty gruesome abuse, and it’s not getting any better you know,” said Mr. Jairam.
In April, a dog was found tied to a tree, clinging to life during a police operation. Another dog’s decomposing corpse was found nearby, chained to a different tree on the same property. Mr. Jairam called it the worst case of animal abuse he has seen in his ten years on the job.
“Being here, working so long, no one has ever been prosecuted for animal abuse or animal cruelty,” he said in an interview with Cayman 27 that month. “This really needs to go further so we can get some justice for this dog.”
In August, the island was shocked to learn a popular riding pony, Charm, known for her gentle demeanor, died after a brutal sex attack, one of three known incidents this year.
“Why did she have to be subjected to the cruelty of humans when all she had done is give us kindness?” said Mary Alberga, owner of the Equestrian Centre.
And this month, a FOI request revealed that just one out of the Department of Agriculture’s 225 animal cruelty or neglect investigations in the year resulted in a prosecution.
“These cases, under the animal law especially, are cases of cruelty and should be prosecuted,” said long-time Humane Society volunteer Julie Arnall-Murray, who filed the FOI request.
Friday morning, it appeared the dog from the boxing day photograph was untangled and had room to run on a lead, but was still without food or water.
“What’s the point of a person having five or six dogs and they can’t even care for them, feed them at least or take them for a walk,” said Mr. Jairam.
A DOA animal welfare officer visited the home Thursday (29 December). He reported that of six dogs on premises, all but two had adequate space to move around, and that all had food and water at the time of his visit. He admitted one dog was slightly malnourished, and said he would follow-up with the owners at a later date.