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Jack the donkey, former Pedro St. James mascot, dead after dog pack attack

Jack the donkey, the beloved long-time mascot of Pedro’s castle, who was re-homed last year to Cayman Riding School, is dead.

In early November 2017, a pack of dogs scaled the fence to Jack’s enclosure and attacked him. His injuries were so severe, he had to be put down.

“He felt loved, he was in a happy place,” lamented Tracey Surrey, owner of Cayman Riding School.

Ms. Surrey told Cayman 27 Jack the donkey, widely regarded as Cayman’s oldest, found peace in his final months in her care.

Tracey Surrey of Cayman Riding School with Jack in June 2017

“Slowly and surely we brought him back to health,” she explained. “He was old and still had a few problems but I would say that was much happier.”

Jack was re-homed to the riding school last spring after more than a decade at Pedro’s Castle. That February, his physical condition prompted some to question whether he was receiving proper care.

Ultimately, Jack’s days were cut short by a pack of dogs.

“We came up here one morning and he had been savagely attacked by dogs, we got here probably about 6 o’clock in the morning and we saw the dogs running away, his injuries were really severe,” said Ms. Surrey.

She did not recall the exact date of Jack’s attack, but after piecing together social media clues, Cayman 27 understands it was likely Friday, 3 November.

Jack was rushed to a veterinarian at the Department of Agriculture, but his injuries were too severe, and he was put to sleep.

“People used to call him my four-legged son, and I thought of him almost as family,” said Stacy Hurlston, Jack’s former caretaker at Pedro St. James.

Mr. Hurlston told Cayman 27 he was heartbroken to learn of Jack’s dog attack and subsequent death. He lamented the loss of Jack, his friend and long-time companion, and told Cayman 27 he was hurt he wasn’t informed of Jack’s tragic passing sooner.

“I didn’t want him to die that way, I would’ve preferred just from old age, or arthritis, but the injuries, so they say, it was so severe that he had to be euthanized,” said Mr. Hurlston, who told Cayman 27 he only heard of Jack’s death and the tragic circumstances behind it Monday (29 January).

Jack’s condition at CocoFest 2017 caused some to question whether Jack ewas receiving proper care. This photo is from February 2017, shortly after the festival.

Ms. Surrey told Cayman 27 one of the three dogs involved in the attack was later captured and turned over to the DOA.

“The dog that we managed to catch a couple of weeks later, actually had a blue collar on it, which would probably give the indication that it was actually somebody’s own dog,” she surmised.

She said now, the school brings as many animals inside overnight as possible.

“They’ve been coming back on a regular basis now,” she said. “We know the dogs, we have the videos of the dogs, we have the photos of the dogs.”

Mr. Hurlston told Cayman 27 Jack was first brought to Cayman by Edna Moyle back in 1985 to be a mascot for the Taco Bell restaurant. He became a fixture at Pedro’s St. James back in 2006.

The DOA was unable to provide information on the status of the dog that was captured and surrendered to it after the attack.

About the author

Joe Avary

Joe Avary

Joe Avary has been with Cayman 27 since 2014. He brings 20 years in television experience to the job, working hard every day to bring the people of Cayman stories that inform the public and make a difference in the community. Joe hopes his love for the Cayman Islands shines through in his informative and entertaining weather reports. If you have a story idea for Joe or just want to say hello, call him at 324-2141 or send an email to josephavary@hurleysmedia.ky

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