The Cayman Islands Humane Society raises concerns after several dogs were turned in to its shelter with cropped ears. “It is illegal in the Cayman Islands to chop off dog ears. The dogs will be scarred for life and that’s something we are really not happy about,” said Humane Society director Saskia Salden.
Under the Animals Law, anyone caught doing this can face up to one year in prison or $4,000 in fines. The Department of Agriculture (DOA) released a statement saying, “Based on a review of the Animals Law, I (Brian Crichlow) think this would depend on the circumstances, in that if such a procedure was performed by the owner or someone on behalf of the owner who was not a licensed veterinarian then this would appear to meet the standard under the Animals Law Section 70 as to committing an offense of cruelty under the Law. If such a report was received, the matter would be investigated by the Senior Animal Welfare Officer and/or the RCIPS. If the investigation found that such an act had occurred, the animal(s) would be seized and examined by a licensed veterinarian. If the veterinarian’s report and the evidence gathered speak to the act of animal cruelty, as defined in the Animals Law, the file would then be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions for their decision as to the appropriate action to be taken regarding the prosecution of the matter.”
Ms. Salden said even with penalties in place, it doesn’t change the suffering animals endured. “If you don’t anesthetize them, I do think it will be very painful. They can have infections to their ears which actually then result in more dangerous or other injuries to the dog,” said Ms. Salden. Cayman 27 reached out to several vets on island, none of which said they perform any surgeries involving removing dog ears. The Cayman Island Humane Society hopes no more dogs with cropped ears will pass through its doors and is asking anyone who may see or suspect that someone is removing cartilage from dog ears to call the DOA at (345) 947-3090.