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Dog Owners - be Responsible!

Dog Owners - be Responsible!

Dog owners are being warned not to let their animals roam free to chase, frighten and bite people by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) or they could face prosecution.

A number of complaints have been received by the RCIPS over the past few weeks in relation to animals running around with their owners taking no responsibility for their actions. In West Bay, over 100 complaints about stray dogs have been received this year with 5 prosecutions taken before the courts. In Cayman Brac, two people have reported being bitten by stray dogs in just over a week.

The police are warning dog owners that prosecutions will be made where evidence is available. Under the Animal Law (2003) anyone found guilty of permitting an animal to stray in the community could be liable to a $500 fine. In addition, if an animal is deemed to be dangerous or out of control in a public place the person in charge of it could be subject to a $4000 fine or 6 months in prison. If an animal hurts a person, the person in charge could face up to two years in prison. There are also laws against cruelty and mistreatment of pets.

Aside from the legal aspect, allowing a dog to stray can also put the animal itself in danger by allowing it to be exposed to parasites, disease and poisons. In addition, they are more likely to be hit by vehicles, exposed to attacks and there is an increased chance of unwanted breeding taking place.

Owners could also face having to look for their animal if they let it run loose as there is a strong possibility it could be trapped and impounded. To reduce the chances of animals straying, owners are urged to close gates, fence the yard, use a kennel and take pets on scheduled walks for essential exercise.

Anyone who wants to report stray dogs or dog attacks should contact their local police station or the Department of Agriculture Animal Welfare Unit on 947-3090 in Grand Cayman and 948-0522 in Cayman Brac. If your dog is missing, please contact the Department of Agriculture Pound to see if they have it as well as the Humane Society.

Anyone with information about crime taking place in the Cayman Islands should contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling crime stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.