Feral dogs menacing the neighbourhood

| 29/07/2018

How do we eradicate dangerous feral dogs? I made complaints to the police because my family’s pet cats were being killed by the dogs. The police reported that the Department of Agriculture were setting traps, but none were set. Cats in the neighbourhood have continued to be attacked. DoA cannot set traps on someone’s land without the owners’ permission and they are not allowing the DoA to do so for different reasons such as the traps are cruel, there is no room at the Humane Society and the DoA will kill the dogs. From mid-March to now I estimate that a couple dozen cats have been attacked and killed. A few days ago, the DoA put a trap in my yard but it attracts chickens that eat the bait, so we have set a separate trap for the chickens.

 The packs of dogs are growing. How do we keep ourselves safe and wild dogs from destroying our domesticated pets?

Cayman National Bank

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Auntie’s answer: I can understand your concern and frustration, and how upsetting it has been to have your family’s pet cats killed by wild dogs. It also sounds like you have done everything right in your efforts to solve this problem. The issues you describe such as the DoA being unable to set traps in a neighbour’s yard without permission add to the difficulty in getting feral dogs off the streets.

But the DoA is really the only official means for capturing the animals. A DoA representative explained that trapped dogs are impounded and then assessed to determine if they are truly feral or roaming dogs with owners. If the animals are pets and the owners can be identified, the department contacts them or the dogs are kept for a minimum of six days to give people the opportunity to claim them. “Impounded dogs are only humanely euthanised when no owner can be identified, efforts to have the dogs adopted have been unsuccessful or where the animals have been assessed as unsuitable for adoption,” he said.

To report any potential animal welfare issues, click on the Report Animal Cruelty link on the DoA website. Reports can also be emailed to the department’s animal welfare officer, or to the general DoA address. You can also call the department at 947-3090.

One Dog at a Time (ODAAT), a charity on island dedicated to rescuing stray and unwanted dogs, also recommends contacting DoA to report on packs of feral dogs so they can set traps.

Once dogs are taken to the DoA, an ODAAT representative explained that the organisation assesses them to see if they are adoptable and if the charity has room available it will take the dogs. “As long as dogs are good with dogs and people, we can work with them. We do a seven-step assessment to deem adoptability,” she said.

To date for the year, ODAAT has rescued 127 dogs with about 50 of them coming from the DoA. To contact the charity, call 917-8284 or email ODAAT.

I realise this doesn’t provide an immediate solution to the problem of feral dogs running around your neighbourhood. But since all roads seem to lead to the DoA, I suggest you and others in your area contact that department directly and continue to do so until animal welfare officers come out and start catching the dogs.

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Category: Animal Questions, Ask Auntie

Comments (21)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    lol love the people who are blaming the locals only for the dog problem…funny.. but anyway..Call DoA and also another tip, you can get into trouble if your dog was filmed publicly doing its business in a public environment ( alongside the road) even if you were not home at the time

  2. Anonymous says:

    My chickens are my pets like your dog or cat. My son’t favourite hen was killed.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The answer is … call your MLA(s). This is clearly a case where, by the comments, DoA are working (somewhat) but they need better ‘resources’ (improved legislation or whatever). And the best way to achieve that is … the public let the MLAs know that this is a problem they expect the MLAs to solve. Since it (legislation, etc.) comes back to the MLAs.

  4. Shannon says:

    Spay neuter all Animals. Try to catch all and fibs Homes for these Animals.
    If the Animals were Eating and being looked after…then None of this would Happen.
    Are there Shelter there, Foster Hones to help.
    Please don’t KILL any of the Animals. Its not there Fault…its the People.

  5. Anonymous says:

    How come you all feel its okay for a cat to go out and do its business but not a dog? How come you have the right to let your cat out but we can’t let our dogs out?
    A dog who is let out will police the neighborhood, because it will know who shouldn’t be there or not. Not just their house. A cat eats all birds,frogs and lizards which are important to the enivronment. My dog barks at cats but doesn’t kill cats.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your dog will attack other animals and humans. Cats don’t attack dogs or humans.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds like you are guilty as charged as an irresponsible dog owner.

      Dogs police the neighbourhood what a load, terrorise it more like. I have never seen a cat chase a car down the road and meow at drivers nor frighten joggers or walkers so they feel threatened. Cats tend to bury their business too.

      Now the security issue which is a poor excuse to let your dogs out into your neighbourhood unattended and not walk them.
      If dogs are kept on your property then you have even more security for you own abode. If dogs are out in the road or at someone elses house then Burglar Bill is free to strike at your home as your dog is taking a …. at the neighbours house.

    • Cathy says:

      Two of my neighbors cats were killed right in their own yard! My own cat was killed right in my driveway! Dogs are let loose and roaming around by themselves constantly. There is a dog leash law for a reason. Obey it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    At least these packs of dogs will deter home invaders!

    Take your pick, you can have dog free zones but stand a chance of violent idiots breaking in, or packs of dogs scaring local residents and their pets.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I am so glad this question was asked. Unfortunately it is not just feral dogs that is a big problem in Cayman, it is pet dogs too. Our beloved cat was recently killed by my neighbours’ dogs which was heartbreaking to my family as we had our cat for 12 years. Our cat was always an outdoor cat but we made him an indoors cat due to the amount of dogs in our area but he accidentally got out one evening which I feel awful about and was attacked. My 3 year old daughter is still looking for him and doesn’t understand what has happened to him.

    The dogs in my neighbourhood are allowed to roam free in our road day and night, bark at passers by and cars and it is unsafe to walk along the road. The owners do not walk their dogs they simply let them out into the street to do their business, sometimes in our yard and they have no fenced in yard to keep them contained and on their property. The DoA can only do what they can, round them up and return them, but my suggestion is that large fines are implemented on irresponsible dog owners and a regulation is put in place that owners are not allowed to keep dogs unless they have adequate facilities to care for them and their properties are inspected and fenced in.

    It will be a matter of time before a child is badly bitten by a dog and I am hoping it is not my little girl!

  8. Iggy says:

    Cats are the real problem, but some misguided idiots have obtained a court order preventing the catching and dealing with them.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wrong. CARE will come and trap them and get them fixed. They did 6 next to me this year that I personally know of.

    • Anonymous says:

      Around 3000 cats have been trapped and neutered or spayed on Grand Cayman in the last five years. Think of the number of kittens that have not been born as a result of this…many thousands. Unfortunately, it is true they kill birds. But they also do a good job of killing young iguanas thus making our serious iguana problem just a little less bad than it would be.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Feral cats are a problem too, frankly. Keep your domesticated cats inside and they’ll stay safe.

  10. Anonymous says:

    We have had a similar problem in our area but I have to say the DOA did help with trapping. The vast majority of dogs are not feral but are roaming dogs with owners who don’t give a damn about them. Frustration is growing in cayman at this problem and sadly some people resort to poison when there seems no other way. Other growing frustrations are litter, derelict cars and derelict properties but these are topics for another day.

    • Anonymous says:

      Same problem but chickens are getting killed instead. However, they have been unable to trap the dog.

      • Anonymous says:

        This is GOOD news though… If that’s all feral dogs did, it would be great!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Adopt some indoor cats.