Vet says deliberate pet poisonings on increase

| 09/09/2009

(CNS): A local vet says she has treated about ten dogs in the last few months for what she suspects are deliberate acts of poisoning. According to a report on News 27, the pets have been intentionally killed by one of two common pesticides. The animal expert says that it seems rat poisons or weed killers which are widely sold on the island are being put in food deliberately to tempt the pets. Police have said that poisoning animals is a cruelty offence and anyone found guilty could go to prison.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I volunteer with numerous animal welfare organizations on island, and am a lover of all animals, including dogs.  However, during the last few months, my neighbourhood has been plagued by a packof three family pet dogs, who have formed a pack and chase every car, cyclist, or walker who passes by.  Every morning I eat my breakfast to the sound of a chicken screaming at the top of its lungs as its being killed by these dogs.  They often appear in my backyard, chasing birds, defecating, and digging holes.

    Their owners are not responsible enough to keep them in their own property, so why should I have to deal with all of these side effects?  With this scenario duplicated country wide, I am not at all surprised that some people have taken matters into their own hands, and poisoned the dogs.  After all, they should not be roaming neighborhoods free.  If they would be contained in the first place to their property, they would not encounter poison in the first place.  Yes, poisoning is ahorrible death for dogs, but it seems to be the only way for the non-pet owners to see results.  Until the onus is put on to pet owners to take control of their own pets,  we shouldn’t be surprised that people are reactively taking matters into their own hands.

    • Ron Moser says:

      Dear Anonymous, sorry, totally wrong attitude towards the justification of poisoning dogs because of bad ownership. it’s not the dogs fault, it’s the owners fault.

      When anyone encounters a nuisance animal and communications between provider and recipient of such nuisance are not present for whatever reason, call the DoA and they will consequently ask Maggie Baldino, being the official animal welfare officer to investigate. She will make the owner(s) understand that this is unacceptable. If the owner is unco-operative and will not comply with the law, the animals may be removed by the DoA and kept safe until they do, assuming the dogs are just doing what comes natural to them such as chasing chickens, car or cyclist. If the dogs are on top of that a direct danger to human life, i.e. attacking, biting etc., they may be destroyed. 

      If the dog(s) appear to be stray, you do the same thing, call the DoA. No one has a right to take matters into their own hands, in fact, as it is written above in the lead article, if caught, you will get arrested and at least fined if not jail time on top that. Now, who wants that for the sake of a phone call.

      It always hurts having to make a statement like this but animal owners MUST comply with the basic laws of keeping  animals, for the safety of all parties concerned.

      Please continue however with all the good things you do for the animals, they need and deserve it.

      Thank you!

  2. Carol Hay says:

    Paraquat is an extremely dangerous herbicide and its use should be banned.  I am speaking as one who USED to use it.  Sure it is an extremely effective method of controlling weeds with a residual effect but is it worth the risk to animals.  The answer is simply a resounding NO.  About 15 years ago I used it on my driveway to kill weeds and my dog walked on the driveway and picked up the residue on its feet.  My dog then licked its feet and was poisoned.  Luckily Brenda Bush was able to save my pooch but goodness knows how many other animals walked on my driveway and suffered a fate.  To this day I still shudder to think that I may have contributed to the demise of an animal because of my STUPIDITY.

    • Ron Moser says:

      Hi Carol, now this actually explains what is going on here. Forgive me girl but as you said pretty much yourself, do you consider yourself and were you a DoA approved bonifide user of paraquat? I don’t think so and look, you found out the hard way and almost lost your pooch.

      According to the DoA, it is "only" available to again, approved "bonafide" farmers.

      So, who supplied you with the paraquat if you don’t mind me asking??

      • Carol Hay says:

        In all fairness to the Dep. of Agriculture, when I purchased  paraquat from them 15 plus years ago, there weren’t stringent rules and regulations in place.  One did not need to be a bona fide farmer to get it — at least nowadays they are a bit more picky about who they sell these potent killers to.  Having said that, I think there are a lot ‘safer’ alternatives  on the market today that essentially do the same trick but with much less danger.  At the risk of angering our farming community, I would encourage the Agricultural Department to find an alternative source to paraquat and BAN its importation to Cayman PERIOD.  It’s lethal stuff when it falls into the wrong hands – and wrong hands are always able to get things they’re not supposed to!     I used to purchase paraquat from another source as well but I’d rather not name them as that was also a long time ago and I do not know if they still sell it.     

        • Ron Moser says:

          Thanks Carol, I agree given the time lapse and I know the DoA is likely between a rock and a hard place figuring out who to please the most by having or not having products such as paraquat. My problem is that paraquat is not required to protect crops from being overgrown with weeds that need to be killed. It is not required to clear entire fields with it either as that can be done mechanically. In the earlier days people used Agent Orange for field work which is beyond lethal and I truly hope that nasty stuff is no longer available.

          Besides other possible less lethal chemicals that could possibly do the trick, there is indeed a much cheaper and more effective way to control small scale interfering weeds, it’s called "sweat". As far as I know, sweat has notkilled anything yet, not even the person producing it by removing some unwanted weeds. A lot of people do not know that a weed is merely an unloved flower.

          Not only does paraquat kill in the wrong hands but in the long run also in the right hands. Think of what all these chemicals do to our overall environment. Water tables are very high in a lot of places, the product seaps into that and continues on to our wells and eventually in to the ocean. I have mentioned all that in my previous letter. We have become pretty much a chemical dependant user in agriculture and land scaping as well and don’t seem to realize what the short and long term consequences are or could be if we continue in this fashion. Prevention has always been the winning choice.

          I hope the DoA finds a bit of common sense in all this and I shall still await their comments publicized at the earliest possible time.

  3. Ron Moser says:

    A few months ago, I wrote a letter on the subject of herbicides and pesticides, all but 1 response, nobody said or did anything about the ongoing problem with animals being killed by them.

    The use of these products are simply an easy way out so the "bonafide" user does not have to come out of the chair to pull a few weeds out of the ground every now and then. No offense intended here as I am simply trying to understand what exactly farmers do with it.

    I find it hard to believe that it is the farmers who deliberately abuse the product in this fashion but it does make me wonder as to how "others" get a hold of it. These animals were pets with a loving home, not strays, even though that by itself should not make a difference.

    I was hoping the DoA would have responded to my initial letter explaining why it seems so imperative that we have these products available in Cayman as none of these products can be used anywhere near produce as it would render the produce useless so my question still stands; What exactly are they killing with paraquat that is so harmful to their crops? It seems to me that the paraquat itself is the real danger here, to crops, humans and animals alike.

    Are we still really waiting for a human to die of it before we make the change like the cemetary worker who past out by just getting a "sniff" of it. He could have died!!

    Come on DoA, please give us an answer we "can" live with!!

    • Mozzie Fodder says:

      If paraquat does get used on or near crops then the risk of consumers and users developing cancer increases dramatically. DOA has the responsibility to regulate this product but when it comes to the possibilty of it entering the food chain then Dept of Health needs to step up.

      There needs to be clarification on this matter before the reputation of local farmers is tarnished.

  4. CE says:

    Yes, stray dogs can be nuisances, but killing them all for the sake of your precious garbage or lawn? That’s extreme.  Should I now follow your lead and put poison on my mangoes to prevent the few neighbourhood kids from stealing them after school? As the previous poster said, call Animal Control. Have some regard for life (no matter the species).

  5. Anonymous says:

    My horse died with exactly the same symptoms last year 🙁

    Both the vets and I strongly suspected poisoning.

  6. MonkeySee says:

    I’m absolutely disgusted by anyone who can intentionally harm animals.  No matter the breed!!!  If you don’t like them, stay the F away from them and leave those of us who have a  soul to take care of them.  And if they are a nuisance in your yard, then call animal control or the humane society and give them a chance!

    Dang, this makes me sick! 

    • anon says:

      What if they bite you?

      • Anonymous says:

        Call the police – they can have the dog taken away if it turns out to be dangerous – even have it put down.  Don’t take the law into your own hands.