Catron calls for accountability from dog owners

| 07/01/2014

(CNS): Following the recent alleged attack on her pet Shih-poo by a neighbour’s dog, local activist Sandra Catron is suing the owner to recover the vet costs she incurred as a result. Catron said that dog owners have to be held accountable and that too many pets are being attacked by animals that are not properly cared for but absolutely nothing happens to the irresponsible owners. Catron claims her dog, Coco, has been attacked by the same dog, which is a terrier, on several occasions but the latest one has driven her to take legal action, not just for the money but to make people understand they must take responsibility for their pets.

“Numerous pet owners have contacted me since this story original went public indicating they are suffering at the hands of dangerous dogs as well and in some cases have lost their beloved pets to dog attacks, and no one is ever held to account. Enough is enough!” Catron told CNS after filing the suit last week.

“Pet owners need to understand that they are responsible for the care, welfare and behaviour of their pets. Ultimately, this responsibility extends to legal liability as well. If your dog causes someone injury or harm there’s a penalty for that. My dog sustained injuries and needed to be treated on an emergency basis for those and costs incurred,” she added.

Catron is no stranger to the courts, having fought several civil as well as criminal actions herself, despite not yet being a fully qualified lawyer, and has won on each occasion.

The strata at the Newlands residence where she lives is also pursuing legal action as the fencing at the condos has also been damaged by the rogue dog, despite warnings issued on numerous occasions.

“At some point people must be held accountable for their behaviour and it appears that some people will only do the right thing when subjected to a court order,” Catron said.

The latest alleged incident that drove Catron to the courts happened in December after several complaints had been made to the authorities, who had taken no action about the animal, which she says is genuinely dangerous. Catron described the recent attack as an “ambush” by the out-of-control dog.

The activist said that although the police have said they are continuing to investigate the case, the dog remains next door.

“I live in constant fear of another attack. I have to walk with bug spray for some form of protection now. I am very disappointed that there’s no injunction that would allow for a dangerous dog to be removed whilst the investigation continues,” Catron added.

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  1. DOG LOVER says:

    There is no such thing as a bad breed of dog. There are only bad owners. The ban list should not even exist! Its there because of what these dogs were used for in the past? Guns are also used to kill people in the past, maybe we should tell the farmers that they can have their guns anymore because of what was done in the past.

    How to fix this problem with the owners? Government should offer the proper training for these owners who want to bring in a dog that is "high risk" and keep checks on the owner and the dog. It is simple. You can not stop the breeding and importation of these dogs. it will always be a way around it so what you should do is work with it and work to make it better for the people who want these dogs!  I would know because i have a American Staffy, which is on the banned breeed list and he is the sweetest dog you will ever meet. IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THE OWNER NOT THE DOG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I sympathise with 07/01/2014 – 10:43 , this same problem stopped me from riding bicycles in the street.

    It is true that laws are of no use if they are not implimented……. I went to Bermuda a while back and was surprised to see that people could leave their garbage bags at the side of the road for collection (without containers)  – reason being – the sight of a dog roaming the streets was very rare – because STIFF penalties ( If I recall – minimum of $500.00)  were imposed against owners not having their animals under their full control at all times.

    I was there for a month and never saw a dog roaming the streets.

    There is also no kind of effort made to curb animal cruelty here in Cayman – A neighbour of mine who 'bleached' her dog to death – just went ahead and got another puppy……  reporting it to Humane Society and Animal Control resulted in no action taken. Shouldn't there be a law preventing these viscious people from owning further animals?



  3. Hmmmmm? says:

    Most recent advertisment on ecay Trade is for full breed Doberman puppies for sale "on island" . SO much for enforcement of prohibited breeds.

    • Anonymous says:

      Doberman's are not on the list of prohibited breeds and rightly so!

      • Cheese Face says:

        Maybe so, But only licensed vendors should be able to sell pets, live stock etc.

      • Hmmmmm? says:

        Correct – sorry, mixed up my Dobermans with Rotweillers (Dobermans on steroids!) 

  4. Anonymous says:

    Some neighbors need that extra narcissistic attention from their loud barking dogs.

    They must be thinking to themselves that they are getting their 15 seconds of fame each time their dogs bark loud to disrupt whatever anybody else doing at the time -pathetic, but it makes them happy so stop being so selfish…

  5. OSCBS says:

    I support Ms. Catron's decision to sue the owner of the dog that attacked her dog.

    There is clearly no accountabilty for dog owners that don't have dogs on a leash in public places. I've never seen the police approach and give a warning or take further action against a dog's owner (even if standing near them), specifically with a dog that the 'Government' has deemed as dangerous. Ferial and/or loose dogs (being that they have an owner) are so common in Cayman (more so in housing communities) that it makes you wonder what exactly is the Animal Control doing and why is it that you always manage to see the same dog roaming for months on end? I dorealise that in a majority of the cases animals are picked up when a call is made to them but why exactly isn't Animal Control or whoever in charge of doing so actively driving around, even if it's once a month, collecting animals that are loose and in a majority of the cases being a nuisance?

    Why are the police not stepping up to THEIR responisibilty of charging dog/animal owners when they are seen breaking the law? I do realise that Cayman has a lot of crime issues at present but this whole dog attack, dog noise pollution and dogs being nuisances have been an issue for YEARS! Why is this treated as if it has no importance? I'm assuming that they are waiting for a human to be attacked and killed then they will get involved. The police and animal control need to be more PROACTIVE rather than RE-ACTIVE when it comes to issues such as this! A problem like this can be resolved very easily but they seem to be waiting until it gets out of control to do something about it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    There are a lot of "sick puppies" on the island that use their puppies to annoy their neighbors. 

  7. Anonymous says:

    For some, barking dogs are the ultimate power trip  and invasion into their neighbors property without physically entering their neighbors property. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Spot on, I and my neighbors have been trying to evict an undesirable among our community and we have all just pooled our dogs together and placed them in a single house next to where he is renting. I'm sure he cant stand barking all day and most of the night.  -cayman kind!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Dogs are turning our prime real estate into your typically Caribbean slum.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not really.  Crap topography and ugly architecture did that.

    • Anonymous says:

      The "LOL"s are the ones who are bringing all the class to the island….not.

      • Wayne's World says:

        Hello, this is the early 1990's calling, we want our comedic affectations back as they are not funny in your time.

        • Anonymous says:

          "Blah Blah Blah called and want thier Blah Blah Blah  back"  is from the 70's. You get nothing for being a grammarian generational copy cat.. 

  9. Anonymous says:


    Enforcement of laws on the books?

    Sorry, get used to it. If you want your dog to be safe then keep it in a yard that is fenced in with a very high, secure fence.

    Do you want to protect your house from thieves? Buy and install very strong burgler bars and live in a gated community.

    I just spoke to a friend who used to to live in South Africa in a secure gated community. He and his wife still had several panic rooms built into their home.

    Gated communities, burgler bars, and panic rooms should be  a growing industry in Cayman. This is good for job creation (if you can trust the installers).

    • Anonymous says:

      Well you make some valid points but at the same time it's very sad! You can't even walk on the public road or be on your own property without fear of being attacked? As I see it Sandra was attacked in the driveway of her apartment complex. There's no way to fence that in as cars must have access in and out of the property.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The law has a provison for dangerious dogs – why is the RCIPS ignoring it and not removing the dog? Clearly the life of another pet is of no consequence to them! The day this dog attacks a person I hope they are sued also. This foolishness needs to stop!


  11. Anonymou says:

    As usual local dog laws are completely ignored as are many of the laws in the country.   Want to hear something really funny, they are discussing lowering some of the speed limits in the country. Like there are speed limits.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I fully support this cause and if the dog owner had any sense they would simply pay the bill and not allow this matter to go to court – only further embarassment and additional fees for them to pay!

    All very sad. In the end, onlythe dogs will ultimately suffer. I do not support the poisioning of animals but I can see why some people feel they must do it – TheRCIPS and DOA/Animal Control are COMPLETELY USELESS when it comes to this particular issue so people feel compelled to take matters into their own hands.

    Ms. Catron you have succesfully sued another dog owner before and I wish you luck with this one as well. Perhaps when they all get sued and have to pay where it hurts the most – from their pockets – they will become more responsible.

    Laws without enforcement are useles.

    • Cheese Face says:

      " I do not support the poisioning of animals but I can see why some people feel they must do it"   There is never a reason to poison a dog, it is an unbelievably slow and painful death. People who "feel they must" should be shot in the face.

      • Anonymous says:

        A slow and painful death for a monster dog seems better than the death or injury of a young child.  You are very disturbed.

        • Cheese Face says:

          Remove the dog properly and put it down humanely. How do you think a "monster dog" (only a monster because of its treatment by humans) will react if approched by a young child if it is in extreme pain from poisoning? You are more disturbed than me fella.

          • Anonymous says:

            But no one will remove the dog. If an unauthorized person does so its theft.

      • Anonymous says:

        Humane Society puts downs dog all the time. How is that done?

  13. Soldier Crab says:

    What about vehicles abandon on the side of roads in private developments? The RCIPS said I can not touch the owners property.  It devalues properties and is an eye sore. Where do I go for help?

  14. Anonymous says:

    We did not have this issue back in the good ole days – my mother would have dealth with that dog and the owner!!!!!


    you ole people know what i am talking about!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Can I sue people if they do not pick up their dogs poop? or purposely released them from their leash on public/private roads?

  16. Anonymous says:

    I'm having a similar issue with my neighbors for years now! Had I known they were there with all these dogs I would have NEVER moved in!! Why are the police not doing anything about this? I simply do not understand it. It should be illegal to breed these dogs even.

  17. Anonymous says:

    If you cross a poodle and shih tzu, you get a poo-shiht.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Ms Catron, you are not by any means the only person being tormented by this problem. Good luck to you. I have tried to get help from Animal Control but they can only do so much. No one wants to implement laws that we have on the books about dangerous dogs and/or unleashed dogs.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Keep up this particular fight, Sandra. Many of us support you. The dog problem on this island is out of control. I saw a female pit bull in Bodden Town yesterday, clearly newly delivered of pups, walking at the Post Office behind her young male owner. Of course it was not on a leash and you don't dare say anything to these guys nowadays. Aren't these dogs illegal? Or at least breeding of them?

    • Anonymous says:

      While I hate to go off topic, I can't resist the urge to say that the banning of some breeds is just a waste of time and makes no sense. I am the owner of a pit, and can only say that she is a loving member of our family.

      The problem is not the dogs.The problem is the idiots that own them. ANY dog can be dangerous when given to the wrong individual. Like a gun, a dog in the wrong hands is a bad combo.


      • Anonymous says:

        Funny that you don't hear of poodles killing babies that often.  There are certain breeds that are just too risky to allow.  Pits are one of them.  You are very selfish owning one and if you have children you are a bad parent.  Many "loving family member pits" turn on no notice a kill or maim.  If my neighbor owned a pit and would not weep if it died suddenly.

      • Anonymous says:

        While it's true that any dog can bite is it NOT true that any dog can kill. The breeds that can kill were breed for fighting and have a certain genetic predisposition towards agressiveness and fighting.

        In this case, Engish Bull Terriers were breed for fighting and are known to be agressive towards smaller animals.

      • anonymous says:

        Pit Bulls and similar breeds bite differently from the majority of dogs. They bite and then hang on, eventually tearing away flesh. Other dogs, including much bigger dogs, "just" bite. The difference is a bad mutt might give you a nasty bite or scar, but a Pit Bull might take your face off. I believe owning such dogs should be banned in Cayman. If you want a dog there are many other breeds to choose from. What is the attraction of a Pit Bull? Nice loving nature, loyal and good protectors of homes and children…? No doubt. But other dogs do that just as well without the extra risks.  

  20. Anonymous says:

    I fully agree with and support Ms. Catron. As a cyclist I regularly get chased by and harassed by dogs. I very often go back to speak to the owners, who usually just grunt at me, make some lame excuse (the dog got loose, it's not my dog, it won't bite, etc, etc.) and the dog attacks me again the following week. It's not important whether as dogowner you think the dog will bite. It may not bite you, but it might bite me. And biting isn't the only issue. If a dog runs out into the road and a cyclist swerves, they (cyclist and dog) could be hit by a car, or just loose control. Falling off at 25 mph will cause injuries.

    There is presenly one dog at East End that does this every week, despite me havig spoken to the owner twice now.

    The terrible care of dogs, that are left wandering the streets, and lack of any accountability and personal responsibility by owners is a national disgrace. If the adage you can judge a society by the way it cares for its animals, elderly an those wih mental issues, then Cayman is doing very very badly.

    • Anonymous says:

      The issue of "bad dog ownership" is an unfortunate universal problem; along with the treatment of other animals. In the Cayman context, one would have thought that education on the proper care of dogs, would have now soaked into the heads of those who fail to right by these animals. But, as we know, some people can't be taught, shown or convinced to change their attitudes towards their responsibility as a pet owner. Heck, some of us can't treat eachother with respect much less our four leg buddies.