Activist fumes as pet endures another attack

| 28/01/2014

(CNS): Sandra Catron is taking her fight over dangerous dogs to the governor after her pet (left) was attacked once again at the weekend by what she says is a neighbouring dangerous dog, which the authorities have refused to address. Despite her very public requests to the police and other government officials, the local activist told CNS that nothing has been done about the animal, which she feels is also being neglected. This time Catron is pointing the finger at the police and has written to Governor Helen Kilpatrick, who has ultimate responsibility for the RCIPS. Frustrated by the lack of action, despite her continuing reports and enquiries, Catron noted that the police took a dog she believed lost and had rescued away from her ands claims there are double standards.

“I’m beyond appalled that this has been allowed to happen yet again,” Catron said this weekend, following another attack on her Shih-Poo dog, Coco. “At this stage, the pet owners have clearly proven themselves to be completely irresponsible and incapable or being decent pet owners."

“I lay the blame 100% on the RCIPS for not enforcing the law and removing this dangerous dog. I recall when I rescued Precious and was treating her so well, they came with a warrant and the animal control officer and confiscated her from me, pending the full investigation and outcome of the case. So I am well aware that they have the power to remove the dog. It appears because I am the person lodging the compliant it will not be handled professionally and the law will not be followed,” she told CNS.

Catron is no stranger to controversy having taken on the authorities in the court room on a number of occasions and, despite not being a lawyer, has won on each occasion. A well-known advocate for a child sex offenders’ register and a person who seems to attract an unusual amount of attention from the police, despite having never been convicted of a crime, Catron said she believed her choosing to speak out about issues appears to be undermining her rights.

“Obviously there’s a price to pay for speaking out in this community and for standing up against the RCIPS. In my opinion, I am now being punished for those actions. My human rights are being violated as I am not able to have peaceful enjoyment of my own home,” she added.

In her letter to the governor lodging a formal complaint, Catron relates the ongoing issue relating the four separate attacks, one in which her dog was almost killed, and also describing her most recent harrowing experience where she had to call for help from people in the street.

“I am wondering what will it take for the RCIPS to do something about this matter?” she asked the governor in her letter. “Every time I file a report and/or statement nothing has occurred and I am being told it’s being 'investigated'. In my opinion, sufficient time has passed for them to have conducted a murder investigation, much less one about a dangerous dog, especially one in which a plethora of evidence has been provided including: vet bills, emergency room reports, CCTV footage and third party eyewitness statements." 

Catron asked the governor, "Why has the dangerous dog not been removed pending the full outcome of a criminal investigation? The Animal Law (2003 Revision) allows for these types of dogs to be removed. However, the RCIPS are saying that they have no facility to remove the dog/detain the dog and that Department of Agriculture (“DOA”) is responsible. DOA claims they do not have the power to deal with dangerous dogs because that is a police matter and their responsibility is only in relation to the welfare of dogs.

“Whilst these two departments bicker about who is responsible, I am in constant fear of my life and the safety of my dog, who I consider a part of my family,” she wrote in her letter.

Given the large number of people complaining about similar problems, some of whom have had their dogs killed by dangerous animals because nothing is being done about this matter, Catron is concerned that her dog is facing the same fate unless the neighbouring animal is taken away.

“The RCIPS seem to be of the opinion that they are not motivated to take any action until my dog is killed. I am very disappointed at this approach. The Animal Law gives them the power to remove the dog and deal with it accordingly,” she wrote.

Catron is taking civil legal action about the neighboring animal, but in an odd turn of events it appears that the police contacted Catron, accusing her of harassment after she had served the legal papers on the owner of the dog that has attacked her pet. She said the police had the “audacity to actually contact me about that; yet in over one year have done nothing about my various complaints against the dog.”

Catron also told the governor that her “constructive criticisms of the RCIPS” means that any complaints that she makes to them are not taken seriously, as she pointed to the double standards she claims she has experienced.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    My dog was attacked by 2 German Shepherds in West Bay. They were both on leashes and dragged their owner across the road to attack my dog.  Should I have somehow done something to avoid this?

    Some of the people commenting on this story are bloody unbelievable. This lady is the victim here.

    Perhaps she should resort to the Cayman way of dealing with a dog she doesn't like and leave a bit of baited food lying around.  However as a dog lover I'm sure she wouldn't resort to such an awful method of dealing with things.  Instead she is acting appropriately and taking civil action.

    I wish her every good luck.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Glad the dog has finally been removed. No one in their right mind should understand that the victim is NOT at fault here. One attack happened at night. What is Ms. Catron supposed to do? Being ambushed in a situation like that is horrible.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It's not about the dogs and it's not about those who get attacked.

    If you are a dog owner, you are negligent for all and any damage or injury caused by your dog, in any way whatsoever. The only exception is in the case of tresspass, where a person goes onto your land and gets harmed. Even then, you should still be responsible. What if a child goes to a door looking for sponorship and is attacked? So I suppose you can also be held liable for attacks that take place on your property.

    The RCIPS need to take this seriously. A great many people do and the police work for the people.

    I've seen dogs get hit by cars and people stop to help. I've seen cyclists knocked off and repeatedly attacked by dogs. In every case the situation is the same – IT IS THE OWNER'S RESPONSIBILITY TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR PET AND THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE AND SHOULD BE HELD SO BY THE POLICE AND COURTS.

    Pet care, especially dog care in Cayman is shameful and people's attitudes towards their dogs and those harmed by, or simply chased by, dogs is very insightful into the national pysche and attitudes towards responsibility. The police and courts have a duty to enforce resposibility and punish those who endanger pets, animals and any third party.

    The adage " you can guage a society by the way in which it cares for it's young, elderly and animals" shows Cayman to be a very backwards place.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Always trying to blame the victim huh? Simple minded people! Attacked 4 times – twice on the street and twice on her property and somehow it's Ms. Catron's fault? Her only recourse it to try to follow the law and that has obviously failed her.

    Now, if she had killed the dog – even in the midst of an attack – which would be self defence you all would be calling for her prosecution also. Seems to me no matter what she does you simple minded fools will always have something to say.

    How about asking the owners of the dog to follow the law? The obligation is on them to do so. Anyway, now they can be charged and I hope they do so.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The police and the Governor have bigger issues right now.  

  6. Anonymous says:

    There is "supposed" to be a ban on pit bulls being bread on Ialand but yet there is an add on ecaytrade at the moment with an owner selling pit bull puppies. This goes to show how seriously this law is being taken.

  7. Kadafe says:

    At this point it seems that she may be the negligent pet owner. It's clear that the DOA, RCIPS don't care about the situation. So she should be keeping a better eye on her pet. And stop looking for a reason to make the neighbors get rid of their dog!

    • Anonymous says:

      And how do you suppose she does that when the dog comes running and attacks on her property??! Should she kill the dog?

      • Kadafe says:

        It could be as easy as going outside and checking first to see if the other dog is on his chain. If not then she should not  bring her dog out and use it as bait!

        • Anonymous says:

          WOW and the owner has no responsiblity then?

          Too bad you're not the one writing the laws which disagree with you. When they have to pay those vet bills you will ALL know how this works.

          I guess a rape victims needs to not go outside either cuz that's why they were raped! They didn't look out well enough.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Such a cute and adorable dog. Hope it all gets sorted out. 

  9. Anonymous 91 says:
    I'm saddened by the lack of interest the RCIPS show when it comes to matters like these, well most matters in general. 
    So many laws, yet most are not being enforced, how surprising? 
    There are so many things that need to be changed about our beautiful little Island. 
    The crime rate is rising, and why? 
    So much corruption for such a little Island why?
    Does anyone ask why? Or how to prevent it? Or maybe… what is our next step?
    So many things go unnoticed, or covered up, or eventually…forgotten. 
    We as a community should take a stand.
    Don't like how a situation is being handled? Then speak up! "closed mouths don't get fed." 
    We can change this all, we can make a difference…
    Her fearlessness to take a stand is admirable and we all should take note of it. 
    The days of us turning a blind eye to the corruption and the carelessness of the RCIPS should be over YET it isn't. 
    And who do we have to blame? 
    Not a soul but ourselves, for most of us have turned a blind eye to it all. #FoodForThought
  10. Anonymous says:

    What did she do to protect her dog? This happened once already why would she put her dog In the same situation 

    • Anonymous says:

      What would you suggest she does exactly? She can't even go outside on her own property? REALLY?

    • Anonymous says:

      You are obviously suggesting she breaks the law and as Ezzard Miller suggested on Rooster she "deal with the dog".

      I guess anything to get Sandra arrested huh? LOL … ya'll wish!

  11. Anonymous says:

    How did this dog get attacked for a second time? 

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually this is the fourth attack on Coco! This time Ms. Catron had 4 witnesses stop to assst her. Also, it as caught on CCTV camera with the clear view of what hppened.

      It's sad that all of this must take place! Like someoe else said many dogs have been killed in Cayman by other dangerous dogs and this is a serious matter. My neighbor had her Pomeranian attacked by 2 pitbulls. She barely survived and the neighbor refused to pay the vet bill and the police did not assist her either.

      There's no law in place to stop breeding of these dogs. The English Bull Terrier is not even on the restricted list of dogs but it should be. Breeders here have no idea what they are doing and are themselves contributing to the problem with poor breeding habits.


    • Anonymous says:

      I walk my dogs securely on a leash and every time when I return home from our walk, I am thankful that I have made it past various homes that have agresssive dogs unsecured in their yard who come chasing after my dogs………

      No matter how much you speak to the owners directly or call the animal control unit, nothing changes. One time I was chased down by a pack of dogs and a police car crossed. They didn't stop until I flagged them down and told me there is nothing they can do……..and they couldn't give a ride home either as I had my two dogs with me (who can not ride in a police vehicle).

      This is what Cayman is all about – a lot of stuff written in some book with dust piled up on it, but only very few with the motivation, pride and dedication to enforceany of that written stuff.

  12. Kmanlady says:

    My pet ws killed by a one of those dogs

  13. Anonymou says:

    As a pet owner this story is beyond belief and clearly there is somethinggoing on here to explain the lack of action by the RCIP.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Where I 100% agree with Sandra UNFORTUNATELY thereare laws in place with "banned dogs" example, no breeding, no docking/no cropping, must be in a secure area, if in public must be muzzled, must be microchipped…let me get off the floor from laughing so hard, non of the above is enforced other then banned breeds coming into cayman.  Dogs are being docked and cropped from the very person who banned it, banned dogs are being bred and the vets are caring for them (making money) I don't see the RCIPS going to someone's house and taking their dog cause its a banned breed and not spayed or neutured…..then you have a store here that sells "mixed breed dogs aka designer breeds" and it is horrific on how these dogs are being kept, yet no one absoultuely no one from any government agency goes and tries to shut them down.  this has been going on for many years…

  15. Anonymous says:

    Someone seems to have dropped a sweet wrapper on the dog's head.