Animal charity takes on abuse

| 04/04/2014

(CNS): Given the reluctance of people to report cases of animal cruelty, the Humane Society is offering itself as an intermediary for anonymous reports of abuse and neglect.The local charity is asking people to call them with as much detail as possible or post what they know on the website without any fear of reprisals. The chrity will then report the details to the authorities and follow up. In the wake of a recent shocking abuse case when an emaciated dog was dropped off at the society's shelter, near death, in February, Michele Sabti, the charity's education officer said the case was far from an isolated incident and the society had to find a way to address the too frequent cases of cruelty.

“We on the frontline of animal welfare have to inform everyone that unfortunately we come across animal abuse on a regular basis,” she said at a press briefing on Friday to announce the action that the charity hopes can help to alleviate worrying levels of animal cruelty.

Recognizing that neighbours may be afraid to call the agriculture department or the police when they see abuse of animals, as they are always asked for their details and fear that the government agencies may reveal who they are to the perpetrators, the Humans Society is offering an open invitation to the public at large to call them or go on their website and submit the details regarding what they know about neglect and abuse of animals.

“The fact is living amongst us all are a small number of people who see nothing wrong in abusing a defenceless animal,” Sabti said.

“Being a very small island, people are very nervous about reporting something like an animal cruelty case to the police or the department of agriculture as they don’t usually want to be identified,” she said, but when the cases are not reported the perpetrators can never be held responsible for their action and will continue to abuse the animals.

As a result, she said, the society would step in and try to take on the abuse by taking the anonymous reports.  Sabti assured people that they could report to the Humane Society with complete confidence that their identity will not be required, just the details of where the animal at risk is located and what they know about the animal's suffering.

The society will then take up the case and follow through with the authorities and if it is an emergency move to rescue the animal. She said that if necessary, volunteers will go to the location. Although they have no authority to go on anyone’s property they can still view places where dogs or any other animals are at risk of cruelty and check the circumstances from adistance and use what influence they have to make sure those with authority can remove the animal.

Sabti said that going forward with the new initiative the charity will be keeping detailed records of the reports and following up because to date no one knows the extent of the problem as no records have been kept, either by the Humane Society or the authorities.

With no one able to say if there has ever been a single case brought before the courts in Cayman regarding animal cruelty, the society said that it will now be monitoring what happens with the reports made to the charity.

Given the numbers of animals that they see at the shelter, the cases reported to other non-governmental organizations and to local vets, the volunteers at the Humane Society all believe that the problem is significant.

The society’s treasurer, Lesley Walker, said that with more than 50 dogs and even more cats euthanized every month in such a small jurisdiction, it was clear animal cruelty was blight on the community.

The causes are clearly multifaceted, but the lack of enforcement of any of the laws and regulations relating to breeding, importation and how animals are kept was cited as one of the main issues which had facilitated what some see as extensive animal abuse.

Walker urged people to raise their concerns with their MLAs because if it is a matter of resources, the only people that can address it are the politicians and if they realize how outraged the community is by the levels of abuse, they will act. Pointing to the 60,000 hits and the outrage over abused dog, Teddy, Sabti said it was clear that while there are abusers living among us, the vast majority of people in Cayman care and want to see animals properly taken care of.

She also revealed that Teddy has since his eleventh hour rescue from death begun his recovery. Although he still has some way to go she said the vets were hopeful that he would make it. Whoever did leave Teddy at the society saved his life, she added.

With the volunteers and local vets all aware that 'Teddy' was just the tip of the iceberg, the Humane Society is hopeful that if they can act as an intermediary as well as a direct rescue centre it can begin to tackle the issue and protect the many animals at risk.

“We are pleading with everyone who cares, to stand beside us and put all those who abuse or neglect animals on notice that we are not going to tolerate it anymore,” Sabti said.

Anyone who has seen animals being abused, is aware of neglect or cruelty or even abandoned pets can contact the society via phone on 949 1461, email or visit the website or the Facebook page or even drop a note to the offices in George Town at 153 North Sound Road.

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  1. Anonymous says:


    a perfect example of why we have a problem…wonder how much money they think they will get from this? I wish they would take a walk into humane society and see all the dogs that need homes……smh

  2. Anonymous says:

    07/04/2014 16.29 : btw…. You make a good point and as I mentioned in my last post, I did give my name and contact details when I made my report – but I don't recall being given this information when I called.

    If I had been calling anonymously and somebody would have told me that, I may have felt strongly enough about it to then give my name etc….instead of remaining anonymous.

    If you are correct 07/04/2014 16.29 , then part of the procedures when Humane Society (or Animal Control) take an abuse report should be to say " We cannot do anything if you remain anonymous"….let the reporter have the opportunity to change his mind and identify himself/herself.

  3. Anonymous says:

    To say that it is a "cultural" thing is a cope out. The abuse and neglect of an animal, or child for that matter, is a flaw in that person's character as a good human being. Not culture.   

  4. A man says:

    I love my cats. They are better than 99% of humans.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I've called the Humane Society to report animal abuse and all they told me to do was call the Department of Agriculture.  So I did that, and nothing at all has changed with the dogs in my neighborhood.  My neighbor has had two of his dogs hit by cars, but does not take them to the vet.  Instead he lets them bleed in my yard.  I've talked to him about getting his dogs 'fixed' so they stop breeding unwanted puppies, and he says that inhumane!  But not taking your dog with a broken leg to the vet is humane!?  Ag did nothing.  Who else can I call that will actually do something???

  6. Anonymous says:

    I am pretty sure that as soon as some abuse and neglect cases with the appropriate consequences for the animal owners will be made public, a lot of people will happily step forward and make reports.

    Also, you can see a lot of  animal abuse in plain sight (ie the horses tied up close to streets with no available shade etc). I am sure that the animal welfare enforcement officers and other people working within those departments must come across those situtations when driving along the roads. Do they take the initiative to do anything about it, or are they waiting for someone to call them in.

    Same goes for the dog catchers – I am sure they know the areas where packs of dogs roam etc……………..

  7. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately the "culture" locally is the problem when it comes to the abuse of women, animals and the environment.  It is hard to require people to act in a civilised way when they come have a backwards third world way of living.

    • Anonymous says:

      While I would like to think that you know that these kinds of discusting acts you speak of are not unique to Cayman, I can't but help to read into your tone. The fact is, yes Cayman has a problem with what you mentioned, like a lot of "civilized" countries around the world.

      I would have liked for such a small country as Cayman to have a better handle on the situation than it currently does though.

      Please deal with the issue at hand as oppose to allowing your own personal bias to soil what could of been a pure valid point.

    • Whodatis says:

      Yet you (and your supporters) still had to come here for a better life.

      Says a lot about your home country and culture.


      • Anonymous says:

        You really don't get it that people come for the money and need to be paid a premium to live in Cayman because of all the downsides.

    • Anonymous says:

      The "backwards third world way of living" is alive and well in many of the so called developed countries that many of you come from as well. One only has to watch or read the news from those countries to know that the same abuses are also prevalent there as well. It is global and has nothing to do with the culture of any particular country. So, stop hating on these islands and try to make a positive difference in the world.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Caribbean culture. Human life often means very little. Animal life always means a lot less.


    • Anonymous says:

      I guess their lack of care for life must be a left over from the days of slavery, cause we all know how much love was being shared then.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Humans are more important than those animals Perhaps those folks should focus there energy on helping  the forced sex workers in the industrial area or perhaps the indentured slave doing construction here on island. 

    This place is so messed up


    • Anonymous says:

      Humans are more important than those animals. Why?

    • Anonymous says:

      And what is it that you are doing to help with those serious issues that you brought up? OH nothing? Surprise. No one person can help solve all the problems of society and it's pretty crap of you to bitch about people's choice of what they devote their energy to. At least there is an effort to make a positive contribution to society instead of just complaining in the comments section of the news story. 

  10. Anonymous says:

    The animal humane officer a few years back never lifted a finger to help any abused animal. I made several reports to her and she was always disinterested. I hear she is now a Conservation Officer. I wonder if the conchs will get the same treatment? The problem isn't people willing to make the reports it's the lack of REAL police officers on this island willing to do the work.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nice to read your comment, however I think you are confused as to who you are talking about. I have dealt with the " previous animal welfare officer" on more than one occasion and have found her to do the best she can with what she was given. 

      Thanks for a great job "previous animal welfare officer", you will be missed by most of us.

      On another note previous poster, if you can can do the job as well as bitching and moaning maybe you should apply for the position.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Allowing previously banned large breeds on to the island will dramatically change the canine landscape for the worse.

  12. pmilburn says:

    Its a shame how ALL animals are treated in this couintry.Hate to say it but there are too many CAYMANIANS that are at fault when it comes to the cute and cuddly animals for their kids BUT when they get past that stage its "lets dump them on someone elses door step"When it comes to animal treatment we are worse than a third world country.


    • Anonymous says:

      You obviously have not been to a third world country or you have been gone from it so long you have forgotten what it is really like.

  13. Anonymous says:

    the lack of enforcement of any of the laws and regulations relating to breeding, importation and how animals are kept

    lets face it folks, we need change the very core of people's thinking

  14. Anonymous says:

    I hope they are ready for a lot of reports.  It is appalling the way some people treat their animals here and there needs to be tough penalties for animal cruelty.

     Also, you should need a liscence in order to breed/sell dogs.  Every idiot with a pomeranian/pit bull/ bull dog/whatever thinks they can make a fortune by selling puppies on ecay.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree…it amazes me how many people are breeding animals here to try to make a dollar ….. when the shelter is full! the government can make money off these breeding permits and neglect cases…that is easy money for our islands! and yes crime is a problem but one of the biggest problems in Cayman is the pure lack of decency and respect for all things ! it's not ok to neglect an animal just as its not ok to steal from your neighbours….where are the conciquences? …. where are the morals of our people.?..this has trickled down into our children and is now showing in our schools everyday. Teach what is right and what is wrong. Animal abuse is wrong! Cayman has too many cases of neglect therefore we need to make some laws bc clearly the "morals" of our culture is failing. Relying on the characteristics of "Carribean culture" as an excuse is simply ignorant…right is right and wrong is wrong no matter where in the world it is.  

  15. Anonymous says:

    This is so sad! Anyone so cruel should be prosecuted to the fullest exent of the law.

  16. Anonymous says:

    This is wonderful! I recently gave my name and reported a neighbour and the Animal Control people (who responded well) were utterly astonished because they say no one wants to give names, especially if it is an expat reporting on a Caymanian.

  17. Anonymous says:

    This needs to be admitted to being a real problem in the country.  My goodness what type of person would treat an aminal in this fashion? 

    • Anonymous says:

      19:43, the same type that beats the crap out of their women and children – also very common.

      • Pound Puppy says:

        Or the ones that beat the crap out of their husbands. Also very common. 

  18. Anonymous says:

    Dogs are running the streets & need to put down & charge their owners for neglect & a Threat to the public!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Dogs are not important solving crimes are! Or rcip can’t even solve a simple theft crime & now you’re asking them to do another worthless crime (protecting dogs)! People need to keep their pidtbulls at home chained up or muzzled when in public before they kill a kid etc!

  20. Anonymous says:

    A step in the right direction.  As long as the so-called "authorities" then take action without fear of reprisal etc as has happened in the past.  If people would just look after and care for their animals this would not be needed.  I just query whether it will stop at a "report" and then nothing further happens due to various "reasons".

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree 'A step in the right'….. but as you suggest,  I have yet to see some action actually taken.  I reported a Neighbour who had bleached her dog to death, had her kids forceably  removed for their safety and a few weeks afterwards re-appeared at the house, with her Kids AND A NEW PUPPY.

      Her MO was to pour bleach into the dog's throat whenever it did it's business in the house (or any number of misdemeanors) and I guess at it's end – the dog got the full treatment.

      I reported the New Puppy acquistion to Humane Society along with the story of the previous dog and followed it up several times and then I spoke to the Man in charge of Animal Control….. He was totally disinterested – Unless I was in the process of actually watching this woman bleach her dog – there was nothing he could do !! and fromthe tone of his voice – he seemed to care even less !

      I watched her 'yank' the new puppy into the yard to do it's business and prod it when it wasn't being quick enough and then literally lift it off the ground by it's leash to haul it over the front steps to the House when it was done…..tried to confront her then – and then all this I reported …..nothing happened.

      I believe when someone has had their children removed for fear of their safety and the reason was cruelty to animals then there should be a Law which not only protects the children 'long term' (until this Maniac has had sufficient Psychiatric Evaluation) but that person should be prohibited from obtaining another Animal.

      • Anonymous says:

        13:57, were you prepared to put your name to a complaint about your neighbour's brutality to the dog? If not, Animal Control will do nothing. 99.9% of people will not put their name to a complaint. The type of person you are referring to with the bleach is the same sort that burns their child's arm with a hot iron when they misbehave.

        • Anonymous says:

          "Hi 13.57, were you prepared to"   –  Yes, I did put my name to the complaint …. Not only did I give my name, I also contacted Humane Society by EMail – they had my contact details including my full street address for directions to the neighbour.

          Animal control made it quite clear that there was nothing they could do unless I actually witnessed abuse going on – I reported to Humane Society on 2 occasions the 'strangling' behaviour and 'jerking' of the poor 'new' little puppy and despite them assuring me that they made a strong case to Animal Control officer on my behalf – still nothing was done….        As I asked the Animal Control officer the first time – "what do you need to happen – me witnessing the Dog actually being murdered – before you will do anything?? He more or less said 'yes' (without actually saying that word). Like I said, the fact that she had murdered her previous 'pet' should mean that any subsequent  'pet' should be removed from the House BEFORE the abuse starts. To the best of my knowledge, the animal abuse initiated &  formed part of the social services/court case for removal of the children so once it is a matter of record like this – the 'new' animals removal should be a matter of course. Thank God she was now evicted from the premises, so we no longer have to witness the abuse but I pray to God for those children that he will keep them safe.

          • Anonymous says:

            Thanks 9:03. I agree you have a right to be frustrated. I had a better response from them but I do see what you are saying too. I think also that since they are all "from another island" they do not feel truly supported in their efforts by the local population who like to throw the "other island" thing in their faces.