Bitter-sweet reunion for owners in dog cruelty case

| 02/05/2014

(CNS): Elizabeth Schvartz and her fiancé Joel Larsen are asking the public to help them find the culprits who abused their full bred pet Doberman, Dante, and are offering a reward to anyone who can offer useful information about what happened to him during a recent disappearance. Dante went missing around four weeks ago but was mysteriously and suddenly returned to his home sometime in the night on Wednesday or Thursday morning, beaten and sick after what appears to have been a month of torture. The couple are asking anyone who may have seen the dog tied up somewhere or wandering around over the last four weeks to contact them in confidence. (See before and after pictures of Dante below)

Schvartz told Cayman News Service that on the night of 2 April 7-year-old Dante went to sleep as he always did on the front porch of his home where he lives with Larsen in Newlands. The following morning he was nowhere to be seen. Despite the couple's efforts to search for him over the days and weeks that followed, there was no sign.

“We searched the neighbourhood and surrounding neighbourhoods daily,” Schvaartz said. “We called the Humane Society, the pound and vets around the island to see if someone had picked him up and dropped him to any of these establishments and no one had seen him. I called the radio stations to put out an alert for him and offered a cash reward for his safe return. We got a few calls but none of them checked out.”

The suddenly on the morning of 29 April at around 7:45am, Dante simply re-appeared. 

(Left Dante before his disappearance and below right on his return)

"We don't know if he was dropped off by someone or managed to escape and find his way home,” Schvartz added. “He weighed around 80lbs before he went missing and much less when he returned with multiple wounds on his hips and side. He was starved and beaten for 27 days.”

A bitter-sweet reunion for Dante and Larsen, who was so happy to have his pet home alive, but the dog was clearly very ill. He was taken to the vet, where he was treated with antibiotics for both a liver and kidney infection as well as his wounds.

Schvartz said she is hoping someone may have seen him over the last month tied up in someone's backyard perhaps in the Northward area but possibly much further away. 

“There was no cause for this. Dante is a loving dog who would never hurt anyone,” she added, as she asked people to call her or Larsen at 924-8917 or 9248365, email: or to connect with them on Facebook.

The story comes following the creation earlier this month of the Humane Society’s campaign to stamp out cruelty and to press for the prosecution of those who abuse animals. The charity has offered to act as an intermediary and is asking people to call them about potential, suspected or witnessed animal cruelty cases, giving as much details to their staff as possible and they will then take up the case.

“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,” said Michele Sabti, the charity's education officer  as she explained how the society would step in take on the abuse. Sabti has assured people they can 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.
“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.

The more proactive position taken by the charity came as a result of increasing cruelty reports.

CNS is also still trying to confirm details of a case in Newlands, which was reported to the authorities, where an individual is accused of leaving poison on a neighbour’s property which killed their dog. We have contacted the RCIPS and are awaiting comment.

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.

People with information on Dante should contact Elizabeth Schvartz or Joel Larsen by calling 924-8917 or 9248365 emailing or or via Facebook.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    people need to speak up so we can stop this madness !!!

    we need to get these ruthless, sick  people arrested !!!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Is it possible the dog was stuck somwhere and injuries were a result of trying to free itself? Surley nobody could be that cruel…

    • Anonymous says:

      I thought exactly the same thing. This looks like a dog that has been lost, without food or enough water.  So glad to hear he is home safe now.

  3. Bob Barking says:

    Get your dog neutered at once. He will be happy. You will be happy. If he is a non-neutered male he will go again and again and one day he won't come back.

    When I look at our wonderful, formerly half-wild tom cat and the positive changes to his life and contentment post-neutering, I am pretty sure my wife sometimes thinks about dropping me off at the vet too.


  4. Fight me instead says:

    Dear wanna be gang members and gangbangers, a dog is Not an extension of your penis. Stop with the cruelty of dog fights to show how “manly” and a “tough bad ass” you are, you’re not either, just chicken shit. Get in the ring yourselfs, fight amongst yourselves with boxing gloves. Heck, without if you want to be entertained. I’m glad Dante returned home. Keep him inside when not outside with him, period.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Stop and consider for a moment what type of sick twisted individual would do this behavior and be concerned as this person is a dangerous pathetic threat to the community.

    Anyone who has any information needs to contact crimestoppers.

  6. Michel says:

    I concur with All the above posts. Plain wickedness, cruel and troubling that these persons live amongst us I pray that God will sort it out in His Way.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I'm not an animal lover but I would never want to hurt any animal or see them in this condition/ being treated this way. I seriously just cried reading this 🙁 hope they find out exactly what happened to their poor pet Dante. 

    • Love is Free says:

      You cried. You care. You love animals. It’s as simple as that. Don’t resist. Love.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I would hate to believe we live in a world where someone is so cruel that they would hold that dog for so long and abuse the poor animal. Perhaps this dog just got disoriented and wandered away and became lost. I just cannot understand cruelty like this.

  9. Anonymous says:

    While I appreciate the heart break these individuals went through having their dog disappear, I can't help but wonder why they would leave abeloved pet on their front porch to sleep.  It's just asking for someone to take him or for him to wander off on his own.

    A brief look at the pictures (sorry – breaks my heart to look to closely) would indicate that his wounds are not from a pack of dogs.  We also don't have a picture of what his demeanour is like (ie frightened of humans, quick movements, etc.) – only his owners would understand that.

    I'm glad Dante has been returned home (please keep him inside from now on) to his loving owners and hopefully his recovery is quick and he is forgiving of humans for mistreating him.

    Unfortunately, instances like this are becoming all too common and it wouldn't surprise me to learn that whoever took him tried to either make him a fighter or a bait dog.  There is a dog fighting ring on this Island that the police know of and blatantly refuse to do anything about.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Look out the reaper commin 4 u nasty people.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Oh for goodness sake ! I understand that the owners love and care for their pet and its really ridiculous what has happened to the dog, but in all fairness, lets not jump to conclusions here. Nobody knows what happened to the dog, maybe it was another dog or dogs.  Whats in the air or water or food that we are consuming nowadays that is making everyone so hostile and violent, not just to animals but to each other?? Mind your words, they speak volumes as to your character.  So many "christians", yet so much anger, hatred and violence, this is the part that gets under my skin!!

  12. Anonymous says:

    While I am in no way discounting that Dante has been through some terrible things, it is obvious from the photos that Dante has not been neutered. Is it possible that he wandered away to be with a 'lady friend'? Female dogs have a heat cycle that lasts about 3 weeks. Yet another reason to spay and neuter your pets….

  13. Anonymous says:

    I am sorry for the dog but he may have been hit by a car or been in a dog fight or both. What's the point of claiming that he was tortured without any evidence.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because he has no internal trauma (besides his organs almost failing from lack of food and water) no broken bones, His wounds were inflicted by a human, with a sharp object. He was examined by a professional and they came to this conclusion.

      Now, if he had ran away and a person was afraid of him ( which they have NO cause to be, he is the most loving dog, even after his ordeal he is not vicious to strangers) they could have simply called animal control to pick him up. NOT attack him with what we think was a machete. 

  14. Anonymous says:

    What about dog fights.  Is he a male dog?  The scars look like he was in some fights. 

  15. Anonymous says:

    When I was growing up we had a dog that would go away for weeks on end with a pack of other dogs following a bitch or bitches in heat.

    This dog would return home after about two weeks starved and barely able to walk, and yes he would have bite marks and scratches from the other dogs fighting to see which one was going to have sex with the female.

    If this Doberman has NOT been neutered then there is a distict possibility that this is what happened with him.

  16. Anonymous says:

    For about $100, you can get a quality GPS dog collar allowing you to track your pet online if lost.  You can even receive an email alert if the pet moves outside a certain area.  


  17. Anonymous says:

    This so heartbreaking! I hope the culprits are found, flogged and left to starve just as they did to him. Unfrtunately the law does not follow through with these types of cases! Such a Shame 😐

  18. Anonymous says:

    I only read the first half, but has it been discounted that the dog could simply be starving after 4 weeks with very little food and that the wounds are from strays? Just seems very odd behaviour!

    • Anonymous says:

      i thought the same thing. It is possible he got out and found his way back a month later, house dogs aren't street smart etc.

      i know there are people who are cruel yes but i am not sure this is the case here.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, it has been discounted that he was stray for this period of time and the vet has confirmed that his wounds are from a sharp object most likely a machete. 

      • Anonymous says:

        It might have been caused by some crazy person trying to separate a pack of dogs fighting (in his yard perhaps?) over bitch in heat.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Vet was asked if these wounds could have come from  fighting with other dogs he was of the opinion that  they were not. The lascerations came from being struck with something sharp.

    • Anonymous says:

      My understanding is that the vet feels the animal was most likely struck or slapped several times with a machet and edge of it cut into him.  

  19. Anonymous says:

    Clearly we have some Michael Vick type activity going on in this island. If only we had a police force of 350 plus officers to investigate.

    Sad and disgusting to know the type of scumbag people we have amongst us.


  20. UHUHUH says:

    It's too bad, that we do not have "reciprocal punishment" in our laws, whereby, when Those Pieces of Shit are caught and convicted, of  these kind of atrocities  like what has been done to this poor animal, that the owners or their designates are allowed to "lash with a cow cod" the naked rump of these perpetrators in the same manner as was done to this poor animal.


  21. Anonymous says:

    Unbelievable. Somehow we must as a country get on top of this animal cruelty problem.

    • Anonymous says:

      Too many young people with dogs that they cannot afford to maintain.  Some of them don't have food for themselves and use the dogs to breed or fight.   The parents who encourage them are worse than them.

      Some of them let them keep them inside their homes with puppies which are sold for a lot of money.  Mentality, money  and fashion that is not affordable by poor people.  Follow the Jones's.