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Palmiste residents want dangerous dogs dead
“Ezekiel Renne-Cambridge must be the last child who is hurt by dangerous dogs. We want the dogs that put him in the hospital, killed,” residents of Block Five Palmiste demanded, yesterday morning, as they led a protest march to the home of the dog’s owner. Chanting “who let the dogs out, who, who,” several dozen residents, among them children, marched to the Cinnamon Court home of Vidya Emrith, demanding that she put her dogs to sleep. Bearing placards, some which read, “Save our children from vicious dogs,” “Humans B4 dogs,” and “Friendly dogs’ breed for hunting bears,” the residents attempted to present Emrith with a petition of their intent, containing over 100 signatures. Emrith who was in her yard watering her plants, refused to accept the petition.
“Enough has been said about this. I am not listening to you anymore. Give it (petition) to my lawyer. I am not killing my dogs,” she asserted, as she ventured indoors, leaving the protesting residents with no recourse, but to retreat. The petition, drafted by an attorney, contains, in chronological order, the number of incidents involving the dogs, what took place and residents demand to put the dogs to sleep. Ravindra Ramnanan, member of the recently formed Citizens for a Safer Environment committee, said their objective is to reclaim Block Five and make it safe once more for the residents. Ramnanan said since Emrith’s dogs mauled Ezekiel while he was enjoying an evening stroll with his grandmother earlier this month, children and adults have been living in fear.
“Block Five is not a busy thoroughfare. There is one road in and one road out, so children play and ride their bicycles on the street without fear. Adults, after a hard day’s work, walk and jog on the street to relax themselves,” Ramnanan explained. “Since this incident, Block Five has become a ghost town. This situation has the effect of infringing our constitutional right of freedom of movement. We want to claim back Block Five for the children,” Ramnanan underscored.
He said the Ezekiel incident is not the first. “Other children have been attacked, smaller dogs have been killed. In the past when these incidents occurred, she would send the dogs away for a few weeks and bring them back in the dead of night. “We are not prepared to tolerate this anymore,” Ramnanan asserted. He said: “She now keeps laminated photos of the dogs on a chair in her walkway, and this indicates to us that it is just a matter of time that she brings them back.” Ramnanan charged that Emrith has proven to be an irresponsible dog owner and as such should not be allowed to keep dangerous dogs.
Ezekiel continues to recuperate, slowly. Investigating police officers said the file on the incident has been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Roger Gaspard for his deliberation on whether or not charges could be laid. Emrith’s dogs are not among those covered under the Dangerous Dogs Act and as such it is hardly likely that she would be charged under this Act. She recently told the Guardian, that if the police wanted to charge her then they should do so and get it over with. She said she loved her dogs, and regretted the attacks on Ezekiel and the others. However, she said they were household pets and she would rather her life be taken, than that of her dogs.
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