Last update: 11-Dec-2013 5:04 pm
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Abandoned pitbull caught, put to sleep
An abandoned pitbull that has been running loose at Mon Repos Road in Cascade has been captured and put down. Residents caught the dog a little after midnight on Tuesday. They had sought help from animal welfare agencies and a vet to capture the dog, after numerous complaints that the animal was a threat to the community yielded no results from state agencies.
One affected resident, Sylvia Clarke, commented, “Unfortunately the regional corporation was not able to play any role in dealing with the problem and the police response was alarming and ineffective.” So on Tuesday residents set a trap for the dog and lured him to it with a meal of sardines and sausages, which was laced with tranquilisers.
In a telephone interview yesterday, Clarke said the dog was only one of several pitbulls which had wandered into the area in recent times. The authorities should be equipped to deal with dangerous dogs, but nothing has been done to put things in place to deal with them, she said.
The T&T Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (TTSPCA) said it didn’t have resources, but showed residents how to use a special trap which was provided by the Animal Welfare Network. Dr Rahaman of the Jones Animal Clinic provided the drug to sedate the dog. “We need to press for something to be done,” Clarke said.
In an e-mail reporting the dog’s capture to members of the community, she wrote, “This has been a traumatic and frustrating experience for neighbours who were under direct threat from this animal, the third pitbull to stray into Mon Repos in the past two months.” Clarke said in recent months, the TTSPCA had reported a “nationwide avalanche of dangerous strays” throughout the country, including an overwhelming number of pitbulls, possibly because of the recent passage of the Dog Control Act.
Police public relations officer ASP Joanne Archie said yesterday that the police had responded to trouble calls on more than one occasion when the dog was sighted in the area. “They were unable to capture him and he escaped through some bushes, but communication was held with the TTSPCA. It is only so much they could have done, and they responded every time residents called,” she said.
TTSPCA president and executive at the Animal Welfare Network Sita Kuruvilla said yesterday that plans were being made to send recommendations to the Government to address the situation of dangerous dogs being abandoned. “We are meeting with other groups and we intend to approach the Government with this situation and make recommendations and hope they pay attention,” Kuruvilla said.
“Over the past month we had over 100 cases. Some were given up voluntarily, and we are putting together statistics from abandonment cases of dogs.” Kuruvilla said it was unfortunate as in most cases the dogs would not be placed in a home. She said the residents did not get assistance from the corporation because its staff worked between 8 and 4 and was not equipped to deal with dangerous dogs.
“A number of corporations refused to pick up the animals and the police are called out to many abandonment cases,” she said. “The TTSPCA is a voluntary charitable organisation and does not have resources to deal with the nationwide avalanche of dangerous strays, so I trust that the Mon Repos Cascade Residents’ Association will acknowledge the assistance and support they provided by making a suitable donation to TTSPCA.”
In an effort to avoid a recurrence, she wrote, “Most dogs, like most people, enjoy good food and good company, so please help to make Mon Repos less attractive to strays. If you own dogs, make sure they are not out liming on the road, and avoid putting garbage out at night, or over the weekend—those roadside dustbins become attractive food baskets for hungry animals.”
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