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Canine club president on Dangerous Dog legislation: More damage than anticipated

Published: 
Monday, August 25, 2014
A dog owner plays with her pet pitbull during yesterday’s pets and family day themed Who let the Dogs out hosted by the T&T Pet Lovers Association in collaboration with Purina at Palmiste Park, San Fernando. Photo Rishi Ragoonath

South Canine Club president Clifford Manchoon says the Dangerous Dog legislation has done a lot more damage to pet owners and lovers than anticipated. The legislation, he said, has placed a financial burden on pet owners and it is not surprising to find dogs listed under the act abandoned. 

Manchoon, who spoke with the T&T Guardian yesterday at the Pet Lovers Club of T&T and Purina Who let the Dogs out Pets and Family Day at Palmiste Park, San Fernando, no proper regulatory body is in place and many pet owners are left wondering what to do. He said one of the main objectives of Pet Lovers Club is educating pet owners about what they are required to do under the legislation. 

“We would be going out to different schools and organisations to give people good information about caring for their pets. The Dangerous Dog Act has done a lot more damage to pet lovers and to people who own pets because of the cost of putting insurance in place. Pet lovers intend to educate others on how they could fence their place to meet the requirements in an economical way, cost effectively,” he said. 

Marc Mouttet, director of Vemco, the company responsible for distributing Purina Pet Care products in Trinidad and sponsor of yesterday’s event, shared Manchoon’s concerns. He said the bill was brought out with a “certain amount of haste.” 

“There is a lot of ambiguity and confusion. People are not sure what to do, where to go and do it. We are trying to bridge the gap and alleviate some of that ambiguity and direct people in the right direction,” he said. Mouttet said the company was pleased with the turnout at the event which dog owners from around the country gladly participated in and showed off their dog pets.

Dogs of every size were paraded around the park by their owners. Large breed dogs such as Alaskan Husky, American Bully, Mastiffs and German Shepherds attracted a lot of attention, as well as the smaller dogs like Poodles and Chihuahuas. 

“In light of the Dangerous Dog bill we encourage everyone to get compliant. One of the big initiatives today (yesterday) is the microchip, which is really to help give the dog an identity. We encourage that and we facilitated that here today with purchase of a Purina product (there was) free microchiping (of dogs),” Mouttet said. He said there are parts of the legislation that have to be passed but are yet to be passed. 

He said he agrees that there should be some regularisation and some legislation for dogs Purina is trying to make it easy for families and dog owners to get on board with the legislation. Dog trainer and dog breeder Nail Urbano, of Maraval, expressed disappointment that the American Bully was named as a dangerous dog under the legislation since it is not an aggressive breed. 

His dog, Eight Ball, an American Bully drew some intimidated looks from patrons at the event. Among the participants at yesterday’s event was the Animal Welfare Network, T&T Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (TTSPCA) and Animals Alive. The event also included and an adoption drive to educate owners about animal welfare. Dogs were also treated to free grooming as well as free veterinarian check-ups.