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Cunupia family claims school poisoned pet dogs

Published: 
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Members of the Jagroop family, of Cunupia, attend to the surviving pups at their home yesterday.

The Jagroop family has lost its best friends. Their two dogs, Bella and Princess, were poisoned and the family believes the primary school next door killed them.

When Guardian Media visited them at their home along Raghunanan Road in Cunupia yesterday, family members had tears in their eyes. To them the dogs were more than pets, they were members of their family who were taken from them.

While speaking to Guardian Media, several pups were heard whimpering in their backyard, all that remains of their precious Bella and Princess.

Andel Jagroop was the only family member in a state to speak about the issue. Sitting near to where the dogs were buried Andel said that some members of the school apologetically owned up to the act. He said other strays also died on the school’s compound.

Jagroop said two months ago a senior school official warned them to keep their dogs away from the school, citing health and safety issues. Another warning came last Friday but he said they weren’t given enough time.

“Both dogs, they have puppies and we have kennels and we lock them up but they always find a way out to get away from their pups, the school told us they saw dogs on the compound, so we said OK, give us a day to fix it, but they didn’t even give us a day,” Jagroop said with his eyes welling up with tears.

He added that one school official said if they didn’t do anything about it, the school would take matters into its own hands.

But Jagroop’s bigger issue is how the dogs were poisoned.

“The poison was found in cookies, corn curls and snacks, why would you use something in a school environment with poisonous substances, what if a child sees something and eats it, how do you explain that,” Jagroop said mumbling afterwards that the school which he attended as a child, took a part of him away.

Jagroop admitted that his family was somewhat negligent but said his dogs were ‘common dogs’ who never attacked or barked at the children. He said two months ago they were warned but they were able to keep the dogs in check because at that time they didn’t have puppies. The family believes if the school had such a problem then it could have alerted the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation.

Guardian Media contacted the Education Ministry and one official said that an investigation was conducted at the Cunupia based institution and staff members denied any involvement. The ministry said the dogs may have wandered elsewhere and were poisoned. However, Guardian Media was told that there were other animals found dead at the school.

The Jagroop family will now try to move on, they have bought chains for their other dogs, their freedom compromised but this family is not taking any more chances.

AKASH SAMAROO

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