Caribbean Cruelty

April 22, 2007


I was reading the Bahamas Trib this AM, and ran across this which made me mad and sad. No secret I love all dogs. These two were obviously intentionally left, probably while their owner was having a great time on the beach or poop-deck or whatever. What’s worse, like a bunch of other things in the Bahamas, they are way too lax on punishment for animal cruelty offenders.


On Wednesday a report was received by the Bahamas Humane Society that two dogs had been found tied to a tree at the high water mark by a canal near South Beach on New Providence.

BHS Chief Inspector Stephen Turnquest responded immediately and summoned the support of the Animal Control Unit who attended the scene with him.

Having arrived near the South Beach swimming pool, the rescuers walked through the bush and found two young male dogs tied to a tree standing on a hot rocky surface in the full sun.

“As they were approached, the dogs were stressed and frightened, and their primal canine instinct to protect their territory, even within the confines of a tight tether, resulted in snarling and barking from the terrified and exhausted animals,” said BHS in a statement.

“It transpired they had first been seen there on Sunday, then again on Monday but the first the BHS knew about it was when they received the report from a concerned member of the public on Wednesday at 11:45am.”

Chief Inspector Turnquest said that the dogs were rescued within one hour of the first report being received.

“All the signs point toward intentional abandonment of these dogs, in a manner which would cause untold suffering,” he said. “These poor dogs appear to have been out there enduring three days of hot sunshine with no shade, no food and no water. They were in a perilous situation as they could have died of thirst, strangled or drowned”.

BHS executive director Kevin Degenhard said: “It defies imagination that any human being could intentionally subject animals to this sort of suffering, especially when everyone knows the BHS has a shelter on the island.

“If anyone knows who did this, please come forward and report the person responsible to us immediately. All enquiries will be in the strictest confidence.

“This is another sad example of the inadequate deterrent of the current law and this adds to the ongoing frustration of successive administrations not updating the law to protect animals in this country. A $150 fine is derisory and simply encourages animal cruelty to prevail.”

Chief Inspector Turnquest, an officer of 30 years experience, said he is grateful for the support of the Animal Control Unit officers who helped on this occasion and is happy to report that these two small dogs are recovering well under the care of the BHS team at their shelter in Chippingham.

Mr Degenhard issued an appeal to the public, saying: “If anyone reading this feels the same sense of outrage at the callous treatment of these poor dogs that we feel please come to our Animal Fun Day in the Botanic Gardens on Saturday, May 26, to support the BHS initiative to encourage young Bahamians to improve animal welfare standards in this country.

“We are encouraging responsible animal ownership and this appears to be the worst possible example.”

Also, April is “PREVENTION OF CRUELTY MONTH for animals. When you have a sec, drop by the ASPCA and leave ’em an ‘e’ of support, or better, a check. It means a lot. I cannot even imagine a world without dogs. Tnks.


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