Recently on the island (past 10 years) a trend has been set into motion in which many people have chosen to own large and strong dogs. I have been growing increasingly concerned about this trend because the people that sell these dogs and most of the people that own these dogs don't seem to have the ability to train or control their animals. In many cases the dogs are chained 24/7 in people's back yards. Or you see them dragging their owner around on a rope or leash. In even worse cases there are a few aggressive dogs that are left to freely wander the island's roads and beaches.
Is it time for an educational program in conjunction with enforcement of the laws that govern dogs to go into effect on the island?
It is just a matter of time before we experience a severe dog attack or possibly even a mauling by dogs in this town.
As long as people are willing to pay $500 for a pit bull, rottweiller, german shepard (and the list goes on) puppy then other people will continue to indiscriminately breed their dogs.
I am not necessarily saying that people shouldn't own these types of dogs, but if we could register such animals, provide and insist on training so that owners are in control of their dogs and if registration required that these animals were inoculated, bred and fed properly we might be able to avert a problem before it becomes a problem.
Recently 2 dogs in my neighbourhood ran out snarling at my family as we strolled down the beach. Later that week one of the dogs bit my Dad (luckily it hit his watch strap so no harm done.) I have made some complaints to the owners and believe that this situation will not continue.
But I do think that such attacks are probably the catalyst of why there was an attack on the dog population north of the bridge earlier this year. I believe that somebody got tired of being attacked, chased, nipped or bitten on a continuous basis and they decided to make it stop. Now of course the method that was enacted is absolutely despicable and inhumane. But after being attacked and bitten in the past by unsupervised, uncontrolled, aggressive dogs I can imagine why that incident happened.
Since the dog leash laws are not enforced on the island I can see how some people would take matters into their own hands rather than going to the authorities.
I just saw this story in the Belize news and started to fret that this might one day be a story in the San Pedro headlines:http://7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=17114