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#403474 - 03/29/11 03:09 PM Caye Caulker implements Pet Control Program
Marty Offline


The island of Caye Caulker is being faced with some problems due to an increase in its dog population. With reports of over 20 dog bites in the past five months, and the continued sightings of unkempt pets on the beaches and many public streets, this has become a dire concern to residents and visitors alike.Initially brought to light in a public meeting held in September of 2010, the issue of uncontrolled dogs was discussed at length and a plan was devised. The plan involved the implementation of a Public Awareness Campaign. “Through local media and public meetings, the Caye Caulker residents were informed of the rules and regulations regarding owning a pet,” said Caye Caulker Village Chairman, Mr. Alberto Villanueva. “Owners were encouraged to start practicing the leashing law – which stated that if a dog is in public, it must at all times, be held on a leash.”

He agreed that the public awareness campaign has been working well. Most dog owners now ensure that their dogs are behind closed gates/fences and that when in public, their pets are on a leash. However, the problem of the strays remains.

As a result, the Caye Caulker Village Council, in conjunction with the Caye Caulker Humane Society have embarked on a program that seeks to eradicate stray dogs that are not cared for and eventually, in the long run – provide a system where pets are controlled and are registered.

In the initial phase, dogs found in any public areas at the night time will be picked up by a team including, the local Health Inspector, a Police Sergeant, a Village Council worker and a member of the Caye Caulker Humane Society. If the dog possesses a collar with information in regards to ownership, such owner will be informed and granted the opportunity to pick up his/her dog. In cases where dogs show no sign of ownership, the animals will be put down.

According to Chairman Villanueva, “The process is very painless. A member from the Humane Society insisted that the team witness it. The dog is first administered a tranquilizer, in the form of an injection, which takes about five minutes to work. This is followed by the administering of a second injection, which puts them to sleep within the minute”.

The first phase of the eradication project was held on Thursday March 17, between the hours of 11:00pm and 2:00am, when eight dogs were picked up and humanely put to rest. Future plans include the implementation of a system where all pet owners will be required to register each pet. The details of that program are not complete as yet, but that is where the Council is gearing towards.

Posted by The San Pedro Sun Newspaper

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#403512 - 03/29/11 09:28 PM Re: Caye Caulker implements Pet Control Program [Re: Marty]
MikeD Offline
We live in Massachusetts and recently visited CC. We found that the dogs were not a big issue during our mid-February visit. The streets were free of dog litter and I think we witnessed only one dog fight. None of the animals that we encountered seemed aggressive to humans.

As an owner of three dogs I applaud the council working with the humane society in an attempt to control any problems. Licensing dogs is a good step. Once the owners are identified is is easier to educate them in the proper care of their animals. Any problems should be viewed as an owner problem rather than a dog problem....the animals do not know any better and deserve to be treated humanely.

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#403545 - 03/30/11 04:11 AM Re: Caye Caulker implements Pet Control Program [Re: Marty]
Cooper Offline
I dont know of an actual stray now on the Island. They are animals that were owned and let go..after their cute puppy stage..
A friend of mine told me this story which is a sad fact here and it is this.
My friend a business owner was being bothered by a dog barking and biting at her customers in front of her snorkel shop so she went to the owner of the dog to ask why it was free on the streets. The owner of the dog said as it was not a puppy anymore her children had lost interest in it, and it ate to much so they gave it back to the streets..
The Village Council here has taken a very moral and productive outlook on handling the animal problem here, which as Mike D says has to be put on the shoulders of the owners.
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#403599 - 03/30/11 07:03 PM Re: Caye Caulker implements Pet Control Program [Re: Cooper]
Diane Campbell Offline
[quote=Cooper] ....... animals that were owned and let go..after their cute puppy stage..
A friend of mine told me this story which is a sad fact here and it is this.
My friend a business owner was being bothered by a dog barking and biting at her customers in front of her snorkel shop so she went to the owner of the dog to ask why it was free on the streets. The owner of the dog said as it was not a puppy anymore her children had lost interest in it, and it ate to much so they gave it back to the streets..


Unfortunately a considerable number of human parents have the same attitude about their babies.

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#403618 - 03/30/11 11:09 PM Re: Caye Caulker implements Pet Control Program [Re: Marty]
Cooper Offline
Wow..Diane, true thats even a sadder fact and is preventable by the same method..Education, birth control. A Government that would understand Education for the children stops crime, drug use, and alot of other bad choices. Its very hard here for the kids to stay in school, especially when a poor family has 6 to 8 or more children, yet Education is not really subsidized by Government funding.
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#403668 - 03/31/11 07:54 AM Re: Caye Caulker implements Pet Control Program [Re: MikeD]
paw Offline
PAW Cat Sanctuary & Humane Society totally agrees with Mike D that its not the animal's fault.

A few weeks ago we saw a posting in the village here on Caye Caulker stating that dogs and cats were going to be eradicated and many tourist as well as us here at PAW were very concerned. Many tourist visited us here at PAW asking questions about the eradication and were very upset.

Although we do not judge anyone for using this form of euthanasia to try and control animal population, our philosophy here are P.A.W. is NO KILL. We do not believe in euthanasia either through poisoning or lethal injection to control animal population. The owners of the animals roaming the streets are at fault not the animals and in our proposition to the village council, owners should be held accountable.

PAW believes that we all have created this stray dog problem through lack of foresight and responsibility so we should come together to find a better solution.

The posting of the dog/cat eradication prompted PAWS concern and led us to presenting our proposal to the chairman of the village council Mr. Alberto Villanueva,

The eradication via euthanasia of any sort does not work, if it did, we would no longer be seeing dogs on the street the day after the eradication as is the case now.

The following long term sustainable solution is our proposal and we believe that Caye Caulker is small enough that results could be achieved and we will see positive impact. It has worked in many large metropolitan cities in the United States and Europe.

Proposal

1. Find homes for the stray dogs - PAW has taken this step and found homes in Canada for a couple of dogs prior to the eradication. Every animal deserves a chance.

2. Mandatory Micro- Chipping of pets – P.A.W. has offered to donate micro-chips . This will enforce accountability on owners. Owners can no longer say that a dog does not belong to them. If animal is found roaming owners will be held liable and be charge a fee.

3. Mandatory Licensing - Again this will also enforce accountability. Owners cannot lie about ownership .

To license dogs owners must pay a fee which will include a picture ID, micro-chip & sterilization and must meet age criteria since many youngsters are not responsible pet owners put their dogs to fight with other dogs and their dogs end up on the streets once they begin to neglect the dog.

In addition, there must be a minimum of one pet per household. Many people cannot afford to have more than one dog & when they do, these dogs end up on the street.

We also proposed a special license for individuals who want to breed their animals however these individuals must meet certain criteria that would look out for the welfare of the animal.

We recommend that licensing fees go to an educational fund.

4. Mandatory Sterilization of pets – Studies show that un-sterilized dogs are more likely to stray and attract packs which can become unsafe for people. Furthermore this is the only way to humanely & efficiently control animal population. Statistics show that one un-sterilized female dog & off spring produces 67,000 puppies in 6 years.

The ideas behind this proposition is to foremost promote the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of this island by reducing the number of stray dogs and cats by responsibly and humanely eliminating the excessive numbers of unwanted animals on the island of Caye Caulker.

These ideas will stop the needless killing of these animals be it by poisoning or lethal injection by restricting the breeding practices of pet owners and breeders and enforcing responsible pet care and ownership through legislation that is both reasonable and enforceable.

Basically, the rationale behind PAWS proposition is if you don’t take part to help better the situation with the stray dog situation and overpopulation of animals on Caye Caulker then you should not be allowed to contribute to the problem either.

The ideas behind our proposal is based on statistics compiled by our volunteers & members of PAW visiting homes and observing pet owners first hand. We hope that PAWS proposal can help in some way and that it may be implemented.

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#403690 - 03/31/11 03:10 PM Re: Caye Caulker implements Pet Control Program [Re: Marty]
Babsy Offline
"In addition, there must be a minimum of one pet per household. Many people cannot afford to have more than one dog & when they do, these dogs end up on the street."

Are you saying you think that only one dog or cat per household? I would disagree with this. In most cases I'm sure you are correct about most could not afford more than one, but that is not the case for all. Mike and I plan to make Caye Caulker our home and we have three dogs. All three are neutered/spayed. And very spoiled. I'm sure there are others on the island that would be capable of caring for more than just one pet. Besides, how would you find enough homes for all the strays if you limit each household to just one pet?


Edited by Babsy (03/31/11 03:10 PM)

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#403700 - 03/31/11 03:48 PM Re: Caye Caulker implements Pet Control Program [Re: Babsy]
paw Offline
We commend you and anyone who are responsible pet owners and can take care of more than one pet unfortunately, that is not the case with the majority.

We are aware that many will disagree to many of our suggestions. Keep in mind that these are just suggestions that may need lots of fine tuning but it is meant to open up conversation and brainstorming to come up with the best solution for the people and pets of Caye Caulker. Nothing is written in stone and after all its up to the village council to decide what will work for the community and what they want to implemented.

The current situation is obviously one that many are unhappy about so there must be a long term sustainable solution to solve the problem which is in our proposal.

According to the article in the San Pedro Sun the chairman agrees they have a problem with strays on the island so it may seem that the majority are not being responsible pet owners and the animals are paying the price.

When we say one pet per household we mean after the individuals who do have more than one animal are grandfathered so to speak, perhaps then the new program can be implemented.

Its wonderful that you voice your opinion this will surely help the chairman in deciding what will be implemented in the long term program.

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#403711 - 03/31/11 06:06 PM Re: Caye Caulker implements Pet Control Program [Re: Marty]
Babsy Offline
Thank you for clarifying. I truly do hope we move to CC sooner than later. I want to bring my "puppies" (ages 2yr to 9yr) with me. If I don't have all three when the time comes, I would not hesitate to adopt another there on the island. I love critters, and truly believe they all deserve to be treated well and have caring forever homes. Hopefully I will also be able to help at the Humane Society. All future plans.

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#403730 - 04/01/11 03:32 AM Re: Caye Caulker implements Pet Control Program [Re: Marty]
Cooper Offline
Madi has some good ideals in her proposals, some would be hard to implement and a liitle against some Human Rights. The Village Council has several proposals they are reviewing and I am sure they will make proper choices on how to achieve everyone's main goal of not having to eradicate any aminals.
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LONELY PLANET SAYS TOURIST LOVE OUR ART. BEST PRICES ON ART.
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