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Re: Dogs and the law [Re: ScubaLdy] #388198
09/20/10 05:58 PM
09/20/10 05:58 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,206
Ambergris caye
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SnoopysMom Offline
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SnoopysMom  Offline
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Agreed - but not every dog on the Island responds to pssst or "no" or even sticks and rocks. There are dogs here (just like the states) that have been trained to fight and attack and then allowed to run free in public areas terrorizing humans and other animals.

2 neighborhood dogs had my cat trapped in the mangroves and had my dog not fought them off, she would have been mauled to death. They visit my yard several times a day now looking for my cat (who is primarily indoor, she just happened to follow me to the laundry). They are cat killers and had my friends cats trapped on their porch last week. This behavior is NOT OKAY and not the animal kingdom's way of working things out. If I could figure out who they belong to, I would file a police report.

Chances are, the owners have no idea what their beloved pets are up to all day. Now, is this responsible pet ownership? Me thinks not.

Re: Dogs and the law [Re: Marty] #388209
09/20/10 09:41 PM
09/20/10 09:41 PM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 4,672
Northern California
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LaurieMar Offline
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LaurieMar  Offline
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As the daughter of a veternarian that practiced for 50 years, I have seen more of my share of problems with dog fights, attacks on other pets, even humans, etc. It can be a behavioral problem, learned behavior, overly protective of property or their owner, lack of responsible ownership, a health problem, or the way the dog was raised from a puppy. Personally, I believe a lot of it is related to responsible pet ownership and training.

This doesn't only happen in Belize or the states...years ago, my girlfriend and I headed down to Cabo to relax for a few days in the Mexican sun. While walking from our condo to a restaurant, we were surrounded by a pack of dogs (small and large, different breeds), they seemed to appear out of nowhere and very suddenly. My friend began to panic...the last thing you should do. I instructed her to get up on the wall bordering the walkway and keep eye contact. It was terrifying for a few minutes, but gradually, they trotted off.....I am very wary of strange dogs running loose...ever since.

Re: Dogs and the law [Re: Marty] #388215
09/21/10 08:20 AM
09/21/10 08:20 AM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 492
TExarkana, USA
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catdance62 Offline
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catdance62  Offline
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Is pepper spray legal in Belize? for emergency dog attacks

Re: Dogs and the law [Re: catdance62] #388235
09/21/10 12:08 PM
09/21/10 12:08 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,206
Ambergris caye
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SnoopysMom Offline
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SnoopysMom  Offline
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Not sure what the rules are, but they do sell the sprays (and BB guns) at Captain's Sharks. The trick here in using pepper sprays is be aware of the ocean breezes.


Re: Dogs and the law [Re: Marty] #388238
09/21/10 02:17 PM
09/21/10 02:17 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 592
San Pedro/Prescott
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GwenA Offline
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GwenA  Offline
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Snoopy's Mom, having met your dog...at Lazy Croc, and meeting you, I am so happy you are the one bringing up this subject. I keep my dog like we do in the States...totally in control. How can we make more and more baby steps? It isn't just spaying, neutering and other Be Kind initiatives. Treating dogs responsibly, and keeping them on our properties is the next step. I can't believe there was a supportive post for responsibility, by someone who let's her dogs run?

Re: Dogs and the law [Re: Marty] #388239
09/21/10 02:43 PM
09/21/10 02:43 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 19
Mississippi, USA
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Johnny18 Offline
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Johnny18  Offline
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Just FYI....Pepper spray is overkill, IMHO, and there's always the issue of the breeze taking it where it doesn't need to be.

Fill a squirt bottle with 1/2 ammonia and 1/2 water. It works wonders and will also keep dogs and other pesky critters from rummaging through trash cans. I am from a rural area in the US and it's a trick that water meter and electric meter readers use all the time. It's effectice, low cost, and has no real ill effect on the animals other than as a deterrent.

Re: Dogs and the law [Re: Marty] #388246
09/21/10 05:33 PM
09/21/10 05:33 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 48
San Pedro
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Be Kind Belize Offline
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Be Kind Belize  Offline
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Be Kind Belize is a humane education programme and part of the programme does, indeed, teach kindness and compassion towards animals and other humans. According to the Humane Education, "Humane education provides accurate information about the issues of our time so that people have the information they need to understand the consequences of their decisions. It fosters curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking, so that people can evaluate information and solve problems. It instills reverence, respect, and responsibility, so that people have the motivation to face challenges and to act with integrity and it offers positive choices that benefit oneself, other people, the animals, and the Earth, so that people are empowered to create a more humane world."

A big part of the programme is about personal responsibility, whether that is for oneself, a sibling, a friend, an animal or the environment. We talk a lot about consequences too.

One of the units is focused on 'Dog Safety'. This is a very important unit as it not only helps to prevent children from being hurt by a dog in an accident, but it teaches them about their own responsibilities when dealing with dogs.

There are some interesting facts that the children learn as part of this. For example, children (and adults) are far more likely to be bitten by their own dog or a dog they know. Bites caused by unknown dogs (or dogs the children have not interacted with) are fairly rare. Most children have been bitten by a dog by the time they are ten years old. Other important facts to be aware of include: Most adults don't know what happened when a child is bitten because there was no adult present. There is no such thing as an 'unprovoked attack' - you might not think you did anything to provoke a bite, but the dog clearly did. Most dogs have given numerous warnings about their behaviour, that have been ignored, before they bite a person.

Teaching children appropriate behaviour around dogs to reduce the risk that they might accidentally provoke a bite is very important. But even more important is teaching them how to keep safe when they are under a threat of being bitten. Unfortunately, they hear a lot of unhelpful and dangerous advice from other places. Stare the dog down, being one of the most concerning. Dogs bite because they are either trained to do so (intentionally or not) or because they feel threatened. Dogs feel threatened by a whole bunch of things that humans often fail to acknowledge and they are far more likely to feel threatened if they have not been properly socialised and habituated before the age of 14 weeks.

The advice we give children is relevant to adults as well. I've seen a lot of information here about confrontational methods. I used to give lectures on life threatening attacks by dogs. I worked with the police and courts assessing dogs that had been involved in extremely serious incidents - some involving the death of a person. By analysing attacks within the context of dog behaviour, we can learn a lot from these horrible accidents.

So, here is some advice that may help you and will certainly help a child if they find themselves in a tricky situation with a dog or dogs.

1. Never stare at a dog. Dogs, particularly dogs that are stressed or anxious (as are most dogs that bite) find direct eye contact threatening and in some cases an aggressive challenge. For children, in particular, who have no hope of physically intimidating a dog, staring is a very dangerous thing to do. Unfortunately, most people are inclined to stare when they are frightened, so it is something we have to consciously think of.

2. Never run - unless you can 100% guarantee you are faster than the dog. Dogs are descended from the predatory wolf and many have been selectively bred to be highly motivated by movement and chases (Border Collies and Terriers are two examples of this). Movement stimulates the innate chase instinct in many dogs.

3. Stand very still, don't shout, scream or wave your arms around.

4. Try to keep side on to the dog at all times. Again, this is a very non threatening position to take.

5. If you are on a bike and you think you are likely to be chased, get off the bike, put it between you and the dog and walk.

6. If you are taken by surprise by a dog that chases you on a bike, don't try to outrun it unless you know you can absolutely do it. The last thing you want is to be running or cycling away from a dog and to fall. So stop, try to ignore the dog. Use the bike as protection between you and the dog and then slowly walk away.

If you decide to physically confront the dog, make sure that you are absolutely able to follow it through because you may just trigger an even more serious incident than there would have been in the first place. If a dog is confident in its aggression (don't confuse this for not being anxious - anxiety is what triggers the need to defend, but dogs who have successfully used aggression in the past to defend themselves become more and more confident with its use) then it is likely to take you up on your challenge.

If you are attacked or bitten - stay on your feet. That is the single most important thing in terms of survival of a serious dog attack. Try to get anything - a door, a gate, anything between you and the dog and don't run!

Finally, SAGA Humane Society has been given special powers to deal with cruelty and dog bites in San Pedro. Please report your concerns to them and follow it through with them. They will investigate and take action in conjunction with the proper authorities when necessary.

Please make sure to socialise your animals and your children well, so that they don't come into any harm when they associate with each other.


“What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?” Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Re: Dogs and the law [Re: Marty] #388252
09/21/10 05:55 PM
09/21/10 05:55 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 592
San Pedro/Prescott
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GwenA Offline
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GwenA  Offline
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Holy cow, I posted a response to Snoopy's Mom but the power of Be Kind obliterated it. I'm sure that the list of rules was just perfect for this thread.

Re: Dogs and the law [Re: Marty] #388254
09/21/10 06:21 PM
09/21/10 06:21 PM
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 60
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Amir Offline
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Amir  Offline
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All very good advice, but why must one always be looking out for attacking dogs? Every dog needs an owner and every owner is responsible for their dog.

I have a friend who is horribly scarred from a dog attack while walking home one night. People's safety is more important than dogs running free.

Re: Dogs and the law [Re: Marty] #388256
09/21/10 06:37 PM
09/21/10 06:37 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 48
San Pedro
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Be Kind Belize Offline
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Be Kind Belize  Offline
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Amir, no one should have to be on the look out for attacking dogs in the same way they should not have to be on the lookout for dangerous drivers, or broken glass or all of the other inconveniences and dangers we face every day. Teaching us about personal safety and how to keep ourselves safe is a realistic way of dealing with an issue which is international. I should also point out that despite the fact that you will rarely, if ever, see strays in London these days because of education, enforcement and legislation, there has been no reduction in dog bites. This is because very few bites are caused by unknown dogs. Most people are injured by their own dogs or dogs they know.

The reality is that all developing countries and even some developed countries have many social problems, one of them being stray and latchkey dogs. As long as people believe that their dogs are different and therefore should be allowed to be of their property without supervision, the problem will continue. You'll find that most of the 'stray' dogs in San Pedro are owned, but until responsibility can be defined in law (and Belize has much more pressing issues to deal with right now), people can and will allow their dogs to wander, cause a nuisance, foul, bark, turn over garbage and will still consider themselves 'responsible'.

That is why for safety's sake, we need to learn to be responsible for our own behaviour and reduce our risks of being injured. In the same way we look out for traffic or watch where we walk in bare feet.


“What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?” Jean-Jacques Rousseau
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