Children and Puppies

Posted By: flip flop

Children and Puppies - 08/20/08 11:18 PM

Yesterday, while driving north over the bridge, there were 3 children (1 boy, 2 girls) no older than 5 or 6, torturing a puppy. This was on the left side at that little store. The puppy was trapped on top of a table and was SCREAMING, not just yelping or crying.

The 3 were taking turns kicking, stomping, and slapping the puppy that was no more than 5 months old (and laughing).

Tourists in golf carts were yelling from the bridge for the kids to stop.

We stopped and told the kids in both English & Spanish that this was very bad. Where's your mother? Who's dog is this? We got just a shrug and a "smirk."

I grabbed the puppy, gave it food & water, counted the ticks I took off, and gave it to SAGA with some cash to cover expenses. I've never seen a happier animal.

What the hell is wrong in this world that little kids could be so cruel? Is there nobody we can turn to that handles animal abuse? I think it's time for a dog-catcher/animal-police.

Sorry to rant, but this was bad. Now I hear the owner/daddy is hunting us down demanding his dog.

Amy B.
Posted By: natalie p

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/20/08 11:25 PM

Thank you for saving that poor creature.
Posted By: cherylvalentine

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/20/08 11:37 PM

good for you,someone should put those kids on that table and take turns torturing them and let them see how they would like it!!!!!! I know this sounds harsh but a dog is an innocent creature and looks to us humans for protection. It makes me sick that someone would allow their kids to do such horrible things to a puppy!!!!!!!!!!!! The parents are really the ones that should be put on the table and poked at. They must have shown their kids that this type of behavior is okay!!!
Posted By: terrielinn

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/20/08 11:44 PM

Those children were once innocent as well and have learned a behavior from some place during a dark time in their short lives. I am quite thankful for Amy stepping in and saving the dog and for letting those children know that their actions were more than just inappropriate. May the parents and others use this as a teachable moment for the children and not lay the blame on the people that stepped in to stop the torture.
Posted By: flip flop

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/21/08 12:15 AM

Thanks for the never know how your actions will be taken on your "adopted island." Some suggested that I should have spanked the children, but I realize that the children must have learned these actions from their parents or other adults.

And, I would never physically discipline some other's child. Although, I'm not against being verbal - as today a young bicycler hit an older woman pretty good, but just kept on going. We were in a cart and caught up to him and I gave him a good verbal lashing.

Anyway, quite a few rough days, but my spirits are still high. If this is your home, then you have to be pro-active in your community.


FYI: I've been visiting for 18 years, but am a permanent resident as of several months ago. Just so that you didn't think I'm a hit-and-run "do-gooder".
Posted By: natalie p

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/21/08 12:22 AM

May I suggest you bring this to the attention of the Mayoress if you can get her at the Town Board? They do listen to visitors who are upset by something.
Posted By: Nova

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/21/08 12:29 AM

Way to go Amy! You did the right thing.
Posted By: Luvinlife

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/21/08 12:45 AM

YAY! Amy, the world needs more people like you. Animal abuse is one of the worst thing I can think of. WAY TO GO GIRL! and the kids should be in trouble regardless of age. Teach them now before they do it to another animal or a human.
Posted By: divingcowgirl

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/21/08 12:56 AM

Can I get a HUGE AMEN for Amy!!! My hat is off to you! Thank you, thank you, thank you for saving that puppy. My advice is if and when the father catches up to you, I'd stand toe to toe, look him in the eye and let him know, under no such circumstances should that type of behavior be tolerated by children or adults... especially to a defensless puppy..
I understand that children do learn "certain" behaviors from adults (parents, family members) but they should also be taught the ways of proper treatment of animals.... (like a good and proper swat the the nether region) I've been known to get in a few faces around here for some mistreatment problems...
Kudos to you Amy, keep ever vigilant.
Posted By: terrielinn

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/21/08 01:06 AM

I couldn't agree more DCG. So here's an "Amen"!

Proper kudos to Amy!

Posted By: shuffles

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/21/08 01:08 AM

ditto, and ditto....

maybe the father would like to get on a table and be smacked and poked around for a bit....guessing he wouldnt like that idea at all
Posted By: divingcowgirl

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/21/08 01:16 AM

Then again Shuffles, he might...

Don't EVEN tempt me.... I'd be at the front of the line and then I'd run around to the end of the line and do it some more..
I can't EVEN watch Animal Planet when they show all the animal cruelty... I just want to "throttle" those people who abuse..
It was so hard when I worked as a vet tech not to just reach out and really hurt some people that brought in animals that were clearly "abused".....
(O.K. Spurs... calm down... breath deep, find happy place)...grrrrrrrrrrrr
Posted By: flip flop

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/21/08 02:24 AM

I'm humbled by your support.

My husband is 6.1 and is more than willing to take up the slack if the so-called owner shows up chest-to-chest(not that I couldn't be a vigilante-biatch if the occasion arises). What father would tolerate such action.

However...I will allow that perhaps he wasn't aware of his children's action? I'm always willing to give the benefit of the doubt.
Posted By: divingcowgirl

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/21/08 02:38 AM

True on giving the benefit of the doubt, I can understand that. But what I have a hard time wrapping my head around is parents that would allow such a thing to happen. When I look at it in one perspective, why would the father let the children have the puppy back? Would that not be a good lesson for the children, that if you treat the pets badly, they are not allowed to have them??? I for one (after spanking the brats) would make sure that the abused pet found a good home, and after much thought and time had passed, would I EVEN consider letting the children have one again.. JMHO.....
Posted By: Luvinlife

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/21/08 02:57 AM

Very well stated DCG. This man, nor his children deserve to own a pet.

Amy, thank you for saving the baby and I hope if the jerk comes your big hubby treats him the same way his miserable kids treated the pup.

This thing sickens me to the core. Amazing people/children could abuse harmless sweet animals. Goes to show us what the world is turning into I guess? SAD SAD SAD
Posted By: cheshire54

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/21/08 03:37 AM

I too applaud your action 'flipflop'...that is totally NOT to be tolerated behavior...for children OR adults...and be the victim dog, cat, horse, whatever!!! Here in CA (I think statewide?) if someone is reported for something like that...they can get arrested!! And if it's the children who are caught---the PARENT is also held responsible!!!
Posted By: Renee-md

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/21/08 12:52 PM


Good for you! What the hell is wrong with our world that children would be torturing a helpless animal. So glad that you rescued the pup! God help those kids if they are that cold and indifferent at that age!

Bless you!!

Posted By: ragman

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/21/08 01:13 PM

Flip flop, Good on you. I would recommend that you report this to the police. It would put you on firmer ground if later the father/owner attempts to accuse you of stealing his dog and he goes to the police. You turned the puppy into SAGA so there should not be a problem. Just a suggestion.
Posted By: collyk

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/21/08 01:16 PM

So sad. Thank you for stepping in and rescuing that puppy flip flop. When I was on the lecture circuit I had the opportunity to meet a gentleman called Dr. Frank Ascione from the University of Utah. He has devoted his research to exploring links between animal abuse and violence in human beings.

Years of research has enabled him to identify 13 reasons that children abuse animals. These are:

• Curiosity or exploration
• Peer pressure (e.g. an as initiation rite; goading by other children)
• Mood enhancement (to relieve boredom or depression)
• Sexual gratification (bestiality)
• Forced abuse (i.e. the child is coerced into abusing an animal by a more
powerful individual – like a parent)
• Attachment to an animal (the child kills the animal to prevent it from being
tortured by someone else)
• Animal phobias (preemptive attack on a feared animal)
• Identification with the child’s offender (e.g. victimized child may try to regain
a sense of power by victimizing a more vulnerable animal)
• Post-traumatic play (i.e. re-enacting violent episodes with an animal as
• Imitation (i.e. copying an abusive adult’s behavior)
• Self-injury (i.e. using an animal to inflict injuries on the child’s own body)
• Vehicle for emotional abuse (e.g. injuring a sibling’s pet to frighten the
• Rehearsal for interpersonal violence

Understanding the reasons why children commit abuse against animals is a powerful tool in helping us to prevent it. If you would like to read more about this, the Juvenile Justice Bulletin has an excellent article here

In my own experience dealing with animal abuse and cruelty, I would suggest that these children are victims of abuse themselves, experiencing and witnessing violence in their own home. Child Protection Services in many countries around the world see animal abuse committed by children as an indicator of violence in the home.
Posted By: kris48

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/21/08 03:05 PM

Often these kids are victims of domestic violence, physical abuse, or sexual abuse and will grow up to be perpetrators themselves. Most, if not all, mass murderers started by abusing animals. In an older child this is labeled Conduct Disorder, and there is no treatment for this. I too would suggest filing a police report. Protect yourself, and possibly get the kids the help they need before it's too late.
Posted By: catamarannan

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/21/08 03:28 PM

In 2005 my Women's Club in NH sponsored KIND NEWS subscriptions which were sent to SAGA. KIND News teaches K-6 students to care for pets, respect wild neighbors, and be kind to peers. It was to be given to a primary school classroom. Which school I do not know. I never heard if it was beneficial or appreciated. This newspaper might be what is needed in all the schools. It is fun, informational and would even help with reading skills. It is provided by the Humane Society and costs about $50 per subscription for delivery outside the US. It includes 28 copies and a teachers guide. Anyone interested in becoming a sponsor can find info online by using search words, KIND NEWS. I too hate to hear about or see animal abuse. My daughter adopted a Belizean dog who is now healthy, happy and living in Massachusetts.
Posted By: divingcowgirl

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/21/08 04:50 PM

A Dog's Purpose (from a 6-year-old)

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife,
Lisa, and their little boy, Shane, were all very attached to Belker,
and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the
family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform
the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience .

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's
family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away .

The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.

Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, 'I know why.'
Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation.
He said, 'People are born so that they can learn how to live a
good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?'

The six-year-old continued, 'Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long.'

Live simply.
Love generously.
Care deeply.
Speak kindly.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.

Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be some thing you're not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently

Posted By: Renee-md

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/21/08 06:22 PM

DCG, that was beautiful and brought tears to my eyes and so very true! Our animals give us so much love and pleasure. We adopted out Lab Moon from a rescue group last August. She was 6 months old and they got her and her sister from kill shelter in NC. The first 4 days we had her the poor thing just hid in the den and would occasionally peek her head around the corner and look at us. We would just talk gently and softly to her and then she would turn around and go back and lie down. On the 5th day she came into the family and laid on the floor and while we watched TV. We just kept talking to her telling her everything would be OK. On the 6th day she jumped up on the sofa flopped on her back belly up as if to say. Hey! You guys are OK! She is just a love bug! Her and our other dog and Dobie just play and enjoy life and give us unconditional love. They support and nurture each other which unfortunately alot of humans don't. They certainly can teach us about love and caring.


Posted By: natalie p

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/21/08 07:34 PM

Yesterday I saw a group of small children playing with 4 small puppies about 6 weeks old. They were being very gentle and I praised them . I asked what were they going to do with them, and they said their father was going to take them to SAGA eventually. I offered to take them for them and to ask their Dad. Today I passed in the area and the children came calling to me , asking me to help take them to SAGA. I spoke with the Dad, and the 3 children and 4 puppies (2 of the puppies very sick)got on the cart and we delivered them to SAGA.Ingrid at SAGA managed to get a phone number for Dad and she told the children she was going to call him to bring the mother dog in for free sterlization in the am. The children said yes, they would for sure bring her in! What a great job SAGA does.
Don't be afraid to talk to children with puppies and encourage them to be loving and gentle with them. Don't be afraid to berate them if they are being cruel either.Chldren love to learn.AND---please help SAGA with any donations you can so that they can continue their great work.
Posted By: flip flop

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/21/08 07:37 PM


It seems the bad Daddy found out where we live and was looking for us. I'm told he was quite beligerent. I think that maybe his wife runs the little store at the bridge. That would explain why someone kept yelling as we were crossing the bridge yesterday. Sooner or later we'll have a confrontation.

So....we went to the police station to file a report and she just kind of laughed. Not necessary, she said. Once you take an animal to SAGA, it's out of your hands.

I'm supposed to tell the guy (if he shows up again) that the puppy is at SAGA and if he has a problem with me then he can jolly well take himself to the police station.

That should be interesting. Hope the guy doesn't slash my tires because they're so darn expensive and brand new!!!
Posted By: natalie p

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/21/08 08:20 PM

Put a "Beware Of The Dog" sign on your house!
I know it must be scary. Hopefully he'll not bother you and if he goes to SAGA, I think Ingrid would very quickly put him in his place. Any threatening behaviour from him is a crime, even if it's verbal.
Posted By: azbob

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/21/08 08:24 PM

Absolutely beautiful.
Posted By: azbob

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/21/08 08:34 PM

flip flop, I wish I was there to back you up, but know I am totally with you. You absolutely did the right thing.

Not knowing Belizian law, I don't understand why "Once you take an animal to SAGA, it's out of your hands." It is still animal crulety, isn't it? Does SAGA file the complaint?

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/21/08 11:09 PM

thank you amy
Posted By: collyk

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/21/08 11:50 PM

You might want to read this thread on another forum to get an insight into animal welfare law enforcement in Belize.

Sorry tale
Posted By: Aviator

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/21/08 11:51 PM

This is my big


NOT sarcastic or a innapropriate attempt at humor.

Thanks Amy
Posted By: seashell

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/22/08 01:41 AM

flipflop, why don't you pre-empt the dad by looking for him first. You might find him a bit easier to deal with, if you make the first approach. He's not going to be expecting that.

I'm not suggesting that you go in with both guns blazing, just a gentle approach with open hands to show your willingness to discuss what happened and why you took the action.

While it has been the experience (or opinion) of others that it is child abuse that sets children to abusing a puppy, it has been my experience that children caught doing wrong, rarely tell their parents the truth of what happened. I suspect that the father is angry because he doesn't know the whole story. All he knows is that you took his dog.

If that's all you knew about what happened to your dog, wouldn't you be out looking for the culprits too?
Posted By: LaurieMar

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/22/08 06:29 AM

As a HUGE animal lover and supporter of our local SPCA, I am so glad to hear you were able to get the pup to SAGA for medical attention. I would have done the exact same thing in your shoes.

It is very alarming to me that such young children were involved. At that age, most kids are extremely compassionate and attached to animals, even those that are not their own. I would be hard pressed to believe this isn't learned behavior from some source.

At the risk of potentially compromising personal safety, I wouldn't go looking for the guy, I'd leave it up to the police.

A couple of years ago, 2 cats in my neighborhood were found dead, one was my beloved pet, Itchy. My neighbor and I suspected a man poisoned them, as we heard rumors and he had birds in cages in his backyard (a natural attraction to cats!). We called the Sheriff who went over to his home and investigated. Although it was never proved, as that is difficult to do unless catching animal abuse in the act, (the Sheriff suspected him as well and advised him so), he was given a print out about the law and consequences of a conviction for animal abuse. The Sheriff also told him that he would be watched by both law enforcement and his neighbors, but he didn't know which neighbors and seemed nervous and scared. We were strongly advised not to approach him due to possible retribution.

No further problems since and the birds are no longer there. Of course, things are very different in Belize, but I truly appreciated the "intimidation approach!"
Posted By: sneaky

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/22/08 06:48 AM

i an animal lover...and i too would call some authority agency to deal with animal abuse.....
i wouldnt support.. the vet at saga society...inna s.p.,,,.with one red cent.
b/c of mine and my s.p. friends expieriences with her.....we call her....'''the exterminator''' .....!![if yu need more.....message me....]
i think theres a dollar motive workin there...and little else...!
altruism.....ahhhhhhhhh ,i dont see it.
[i best stop now...b4 mi di gat bex-oup]
Posted By: Canam

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/22/08 07:27 AM

Yes you absolutely did the right thing, but that being said it's a differnt culture and world. I've seen baby monkeys, raccoons, snakes, kittens, and puppies treated inhumanely. It's all a manner of perspective apparently!
Posted By: sweetjane

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/22/08 11:46 AM

LOL love your edit reason! is a very astute observation about cultural differences.

education (either book or verbal) is the key. like birth control, like littering...they were just not taught the same ways as we were. if i see misguided behavior outside my own culture, like amy, i tell the kid/person they should not do what they did, and why. (the WHY is important to understanding!)

first time i was in san ignacio long ago, i saw 2 men throw their trash in the square. i went over, picked it up and put it in the can (just feet away). they looked at me like i was crazy. i softly said, 'your town is very should have pride in it and keep it clean.' Blank stares.

when we were in Turkey: they consider dogs/cats to just be 'dirty animals'. while they do not abuse them, they don't take care of them very well (cats not at all). most are quite undernourished. the idea that my cats not only are INSIDE MY HOUSE but SLEEP ON MY BED was absolutely unheard of & unbelievable to them!!

just different cultures. teach humanity.
Posted By: 2Aggies

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/22/08 04:45 PM

FF - AMEN to you for your actions. You did the right thing. Do not be afraid or intimidated by the bully dad. If he storms up, simply advise him his actions will land him in jail, possibly beaten up.(from the discription of your husband) If the parents were aware of the action of the kids I'd like to know and will make it a point to stop by their store and tell them why I am not doing business there. I am seldom intimidated, which has been known to get me in trouble. If enough of us "temporary guest" and residents do likewise, it will have some impact on business I would think.
We too are animal lovers and have taken in too many strays and homeless to count over the years. 3 cats lounging in various areas of the house right now are proof of the reward we get back. DCG - that was a great story!
Posted By: Teach

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/23/08 01:25 AM

Flip flop
As an outsider I should probably keep out of this BUT as a teacher it is hard to do (yes ernieb - overkill). I agree that the father most likely does not know the WHOLE story. It is my experience that children usually only tell the parts that help them out. I have stood many times - nose (mine) to chest (dad's). But when dad knew the whole story, things seem to change. I just can't imagine a father that would let his child do something like that If they knew what really happened. So another KUDO to you. If dad does catch up with you, stand your ground and you will be fine. If not I think there are many down there that will grind dad into the ground for you. Keep up the good work.
Posted By: ScubaLdy

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/23/08 02:31 AM

Animals are treated differently here by people who were born and raised here. Many of them think we are nuts for having our animals inside. Many of them think that dogs mouths are nasty and full of germs and don't want to be licked. One day I left my puppy eat the left over food off of my plate and the housekeeper threw it away.

People play with dogs very differently here - they tease them and try to get them to snap at them. Then accuse the dog of biting when he nips them. Children will run up to one of my dogs, hit it on the head and run away and then cry when the dog chases them. The parents sit by and passively watch.

I have tried very unsuccessfully to get them to stop. There may be a long history of dog bites here as most people are afraid of a barking dog. There are a lot of pit bulls and pit bull mixes. Most of these are kept chained and used strictly as guard dogs.

So, bottom line, things are different here but it doesn’t mean they can’t change!
Posted By: Islenutt

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/23/08 02:45 AM

This thread reminded me of something I read years ago in a journal written by a woman living and working in the Dangriga area. I wasn't able to find the exact entry again online but I printed it out then, and have saved it since. Hopefully some things have stayed the same and some have changed...

Paget's Belize Jornal - 12/7/99

1. You absolutely must paint your toenails in the tropics, but you don't have to wear makeup.
2. And you don't have to wash your hair everyday or even your body ( except the naughty bits), but you do have to wash the dishes.
3. It's absolutely appalling how domestic animals (cats, dogs, horses, donkeys) are treated, but you can't do anything about it so you might as well get used to it.
4. Some bugs in the house are not so bad and lizards are postively benign.
5. Six o'clock in the morning is a nice time to be up when it's warm.
6. Political correctness is a concept from another planet.
7. The world is not white and never will be.
8. It's their country.

With that I'll sign off.
Posted By: ScubaLdy

Re: Children and Puppies - 08/23/08 03:54 AM

Isle - I like that - thanks
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