Mar 01, 2021 Letters
In his inaugural address to the 12th Parliament, His Excellency, President Irfaan Ali, said “Animal welfare will be a priority for his government”. I thought it was just political speak, until an incident happened on Monday, February 15th, that proved his words carry weight.
Some of you may recall that approximately three weeks before the President’s speech a FB post was made to an animal welfare page about a young dog being beaten by his mentally sick owner. Following that post, Facebook friends were angry and wanted the woman to be held accountable. I was tagged in the post and notified the GSPCA about the abuse and asked for their help in dealing with the matter. The GSPCA Animal Inspector (Mr. Wright) and I went to the location at Parfaite Harmony. We found a very small home, grass over four feet high, and a concrete fence with no driveway or gate. We met with the dog owner who climbed over her fence to speak with us.
The woman was in tears, telling us how she rescued the young dog, whom she loves dearly, and how she cooks and baths her and even took her to the GSPCA for shots. She went on the say how a neighbour is causing problems and has a drone flying over her home at nights. She showed us the dog, who looked ok. The Inspector told her to be kind and never hurt the animal which she promised to obey. We left her some worm tablets and dog chow.
On Valentine’s night at 11:50 pm, the same man who made the initial FB report called me. He was emotional, apologized for calling at such a late hour but wanted me to hear how the woman was tormenting her dog. What I heard was heartbreaking, the verbal abuse followed by the dog’s screams, which I taped.
The following morning, I made contact with Mahendra Siwnarine, Commander 4 “C” Division, a very nice and compassionate officer! He immediately sent me Commander for Region 3 Division, Errol Watts’ cell number. I called the Commander and sent him the audio. Within minutes, he called back and said officers from Parfaite Harmony were on standby to assist us. We met a very kind and concerned ASP Williams, who sent two officers with us. We arrived at the woman’s home, which was locked up tight.
The officers tried for 30 minutes to get her to open the door. When she finally appeared, she said she didn’t know where the dog was. The dog suddenly showed up from the bushy area. She grabbed him and locked them both in the house. That morning we saw her frightening side. She was swearing, screaming, crying, and threatening a neighbour who she thought had made the report. Several neighbours looked out from their windows making hand signs indicating how she beats her dog.
Because of her threats and lack of co-operation, backup was requested. Three officers including ASP Williams arrived at the scene. All the officers knew the woman and her history; she was a regular at the station.
ASP Williams, was gentle and caring when speaking with the woman. After another 30 minutes of talking, she reluctantly handed the traumatized and frightened animal over to the GSPCA Inspector. We put the distressed dog in a kennel in my pickup but before we could leave the woman threw herself on the ground in front of the vehicle, hurling threats at us and her neighbours. She screamed, demanding the return of her dog.
The police warned her to cease and desist from that behaviour and she finally relented. An ARAPS member is currently fostering the dog that is being showered with love and will soon be spayed.
This case was particularly sad because of the emotional condition of the owner of the dog. She undoubtedly had strong feelings for her pet, feelings that moved from extreme love to extreme abuse.
This is not the first such case and will not be the last. We may have saved the life of an abused animal but maybe we need to be asking another question as well: What can we do to improve conditions for animal owners who need animals for the therapeutic benefits received from them?
I want to thank our President for his powerful words and his commitment as demonstrated by our police force. Thanks to Commander Error Watts, for being a no-nonsense, get-the-job-done commander. Thanks to ASP K. Williams for his gentle yet strong approach to the situation and Sergeant Correia, and three other officers (Persaud, Alleyene and Willis). Thanks to Neigbourhood Police officer, Nicole Frank, for allowing the emotional woman to hug her. A very special thanks to Commander Mahendra Siwnarine, who assured us his Division 4 “C” will support our work in eliminating animal cruelty. Thank you also to Commander Khalid Mandall who is currently stationed in Region 1, for his many years of assisting us during his tenure in Region 4. Thanks also Asp Mohamed Ally (Cove & John), who is very supportive and always helpful.
Once again, thanks to GSPCA, for its ongoing support, as well as all the neighbours who help control animal cruelty by keeping their eyes and ears open and reporting cases of cruelty to the proper authorities; working together we can eliminate animal cruelty.
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