28 Apr 2012

Animal or human behaviour… which is worse?

POLICE shot a pit-bull yesterday in an upscale residential area in San Fernando after it broke free of its chain and escaped its owners open yard, roaming the area and striking fear in the hearts of residents.

For more than four hours, residents in and around Titanium Avenue, Union Hall in San Fernando remained under siege locked inside their homes as the brownish red, muscular canine with a spiked collar around its neck darted in and out of homes.

Frightened residents called in the police and after following the trail, at 1 pm the animal was shot twice in its front legs at Silverstone Street which is a cul-de-sac off Titanium Avenue. Neighbours told Newsday that the dog is owned by a policeman who lives in the area but works in Port-of-Spain. Not only is the policeman’s yard not fenced but there was no sign of a kennel.

The policeman’s wife arrived on the scene after the dog was shot but did not want to give her name. She said she had tried to hold the dog but it kept running away from her. “If it sees me it would run again. I tried to hold it but it wouldn’t come to me,” she said before going into her home. The bleeding dog dragged itself through some open yards before resting at the entrance of a house at Silverstone Extension. Constables Seekumar and Kerron Stewart kept guard on the bleeding dog for about two hours until it was taken away. Riyad Mohammed, vice president of Top Edge American Pit-bull Terrier Club arrived after he was alerted by a resident. He said he visited the dog owner’s home and observed they had an open yard .

“We are trying our best to have incidents like this not to happen. The thing is, owners of pit bulls are the ones who must be held responsible and not the breed itself,” Mohammed said. Within recent days there has been raging debate following an announcement by the Ministry of the Attorney General that by August 1, the Dangerous Dogs Act will become law and punitive action ranging from fines and jail terms for errant dog owners to the killing of pit bulls and other dogs identified under the Act, will be lawful.

Once more, I notice and point out:

  • The dog is owned by a police duncey, who knowingly puts lives at risk
  • The property is unsecured, not having even a fence
  • The dog’s chain is once more inadequate to hold the tension created by a pulling dog
  • The owner is not present
  • The wife cannot control the dog (which makes me wonder if the owner can)
  • the dog terrorised a neighbourhood
  • It needed to be shot before it could be approached or controlled

These are similarities I observed in many other cases of dog attacks, and though no one was killed or injured in this instance, the potential was there.

As I pointed out in my analysis of the Dangerous Dogs Act (DDA), the Act seeks to have owners insure not only against injury or death, but also secure their properties and ensure that dogs are no danger to the public. Would I be sorry if this dog had chewed some on the police duncey or a member of his family? Not one iota, as harsh as that may sound.

In other news, a human being savaged a young girl by slashing her throat and stabbing her in the abdomen 6 times. Behaviour worse than most animals.

Nikita Ramischand, the last daughter of Odai Ramsichand, was brutally slain. Ironically, her father said:

that two years ago, he took a decision to leave Trinidad and migrate with his family because of the crime situation but because it would have disrupted his children’s education, he decided against it. With Nikita’s death, migration is now uppermost in his mind.

I guess he didn’t build that raft on time.

Animal and human behaviour… which is worse?