Monday 12 November, 2018

Hungry, scared, alone: Dogs allegedly being dumped in South Trinidad

Photo: Local animal welfare group FURever Homes For Abandoned Animals said dogs were seen wandering in a lonely area along Petrotrin field road.

Photo: Local animal welfare group FURever Homes For Abandoned Animals said dogs were seen wandering in a lonely area along Petrotrin field road.

One animal welfare group raised an alarm after they said over 10 dogs were allegedly dumped along a lonely road in South Trinidad. 

The FURever Homes For Abandoned Animals group called for assistance after the dogs were seen, some of them so thin their ribs were showing, wandering along Petrotrin Fields Road, somewhere between Point Fortin and Santa Flora. 

"I am posting on behalf of someone. "I've noticed recently that there is an increasing number of dogs being abandoned along the Petrotrin fields road. This road connects Santa Flora and Point Fortin. These were healthy nice dogs."

"I save some food and (give) them while driving to home on evenings. The poor dogs just follow each car that passes by for a while. Then stop running when tired. There is an empty lost look in their eyes. It breaks my heart every evening."

"There are probably about 10 dogs in total but all are not together. I think a guy that lives in a shack may feed some of the dogs. The exact route is Point Fortin (Dunlop Roundabout) to Santa Flora (before Petrotrin)". Please see pictures of just a few of these dogs. Does anyone else pass on this route? Can we brainstorm to get some ideas (on) how to assist these poor dogs?"

Director at the Animal Welfare Network, Pat Green, said although owners think this is a humane act, it far more cruel as the animal is subjected to starvation, injuries, and mental trauma. 

"Most of these acts occur in isolated areas and there is difficulty in accessing these remote areas. We don't approve of people dumping animals anywhere. People often say it's better than putting them to sleep but we do not agree with that."

"Some people say 'I can't take a life, if I leave it here, it will have a chance', but unfortunately, the only chance it gets is hunger or starvation, and a lot of pain if it's injured as these injuries attract flies then maggots, so putting an animal out in the bush is not kind, it's very cruel."

Green said although the group understands that many pet owners may have limited funds and are unable to care for the animal, there are other options.

One is to simply call and reach out to local animal welfare groups and to let them know that they can no longer house the pet. 

"They can reach out to groups like Animals Alive, which has a shelter in South Trinidad, although the shelter is usually full they can still provide information or help for alternative options."

"The other option, which some may not be comfortable with, is the TTSPCA, although they are often full, at least if the animals are handed in, if they cannot be kept they will be put down humanely."

"The other thing which a responsible owner would do, although it is difficult, if they cannot financially maintain the dog, and no one else is willing to take them in, at least try to put them down humanely. I'm sorry if this is negative but I understand that many people are going through financial hardships. Of course, we would much prefer if someone adopts the animal, but this is the sad reality of things," she said. 

Green said much of these difficulties stem from dogs, usually female dogs, who are not spayed, whether through carelessness or a lack of funds. 

She said however that owners should at least reach out to local vets to find out what can be done.

"We do get people wanting to get rid of their female dogs because they keep having puppies. We would suggest that they find out about our low-cost spaying and neutering options. There are a few vets in South Trinidad who also offer low-cost options," she said. 

Green added that the Animal Welfare Network continues to lobby government to amend legislation regarding animal welfare in Trinidad and Tobago. 

Anyone wanting information regarding re-homing dogs or cats in South Trinidad can reach out to Animals Alive on 708-9590 or the Animal Welfare Network on 627-3449, or for information on spaying and neutering they can reach out to the TTSPCA on 622-1367.


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