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November 21, 2014
VSPCA calls on police to uphold animal cruelty laws

The Vincentian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (VSPCA) is calling on the local police force to uphold the laws regarding cruelty to domesticated animals and livestock.

VSPCA vice-president Margaret Hughes-Ferrari said that almost on a daily basis, members of the organization receive reports of animals {{more}}being mistreated and injured due to human actions against them.

“We would like to see serious animal cruelty punished!” she insisted.

She explained that the Animal Protection Act allows for legal punishment to be meted out to individuals found guilty of maliciously harming animals.

“The reason people disregard them [the laws] is the police,” asserted Hughes-Ferrari. “We have reported incidents of animal cruelty to the police, and, on occasion, they have laughed at us. They have told us there is nothing they can do.”

She further pointed out that aside from intentionally harming animals, many persons neglect their pets – failing to realize that is also a form of cruelty.

“I don’t think Vincentians realize. They recognize that chopping an animal with a cutlass is cruel, but they don’t recognize that keeping a dog in the sun on a chain, without proper exercise or water or food is cruelty.”

Hughes-Ferrari also said that she believes that there is a dog-fighting ring being operated in St Vincent and the Grenadines, but has no hard evidence of when and where it takes place, nor the scope of the problem.

She said that she has been told by several veterinarians of times when badly injured dogs have been brought in, and the owners cannot satisfactorily explain how the injuries were sustained. Hughes-Ferrari also said that she has implored of veterinarians to refuse to clip the ears of dogs on the request of their owners, as this is a strong indicator that the dog may be used for fighting purposes.

“The pitbulls especially, they cut their ears to practically nothing, so the other dogs can’t grab onto their ears,” she explained.

Treasurer of the VSPCA Lisa Walker also said that in training the dogs to fight, smaller dogs may be used as “bait” during practice, and end up badly maimed or dead.

Walker also said that she hopes the organization’s continued efforts to sensitize persons about animal cruelty will help to put an end to this occurrence.

The VSPCA also runs free community clinics throughout the year that offer spaying and neutering for dogs and cats, as well as treatment for other maladies for domesticated animals and livestock.

Additionally, the community clinic also has a ‘spa’ for animals (which is conducted by Ruth Ross, of Campden Park) – offering flea baths, tick removal and skin treatments.(JSV)