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Stray dogs removed from condemned shelter
A mixed-breed Mastiff, a mixed Collie, a poodle, a puppy and six emaciated pot-hounds were all rescued from the defunct San Fernando dog pound yesterday.
They were taken to a facility where they were expected to be spayed, neutered and fed and loved.
The dogs were kept for days at the pound even though it was shut down permanently by former Mayor of San Fernando Kazim Hosein in 2016.
Around 9.30 am, officials from Pet to the Vet Ltd, as well as dog catchers from the San Fernando City Corporation went to the pound where the animals were rounded up and carted off in two vans.
Chief Executive Officer of Pet to the Vet Ltd, Miranda Marguerite said she was appalled at the conditions at the pound. She said the animals were yelping and whimpering and appeared to be underfed and abused.
“There was no dog chow there. The dogs looked as if they were starving. We saw signs that they were given water. We do not know how long they were here or if they were being kept here until they starved to death,” Marguerite said.
She said after picking up the dogs, they were then taken to Dr Raymond Deonanan, a veterinary surgeon, who examined each dog. The Mastiff had a hole under his chest and part of his paw was eaten off.
“That one was going to be put down and we had to beg for it before we picked him up to take him to Dr Deonanan. The other dogs were skinny but were not injured,” Marguerite said.
She said she was disappointed that the dogs were still being left to suffer at the dilapidated and defunct pound.
“We were assured by the Mayor of San Fernando that the animals will not be placed in the pound so when we heard they were picking up dogs again and putting them there we were very disappointed,” Marguerite said.
She added that she was confident that all of the dogs will be re-homed. She also called on the Government to impose stiffer fines for the abuse of animals saying instead of $1,000 fine or three months imprisonment, abusive animal owners should be made to pay $10,000 fine and three months imprisonment.
Vice president of Animals Alive Jowelle De Souza, who exposed the situation on her Facebook page, said she was looking forward to the construction of the new dog pound. She said she has been trying to contact the San Fernando Mayor on several occasions to discuss the plight of the dogs but could not reach him. She said instead of putting the dogs in the defunct pound, the corporation could reach an arrangement with Animals Alive to have the stray dogs placed at the sanctuary at Ralph Narine Trace, Oropouche.
Contacted for comment Mayor Junia Regrello denied that the dogs were being starved at the pound.
“We feed them with food from the market. We do not starve them,” Regrello said. He also denied that the corporation had funds to build a new pound, saying the project had been approved and the corporation had applied for Central Government to release funds for it.
Minister of Local Government Kazim Hosein said in an interview that the new $3 million pound will be built by his Ministry and will be handed over to stakeholders for management. He said designs are being redeveloped to meet the Dog Control regulations, adding that tenders will be issued as soon as the designs are completed.
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