Public encouraged to report incidents of animal cruelty

This photo of an emaciated dog circulated on Facebook caused widespread shock and outrage
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By Adia Wynter

Members of the public are being urged to report instances of animal abuse to the Dog Registration and Control Authority (DRCA).

Manager of the DRCA, Melissa Eliot, is encouraging residents to reach out to the relevant authorities in matters of animal abuse to prevent having such instances left unaddressed.

“When these situations arise, turn it over to the relevant authorities… Don’t go putting it out in the public and then say the authorities are not doing their jobs. There are legislation that are in place; there are fines and penalties for persons who inflict harm and are this cruel to animals,” she said.

Eliot further explained that the few calls received regarding animal abuse are always acted upon with due diligence by the DRCA, but many cases that some say are left unaddressed are normally cases that have also been unreported.

In regards to the amount of cases reported to the DRCA, she said, “It’s not a lot, and this is why I feel the need to respond, because the public, when they have situations like this, they usually call on these other organisations because a lot of people are more familiar with them than the DRCA.”

Eliot’s comments were as a result of the public’s response to photos posted on the Dogs and Cats of Antigua Facebook page last Wednesday, which showed an ill-treated and malnourished dog that was tied and covered in mange.

“The notion behind the whole situation is completely misleading. It has since come to the point where it is being blasted that Antigua as a nation is cruel – we are a cruel people towards animals… and it is painting a very negative and incorrect image about the people of Antigua and Barbuda,” she explained.

Dogs and Cats of Antigua declined to comment.
Cases of animal abuse can be reported to the DRCA by emailing them at [email protected], calling them at 562-7277, or visiting their Facebook page.

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