(CMR) 53 dogs were seized earlier this week from a residence in Prospect in a joint operation with RCIPS and DOA. Exclusive CMR sources indicate the dog owners were Sylvia Felicity Francis, former owner of Pet Emporium.
Francis has been importing dogs to the Cayman Islands for many years and used to have a commercial space in Caymanian Village. We understand she moved to another location and renamed the business something else. Apparently, CMR reporters have received complaints about her dating back several years.
She often could be found advertising her dogs for sale on the local classified websites.
On Monday, May 6, 2019, RCIPS officers, acting on information provided by the Department of Agriculture’s (DOA) Animal Welfare Unit, executed a search warrant at a residence in the Prospect Area of George Town, together with animal welfare and control officers from the Department of Agriculture (DOA), and representatives of the Department of Environmental Health (DEH) and the Planning Department. Upon entering the premises, officers discovered a large number small breed dogs in a variety of crates and cages confined in one room in unsanitary conditions, with limited ventilation.
During the operation it was determined that a total of 53 small breed dogs comprising purebred and mixes that included Shih Tzu, Yorkshire Terriers, Maltese, Dachshund and Pekingese , were being kept in unacceptable conditions for animal welfare. The dogs were found to be in generally poor condition, with matted hair, and most suffering from alopecia (hair loss) suggesting demodectic mange. All the dogs appeared to have external parasites (ticks and fleas), and most presented with significant to serious dental issues and various ocular (eye) problems. The dogs were seized and removed from the location.
All of the dogs were immediately assessed and triaged by a DoA veterinary officer, and the two most severe cases were sent urgently to a local veterinary clinic. On further assessment, based on one of the dog’s extremely poor condition and prognosis for recovery, a decision was taken to humanely euthanize the animal.
“This seizure is the largest we have ever had of dogs taken from one residence,”
said Brian Crichlow, Assistant Director of the Department of Agriculture,
“and the health of the animals and conditions in which they were kept are disturbing. They do not appear to have been given appropriate preventative health care, and as a result the prognosis of the some of the animals is poor, despite the continuous veterinary care they have been receiving since Monday.”
The owner of the dogs, a woman, age 54 of the Prospect area, has been warned for intended prosecution. The rest of the seized dogs remain under the care and control of the Department of Agriculture, where they continue to be assessed and receive veterinary care and treatment.
“This scale of this seizure illustrates just how necessary a multi-agency approach is to addressing the most serious animal control and welfare issues, and while many of these crimes are summary offences, they still pose threats to the overall health of a community,”
said Kurt Walton, Deputy Commissioner of Police. “The DOA is an important partner and we will continue to work closely to address such animal welfare and cruelty cases and take necessary enforcement action.”
Note: Many persons are interested in adopting these dogs but we know that full medicals and other assessments and treatments must be undertaken before that would be a feasible option. Sadly many dogs may not be suitable for adoption.