by David Hinkson
The Animal Control Centre has seen an increase in the number of Barbadians licensing their dogs over the last five years.
Acting Animal Control Officer, Peter Belgrave, told Barbados TODAY, “Owing to increased awareness through our outreach programmes, as well as when incidents are highlighted on social media, we find more people have been coming in over the last four or five years to license their dogs.”
He said, “Licensing is important since it will make the dog easier to trace if it goes missing. The fee is $5 per year or $10 for a three-year license. There is an annual subscription fee if you are a kennel owner (that is, you own five dogs or more), and you pay a one-time fee of $5 if your dog is spayed or neutered.”
Belgrave was speaking at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where the Animal Control Centre was staging one of its two annual outreach programmes aimed at encouraging Barbadians to learn more about the centre’s role and to report any concerns they might have about dogs in their neighbourhoods. He noted, “This week is Animal Care and Control Week, which is staged internationally and is aimed at highlighting the work of animal control centres, while we hold another series of activities early in October to commemorate World Animal Day on October 4.”
The Animal Control Officer advised dog owners to ensure their pets were properly secured at all times. “If you know you have a relatively large dog, put up “Beware of the Dog” signs on your property, and install secondary fencing around your home so if the dog breaches the first line of defense, there is a second one to restrain it. Also, depending on the kind of dog, you have to look at the height because some dogs actually can jump over fences. Beyond that, dogs are very smart and if you do not have a (brick) fence, they can actually dig under it and find a way out. The onus is on the owner to ensure the dog does not get off the property unless you are walking it, and when you are walking it, you must have it on a leash so you can always exercise control over it.”
The Centre has staged these displays at the QEH for the past three years due to its centralised location and the large numbers of people who visit the hospital. This week, animal control officers will also be at Massy Stores, Holetown in St James, Emerald City in St Philip, and the Popular Discounts store at Kendal Hill in Christ Church.