Beware of the Dog…

dogsToday’s Editorial in the Barbados Advocate newspaper makes for interesting reading. The death of a Verona Gibson by the mouths of dogs have rightly aroused the anger of Barbadians. BU’s position is simple, if owners continue to show they cannot train and or secure their ‘pet’ dogs then the state must step in to protect the vulnerableBarbados Undergound

The tragic death of an elderly Barbadian woman in the early hours of last Saturday owing to a mauling by a number of dogs [although the precise cause of her death has not yet been officially determined] has naturally renewed public calls for the more effective regulation of these animals.

The argument by dog lovers and others that the matter relates more to an absence of proper training and socialization of his or her animals by the owner of them rather than the natural propensity of the dog to attack has scarcely been assisted by the juxtaposition in another section of the press yesterday of a report of the local incident and a similar homicide of a six year old boy in south west Atlanta in the United States. Moreover, the readiness of some to attribute, perhaps unfairly, most dog attacks to one notorious breed would have been apparent in initial local reports of last Saturday’s tragedy.

This ambivalence towards liability for dogs is reflected to some extent in their legal regulation whereby, although these animals are classified as “mansuetae naturae” or tame by nature, the law also recognizes that they may inflict serious and, in some cases, lethal injury; hence they are specially treated in legislation.

For example, section 8 of the Animals (Civil Liability) Act, Cap 149 A provides:

Subject to section 9, the owner of a dog is liable for any damage caused by that dog.

(2) In an action under subsection (1)) it shall not be necessary for the aggrieved party to prove

(a) a previous mischievous propensity in the dog;

(b) that the owner knew of the dog’s vicious or mischievous propensity; or (c) that the damage was attributable to neglect on the part of the owner.

However, under section 9 of the same Act, the owner may escape liability if the damage is due wholly to the fault of the victim or if it may be established to the satisfaction of the court that he or she took reasonable care to prevent the dog from causing damage. There is similar legislation in Jamaica under the Dogs (Liability for Injuries) Act, and in Guyana.

The strict nature of the owner’s liability may be discerned in one Jamaican decision where even though the defendant’s dog had been set upon the claimant by two small boys, he was still held liable since the defence of “act of a stranger” was available only where the owner established that he had done everything he could have done to prevent third parties meddling with the dog and causing it to inflict injury. It should be noted that these statutes cover civil liability only and not criminal responsibility.

Most of the local suggestions for reform have been of the nature of enacting a Dangerous Dogs Act, such as obtains in the UK, [Dangerous Dogs Act 1991] where certain breeds of dog, [namely the pit bull terrier, the Japanese tosa and any dog of any type designated by the Secretary of State] are prohibited from being the subject of procreation, sale, exchange or gift or from going unmuzzled and off a leash in a public place or being abandoned or allowed to stray by the owner.

We are partial to the view that it is not the dog itself that is inherently dangerous, but rather that defective training or an absence of training might cause it to attack human beings, sometimes with fatal consequences.

We suggest therefore that criminal, and not merely civil, liability for damage should be reserved for those occasions only where the owner of certain stipulated types of dogs permits them to wander in public in breach of the Dogs (Licensing & Control) Act with the result that they inflict injury on individuals.

28 thoughts on “Beware of the Dog…

  1. Whenever animals come up against people we tend to side with the animals, the dogs.

    Nobody ever writes about the cruelty animals endure daily by people, especially for food.

    Pigs for example, are 4 or 5 time more intelligent than dogs and we kill millions every day

    We rare them in cages where they cannot turn around.

    They are subjected to all manner of chemicals/drugs

    Pigs are separated from their young soon after they drop, and more

    We have never been convinced that the hue and cry about the justice animals seek for the perennial cruelty from humanoids was warranted.

  2. GHEE Whiz Pacha you need to get off the f ing weed , A citizen was mauled to death by a pack of wild dogs and you talking pig sh,it
    This is a case of irresponsible dog ownership . But of course you would have the bleeding hearts crying foul and the owners trying to place blame with all kind of cockamamie deflectors .

  3. Too many people who keep dogs are just irresponsible idiots. I have had to seek legal representation for one neighbour whose dogs escaped into the road on numerous occasions. This neighbour keeps dobermans and akitas.

    His excuse when one morning I had to use an iron stake to beat the dogs off my children and me “I did not know that there was a hole in my fence”

    Another neighbour’s dog escaped INTO MY YARD scaring my minor children, including a toddler. Yes indeed there was a hole in their fence too.

    A sibling, a retired emergency nurse said that she shudders to think of the injuries which will occur when NOT IF, but when a serious huricane hits Barbados, the flimsy palings fall down and aggressive dogs and homeless old people and little children are forced into the same open spaces.

    Do not say that you did not know.

    You have heard it here.

  4. The idiots who kept the dogs which mauled the old lady to death also had holes in their fences, and even bigger holes where their brains should be.

  5. And the thing is most of the people who keep these aggressive dogs don’t have a po to piss in nor a window to throw it through, so I don’t know what they are protecting…just a bunch of hand to mouth idiots.

  6. Ever dog which bites should be put to death, and the owner should be castrated. If he can’t remove the dogs balls, then the state should remove his.

    This will solve 2 problems, agrressive dogs, and testosterone charged owners.

    Gambia dog that killed President Barrow’s son put down

    The dog that killed the eight-year-old son of Gambian President Adama Barrow has been put down. Habibu Barrow died in hospital after being bitten by the dog last month at his aunt’s house…Reports say that Habibu…was mauled by the dog and sustained a head injury. It is unclear why the dog attacked the young boy.

  8. “This neighbour keeps dobermans and akitas.”

    Akitas are cold weather animals and should be banned from Barbados, the more they swelter in high temperatures like Barbados, the angroer they become, their coats are meant to protect them from cold, not heat, only really stupid import Akitas and walk around the place with them..

    These dog owners obviously dont educate themselves before arming themselves with dangerous animals.

  9. Another very dangerous and horrifying aspect to dogs.

    “No choice

    Westfield, N.J.: To Voicer Michael Hooker: In the late 1960s, my wife and I were each age 22 and residing in El Paso, Tex. We had a dog who developed rabies and bit us. We had the anti-venom injections and all looked favorable. However, my wife was pregnant and I begged that she get an abortion. I was told in no uncertain terms that the hospital did not do abortions. Months later, my wife’s rabies returned in full force. She died screaming and howling as no human should ever scream. The autopsy revealed that the fetus re-infected her. Because of rigid stupidity, two lives were lost. Now, fifty-some years later, I still hear her screams. Herbert Kaplan”

  10. This morning I had to clean 4 balls of dog sh!t from my front yard, so that my toddler does not have to play in a dog sh!tty yard. I have not kept a dog for more than 50 years, even though I grew up in a home with a wonderful German Shepherd pet. I don’t hate dogs but I want to be free to come and go from my home as I please, and I want my toddler to be able to play in a clean yard, one free from other people’s dog sh!t.

    This dog sh!t I believe is coming from a Member of Parliament’s dog.

    What do I do? Whom should I complaint to?

    II just heard David Ellis on Brass Tacks saying that we should not over react?

    What is over react?

    What is under react?

    What would David advise me to do?

    Hide in my house for the rest of my life?

    Spend the rest of my life cleaning up other people’s dog shit?

    Please advise me what I should do?

  11. Well I personally would poison the damn dog, it seems to not have a responsibe owner, I did not tell you to poison the dog, but I would poison the dog and the one after that one and so on…just maybe the owner will get the message after the first 5 poisonigs….the animals have to be regulated.

    What are you waiting for, the dog might one day decide that the toddler looks good enough to eat…your call.

  12. I abhor the use of the phrase “poison the dog”. I will be more gentle and tell you “to feed the dog”. After one or two feedings, your problems should disappear. If they don’t then your choice of foods need to be looked into.

  13. I am mystified at the slow response to this issue albeit when a white child was mauled by a crocodile at the disney resort /park in america many who frequent this blog was not short on words and criticism

    However this issue bears attention in that similarities which caused these deaths are failures within the system that have failed to follow through and allowed careless actions with disregard on part of owners to ignore laws which then impact peoples personnel lives negatively
    In the case of Disney the failure to protect was glaringly obvious .So the same can be said as a cause in the mauling death of that innocent lady

  14. Sorry Anon…I can sometimes be a little insensitive. .feed the dog, and if other dogs come long pooping away in ya yard, feed them too, until the owner gets the messge.

  15. It is very likely that a number of people on this blog are irresponsible dog owners with holes in their fences and in their heads, so they have nothing to say.

  16. Albeit when a white child was mauled by a crocodile many on this blog bla bla bl Minions follow their leaders,and in this country we are no different . Whites take preference every time.Does Mark Maloney ever have to wait to get pay like de poor blacks?

  17. Hamilton what i said is true with emphasis on failures in the system
    This issue cries out for attention the more voices heard t unless all and sundry waits for the inevitable when a child is caught up in a similiar circumstance
    What should be of uttermost importance should be all voices asking for the laws be enforced fast and swift against all dog owners who have made a hardened decision to ignore the animal control laws at innocent peoples lives.

    On the other issue i notice you singled out Maloney a”white” man as a preferential to getting paid by govt when other black business men have to wait their turn
    However i also notice that when black ministers of parliament asked to be respectfully paid their voluntarily back wages you and others of the BLP persuasion hoist the flag of resistance and raise a stink

  18. Simple Simon February 5, 2017 at 1:18 PM #

    This dog sh!t I believe is coming from a Member of Parliament’s dog..
    Nothing surprising. Many members of parliament, like their dogs, are shi***** on everybody’s door step.


    Defenseless kids with weak parents
    Can find themselves in predicaments
    Being bombarded with crap on TV
    Of lucrative sports in high society
    And instead chose the end of a rope
    A real shame when they can’t cope

    Politicians are the experts on this
    On the pulpit they’re never amiss
    More than the world they will promise you
    Seeing through their hypocrisy nothing new
    Come time to pay up they can’t fulfill
    As they try to cover up with a sour pill

    Some women swallow this wholesale
    Watching ads saying you cannot fail
    In getting trim to look sexy for today
    Even becoming anorexia on the way
    But all these dreams fall by the wayside
    As the chased rainbows always go to hide

    In every walk of life we find
    Folks who have this in mind
    Even in some schools this some do teach
    Trying for rainbows you can never reach
    Maybe it’s good to hope and aspire
    Better doing that before you expire

    I am not advocating being a pessimist
    But I prefer being an honest pragmatist
    Why not treat everyone with truth and honesty
    Than to hoodwink them with slippery casuistry
    The world would be a better place for us all
    When we treat the other person as a real a pal

  20. Well in bajan lingo anyone not midnight black is white. Hence my comparison of Maloney which however was made in part taken as a qoutation from Hamilton comment.

  21. @Simple Simon
    If you are sure that the doggy doo doo is coming from your MP’s dog, just collect it and put it on his doorstep. If he objects tell him that he will be eating the next portion.

    Nothing irks me more than people who have pets but shoulder no responsibility for the actions of their pets.

  22. Maloney is in no way of Caucasian not even ancestry, I have spoken with the skinny little dude on more than one occasion years ago, it’s stupid bajans like the ACs give people like Maloney the impression he is white, that’s why they commit so many crimes on the island……they are fuelled by stupid people,. …as I said, bajans are best left up to their own miserable self-created fates.

    As the months and years go by, we will see just how much they deserve their fates.

  23. Comparing the issue of a crocodile killing a child with dogs mauling a woman is indiscreet to say the least. How does a wild beast in the wading pool of a supposedly safe vacation resort equate to ‘pet’ dogs killing a neighbour or a person peacefully walking through a community.

    Some matters need no lot of long talk: the dog owner is liable and should be prosecuted criminally and at civil court unless significant evidence is shown of the lady’s gross negligence contributing to this tragic incident.

    This is a grave tragedy to her family and I wish them well in this unbelievable situation.

    The pictures seen on-line of the incident were absolutely horrific.

  24. people need to train their dogs, and stop illtreating them, and putting them to fight, if you train a dog to fight then thats what they will do. lots of people have dogs and cant and wont take care of them. Dogs are loyal relatives, but only if you treat them right, feed them, dont put them to fight, train them, and make sure they dont sleep out in the elements. The government should have a number for people to call when you see animal abuse, thats the cause of dogs attacking people. Lots of young people have dogs and they cant even take care of themselves furthermore the dogs. The government should put down some strict rules and abide by them.

  25. nanci February 8, 2017 at 4:22 PM #
    The government should put down some strict rules and abide by them.
    Perhaps you should ask the blogmaster to delete this sentence, from what is an otherwise good contribution.
    Our government has strict rules dealing with the indiscriminate use of our roadways, by all forms of road users.
    Our government has strict rules relating to the importation, distribution and use of illegal drugs and fire arms.
    Just to name a few.

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