A cat who was a victim of poisoning at Luck Hill, receiving care at Canines, Cats and Critters Veterinary Clinic.
Photo Credit: File
Just when some persons thought the issue of animal poisoning was a thing of the past, a drastic upsurge of this act is currently plaguing the area of Luck Hill, Tortola.
BVI Platinum News understands that a number of privately owned cats and dogs have been poisoned in the area, over the last two weeks.
Further information noted that the animal owners within the area are traumatized by the happenings, and are afraid to allow their pets to wander beyond the inside of their homes.
Speaking with Dr. Laura Palminteri of Canines, Cats and Critters Veterinary Clinic, she noted that she is aware of the mass poisoning in the area, and added that she has dealt with several of the animals that fell victim to the act.
According to Dr. Palminteri, her clinic has dealt with approximately seven animals, both cats and dogs, that were poisoned in the Luck Hill area, with the first cases being on March 29th, when a family lost 3 pets due to the poisoning. The most recent case was on Friday, April 14.
Sadly, she reported that at least half of the animals did not recover and subsequently died.
“Effects of the poisoning is a sudden onset of vomiting, diarrhea and they go into seizures, and this happens within minutes of eating the poison. Some of them, if they get treated quickly enough, they survive.”
Persons have allegedly found suspicious foods on the side of the road in the Luck Hill area, with what appears to be poison on them.
The Doctor noted that samples of the substance off the food are currently being analysed to determine what type of poison is being used.
“These are people’s pets, members of their family; not stray animals. People leave them [poison] on the side of the road to catch the animals. It is pretty horrific; they are not dying easily, it’s a pretty horrible and torturous way to die.”
She added “I don’t know who is putting out these poisons. I don’t know if it's farmers protecting their livestock or someone is maliciously trying to hurt animals. I do not know, but it is being put where animals can get in contact of it. If persons are using this to protect their crops, there are other poisons that can be used for rodent control that are easily treated if a pet was to get in contact with it.”
To combat the issue, Dr. Palminteri said the clinic has started to give their clients poison kits, which is something they can administer to their animals themselves, while on the scene. The kit assists the affected animal to vomit out the poison and rid their body of it, “so they have a better chance of surviving."
As reported sometime last year by BVI Platinum News, Vijay Bassoondugg, Manager of the BVI Humane Society said the issue of animal poisoning, specifically dogs, may be deeply rooted in some other issue in the Territory, namely robberies.
Commenting on the mass poisoning of dogs in the Sage Hill, Great Mountain and East End areas, which were targeted areas sometime last year, Vijay explained that persons may be purposely poisoning dogs who act as the caretakers of certain homes while their guardians are away, in efforts of robbing that same home.
“There’s a lot of burglaries happening, a lot of breaking and entering, and if somebody saw a dog in the yard and they want to get into that property, they would get rid of that dog. There’s a lot of ways you have to look at this. Somebody wants to break into your apartment, but they can’t because you have a dog and they can’t get there. So they do what they have to do.”
He added that this act is not only one that is detrimental to dogs, but it also threatens the lives of toddlers and persons in general.
“You have to be careful because it’s probably going to be a child next. You have a toddler in the yard playing around; kid might see something and don’t know what it is and pick it up. Same goes for anybody.”
Commenting on the matter, which is quite reoccurring, the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force noted that they are guided by legislation, which acknowledges the safety and well-being of animals, and provides penalties for persons who commit the act.
According to the Protection of Animals Act of the Virgin Islands, if any person shall beat, kick, ill-treat, over-ride, over-drive, over-load, torture, starve, infuriate or terrify any animal, or shall cause or procure or being the owner, permit any animal to be used or shall, by wantonly or unreasonably doing or omission of any act, cause any unnecessary suffering or being the owner, permit any unnecessary suffering to be so caused to any animal; or shall wilfully without any reasonable cause or excuse, administer, cause or procure, or being the owner permit such administration of any poisonous or injurious drug or substance to any animal, or shall wilfully without any reasonable cause or excuse cause any such substance to be taken by any animal, such person shall be guilty of an offence of cruelty and shall be liable upon summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred and twenty dollars, or alternatively or in addition thereto, to be imprisoned, without hard labour, for any term not exceeding six months.