Education campaign Education for dog owners
Wheeler calls for education campaign
Stressing that dogs are an integral part of our lives, Independent Tobago Senator Dr. Victor Wheeler has made a strong plea for an education campaign on the responsible ownership of dogs in implementing the Dangerous Dog Act.
He did so during his contribution on the Dangerous Dog Bill 2013 in the upper House of Senate recently. Dr. Wheeler pointed out that dogs live in our homes providing companionship and in many cases security.
“It is because of the rising crime over the last few years that certainly has contributed to a significant increase in the number of dogs in households, and also the unregulated use of dogs by security firms,” noted Dr. Wheeler.
“The majority of the negative aspects that society experience today is because of poor ownership practices by members of the public,” he argued.
“This also results in large groups of stray roaming dogs that cause transmission of disease, which are a public nuisance. They go and destroy, spread garbage, they injure livestock and they also injure people,” contended Dr. Wheeler.
“I have been told that tspca takes in an average of 8,000 unwanted and stray dogs annually. This is actually a very high number. I have heard that the Attorney General said that there are 500,000 pit bulls or dangerous dogs in the country, and that actually sounds very high.
“Part of the reason for the irresponsible ownership of dogs many times is due to a lack of knowledge by persons who have dogs, a lack of access to facilities, lack of support and lack of regulation, and this Bill today is an attempt to deal with the lack of regulation that is so needed,” stated the Tobago Senator.
He continued: “However, the passage of this Bill and the proclamation of this Bill alone will not address the problems that we have. It is important to have a public education campaign to let people know what it means to be a responsible owner.
“There must also be provision of free or low-cost facilities and services for spaying and neutering of dogs, because part of dealing with the problem that we face is to limit and control the number of dogs that are around, and there is also the issue of training of owners of dogs in handling dogs,” insisted Dr. Wheeler.
“The successful implementation of this bill will result in protection of the dogs themselves, the protection of the public and protection of the society,” he declared.