San Fernando deputy mayor encourages people to adopt a dog

A pack of stray dogs at Queen's Park Savannah. - File photo
A pack of stray dogs at Queen's Park Savannah. - File photo

San Fernando is working towards removing stray dogs from the streets and is encouraging people to be part its adopt-a-dog initiative.

Deputy Mayor Dr Ferri Hosein, who has five dogs and is leading the charge, said this is in response to complaints about strays getting into garbage, attacking people on the streets, getting into schools and places of worship, running wild in residential areas and scaring children, as well as pets in private homes.

The population is increasing.

Getting people to adopt-a-dog, she forsees, is going to be a difficult reality as past experiences have shown her people prefer exotic dogs rather than pot hounds which roam the streets.

While people cannot be forced to adopt a dog, Hosein welcomes meaningful suggestions for dealing with the situation since euthanisation, or keeping them caged for lengthy periods, is not the preferred choice.

“Dogs live their best life when they bond with their human families and are free within a home.”

She said dogs in cages at shelters with other strays can lead to fights, resulting in injury and trauma. She said dogs are domesticated animals and their natural habitat is not on the streets. They are very dependent on humans for food, shelter and care and being on the streets makes them vulnerable.

Hosein shared an experience of seeing young boys provoke a dog after it gave birth to several pups.

A structure previously known as a “pound” at Embacadere, San Fernando has been refurbished into an animal shelter in preparation for the strays.

In an interview with the Newsday, Hosein said the corporation has a statutory function to ensure that the environment within which people, including children, the elderly, families and travelers traverse, is safe.

“We are also saying that we are happy that the corporation is reopening the area in which we previously housed these stray/homeless/vulnerable dogs from the streets in the past. It is sparking discussions on how to best deal with these animals, and we welcome suggestions that are reasonable.”

Hosein said there are numerous animal lovers on board as well.

“While some of us embrace interactions with homeless/ stray dogs, there are also persons that are genuinely fearful of dogs or are more inclined to appreciate birds or fish than they do dogs, and we must respect this.”


"San Fernando deputy mayor encourages people to adopt a dog"

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