Under the Animals Act, it is an offence to be cruel to an animal in the Cayman Islands, the penalty for which is a fine and imprisonment; however, many animal lovers argue that Cayman’s animal protection laws are not adequately enforced, causing little to no repercussions for blatant cases of neglect or outright abuse of animals.
The most egregious case of animal abuse in Grand Cayman that comes to mind for most is the May 2019 discovery of 53 severely neglected dogs at a Prospect residence, resulting in a suspended prison sentence for Sylvia Felicity Lewis, who was ordered by the court to fulfill the obligations of a probation for a two-year period during which time she would be required to take part in 180 hours of community service and donate $12,000 to a number of animal charities on-island. Many have expressed their furor that Ms Lewis will likely never see the inside of a prison cell.
Other cases, including that of a well-known horse that has been reportedly tied to a tree in the West Bay area without shelter from the elements for quite some time has been a source of frustration for many residents who have reported contacting the Department of Agriculture with no results.
According to the law, animal abuse in the Cayman Islands occurs when an individual “Beats, ill-treats, over-rides, over-drives, overloads, tortures, infuriates or terrifies an animal,” allows or subjects an ‘operation’ on an animal which is performed inhumanely, tethers an animal in a manner that...
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