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CONTROL ANIMALS BEFORE A TRAGEDY OCCURS

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Virgin Islanders who breed and train vicious dogs would be wise to pay attention to the plight of a California couple that is being highlighted in the national news these days.
This couple, according to published reports, kept two vicious dogs that attacked several of their neighbors and eventually killed one of them – a petite, 32-year-old female lacrosse coach.
The two dog-owners are facing second-degree murder charges. They have spent the last year in jail, unable to post the multi-million-dollar bail that was set.
Is anybody out there worried?
In the Virgin Islands dog-fighting, though illegal, is a routine event. These fighting dogs are trained to kill.
Allowing dogs to run free – also illegal – is still routine too.
That combination is a formula for disaster.
One reason the California couple have attracted so much ire is because they allegedly gloated over the fact that their dogs were terrorizing the neighbors.
We have seen that here too: pet owners who take delight in knowing that people are afraid of their vicious dogs.
We recently heard Police Capt. Al Donastorg at a meeting in Hull Bay lament the lack of respect for the simplest of laws in the territory – like riding a bicycle the wrong way down a one-way street; and the lack of enforcement.
It is time for adherence to and enforcement of the livestock laws. We understand the government is overloaded, so maybe the solution is once again to hire – and pay – the Humane Society to pick up dogs that are running loose on the streets. Pay the Humane Society a sum for each animal picked up, fine the owners — which is provided for in the law — and use the proceeds for this service. Do this before a child or adult is killed or maimed by these animals.
It wouldn't hurt either for the Legislature to finally pass the Animal Cruelty Bill, which could eventually put an end to creating these vicious animals in the first place.

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