Tue | Nov 20, 2018

Who let the dogs out? - UWI campus administrators livid with staff for their obsession with stray dogs

Published:Thursday | March 29, 2018 | 12:00 AMRomario Scott/Gleaner Writer

Administrators at the University of the West Indies, Mona, are livid with staff members for bringing back to the campus stray dogs which the university is fighting to rid the campus of.

In a letter to the school community earlier this month, a copy of which was obtained by The Gleaner, Campus Registrar Dr Camille Bell Hutchinson said: "It has been brought to the attention of the Grounds, Buildings and Premises Committee that there have been times when animals which have been taken to the JSPCA (the Jamaica Animal for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) are subsequently brought back to the campus."

Gleaner sources say some of the dogs are aggressive, while some appear to be unhealthy, often displaying symptoms of mange.

The dogs are often sighted on the compounds of halls of residence and in commonly occupied spaces such as close to restaurants on the campus.

The sources said both staff and students feed these dogs, which are from communities close to the university campus.

But the campus registrar has made it clear that the practice must stop.

"I seek the cooperation of all members of our community to ensure that this practice ceases immediately and that efforts to reduce the presence of stray animals on the campus are supported by all," the letter said.

The JSPCA told The Gleaner yesterday that it receives hundreds of animals at its shelters on a monthly basis, and confirmed that dogs are brought in from the UWI and the neighbouring University Hospital of the West Indies.

"UWI and UWI hospital will catch them and bring them," the JSPCA personnel said.

Quizzed on the process by which persons can retrieve or adopt animals at the facility, JSPCA personnel said that neutered dogs are given up for a fee of $1,500, usually on the same day of the request, while those which have not yet been neutered are given up for a fee of $3,000 after the surgery has been done.

romario.scott@gleanerjm.com