Animals R Friends President Hofman: “Make sure your animals do not bother others”

POSTED: 12/2/14 7:02 PM

St. Maarten – On November 17, three Rottweilers killed their neighbor’s dog. The incident happened in the Beethoven Street in Cay Hill – and it was not the first incident. The owner of the dog, Paula Diasz, filed a complaint at the police station. Two weeks down the road, the incident seems all but forgotten.

Monique Hofman, President of animal protection foundation Animals R Friends, says that St. Maarten has no legislation that regulates aggressive dogs. “The French side has legislation, but this is in fact obsolete. The Netherlands had it too, but this legislation has in the meantime been canceled. It targeted aggressive dogs like pit bulls, but research later showed that there are more bite incidents with a variety of other breeds, even with golden retrievers. The reality is that it could be any dog.”

It is difficult to define why dogs become aggressive, Hofman says. “It could be the result of a certain trauma, or that they are not socialized sufficiently. It is the responsibility of the owner to train his dogs and if they are aggressive they must make sure that these animals cannot leave their yard.”

The fact that there is no legislation in St. Maarten does not mean that people who feel threatened by aggressive dogs are entirely powerless. “They can file a complaint at the police,” Hofman says.

Other neighborhoods have experienced similar situations. One example is Dawn Beach where an aggressive dog killed puppies, cats and even a parrot. The animal was taken to a clinic for evaluation and they concluded that it was too dangerous to keep in a family, so in the end they put it too sleep.

So far, Hofman knows of two other incidents with aggressive dogs – the one in Cay Hill with the Rottweilers and another one in Pointe Blanche.

For the Animals R Friends president decent treatment of animals comes first. “I am against treating animals badly, but you also have to make sure that your animals do not bother others. If you do not take care of them you should not be surprised if they are confiscated one day, but then the animals are the victim.”

Hofman emphasizes that a dog’s behavior is the responsibility of its owner. “It cannot be so that a whole neighborhood is terrorized by animals their owners are unable to control.”


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