Guyanese don't treat animals well
Stabroek News
March 11, 2002

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Dear Editor,

Almost every day in my walks around Georgetown and other areas I see cruel things done to animals.

Guyanese are among the kindest people on earth, I have met many who would put themselves in debt in order to show hospitality to strangers, but when it comes to animals we are unkind.

On the bank of the Pomeroon I have seen respectable and intelligent people who would not hesitate to tie a rope around a dog's neck and attach a heavy stone to it and take the animal mid river and fling him overboard because he had become old and useless or he had been caught sucking eggs. Once I reprimanded a farmer for this callous act and he said that's the way we do it in the Pomeroon. Cats and dogs deserve to die if they are old and lazy or they trespass on human rights.

Needless to say in Georgetown animals get little compassion from mini bus drivers. Dogs and cats are killed or maimed as a matter of course, and often they are allowed to rot where they fell. If not, when their beauty or utility is past they are permitted to roam the streets flea bitten, diseased, starved and mangy, an eyesore to one and all and, of course, a danger to many.

Most of our dogs in Guyana are not pedigree dogs said a pretty Pentecostal woman to me. They are all mongrels and animals of little or no value. There is no injunction in the Bible, which says we should pamper dogs. The Jews describe dogs as unclean animals, I would never permit a dog to enter my house, she said.

Yet, I retorted, dogs were well fed in the days of Solomon and Christ. The Jews had placed great reliance on dogs. When strangers or robbers entered the city in the dead of night the dogs would bark so loudly and consistently that all city dwellers were made aware of imminent danger.

You have a point there, said the Pentecostal woman. Whether mongrel or pedigree all dogs are barkers and they can warn you of the presence of intruders. But they are so smelly.

Guyanese should cultivate the habit of being kind to animals. In my view even snakes deserve kindness. I was horrified to see live iguanas with their legs uncomfortably tied behind their backs being offered for sale on our public highways. Such an act I would describe as the quintessence of barbarity.

Yours faithfully,

Prince Michael