Jamaicans wary of dogs following teacher’s mauling

October 11, 2019

Following the recent mauling of a teacher by dogs for hours, some Jamaicans say they are now very vigilant when on the road.

Shamar Kennedy, 26, told THE WEEKEND STAR he has become more cautious when it comes to dogs on the roads.

"There are many loose dogs just wandering around the streets, especially downtown ... and that has been Jamaica ever since. Nothing new. But now, I can't lie, since the incident where the lady was attacked for hours by the dogs, I have been treading lightly. Especially where I live, when I take taxis, almost all the dogs run out and start to bark, because they are not familiar with the cars and the driver. I wait until dem calm down before I leave the car because me nuh able," he said.

He stressed that owners need to control their dogs.

"Chain up the dogs inside if you're not going to be out to constantly watch them. Recently, I heard one of my neighbours come out talking to his dog, a ask the dog if him a security why him always deh pon the road," he said. "I'm like, sir, a you fi ensure that the dog is inside and off the road. People are getting animals in Jamaica and they don't know how to take care of them and because of that, people are getting hurt. They may not be hurt as bad as the teacher, but there are many people who have been bitten by random dogs."

Kelly Brown says she has always been fearful of being attacked by dogs.

"Honestly, I don't know how I'd react if one were to attack me. Seriously. I remember when I was younger, I would try to avoid the avenues that had dogs on them," she said. "I was always, and I am still fearful of being attacked by dogs, because you never know when they'll attack, simply because we don't know what they're thinking. My boyfriend has been thinking about getting a pit bull and honestly, I'm fearful that a similar incident might occur, not necessarily to me, but perhaps someone else in our community."

Stephen Smith, counsellor, told THE WEEKEND STAR that the recent incident involving the teacher is likely to have put great fear in Jamaicans.

"The incident is recent and would occupy the minds of individuals, especially those who jog. They need to pass the law to hold owners of those kinds of dogs responsible," he said.

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