Action-plan dangerous or roaming dogs

What’s the goal to be achieved with this action?
The goal is to make it possible for residents and visitors to walk or ride a bicycle on the roads of Bonaire, without being molested by (packs) of roaming dogs, and to prevent attacks by agressive dogs against innocent people on public roads.

This plan does not come out of the blue. It is a rational and necessary response to actual attacks by a dog against two women, wounding them seriously. If it had been an attack against a child, it could have been much worse.

This action-plan is not only for safety. It is also sound thinking for our tourist industry in two ways:
a) Tourists should know that our streets are safe. You can go jogging anywhere on the island without having to carry a club to fight off any vicious dogs;
b) The action plan can result in excellent control of the problem and suffering of stray dogs. If applied with minor changes, the Animal Welfare Foundation would applaud it. So ARCO suggests the Tourist Corporation Bonaire, the Animal Welfare Foundation and Animal Shelter all get behind this and help to co-ordinate and execute this plan (with the slight changes to accommodate all participants). ARCO appreciates the effort that concerned citizens have taken to come up with this plan and to persuade our government to take action.

If Bonaire can solve this problem in a practical and humane way, it might be the first place in the world where the community has dealt with such a problem effectively.

The action plan.

All dogs having an owner must be registered. A yearly dog-tax must be paid. Dog-owners receive a dog-tag, which must be worn by the dog on a collar. Such a system was in place on Bonaire in the past. It applies to all dogs, whether they can access public roads or not. The possibility of implan-
ting ID-chips instead of using

the dog-tags should be considered, because the tag is susceptible to fraud.
All dogs have to be on leash, when on public roads / places.

Dogs (with or without dog-tag) roaming unleashed on public roads
will be caught, and put in quarantine. The owner of any tagged dog will be traced and can come and collect his dog, on condition he pays the costs involved with catching his dog. Dogs without the dog-tag can be adopted, if the animal-shelter feels they are well suited for this. If the animal-shelter is full, the uncollected dogs, as well as unplaceable dogs, will be put to sleep by injection.

Dogs that have attacked a human being on a public road (with or without dog-tag) will be killed immediately. This may be done by means of an injection, but if the situation warrants, by a police-bullet. In our opinion this should also apply to dogs that attack, injure or kill another big animal (donkey, goat, etc.). These dogs are undoubtedly dangerous.

An intensive sterilization-program should be initiated, to prevent these dogs from multiplying.

A list must be made of all dog-breeds considered “very dangerous”. These dangerous dogs will not be allowed on Bonaire. Breeding with these dangerous dogs will likewise not be allowed. All male as well as female animals will be sterilized. This will solve the problem of really dangerous dogs.

One or more dog control officials must be hired to enforce the rules, and to prevent fraud. In cases of fraud, brisk penalties will be imposed.

An educational program will be organized in all schools to teach children of all ages how to handle pets, and to raise awareness of the consequences of mishandling pets. Perhaps an educational program for adults should also be developed via the media.

Low income households can pay reduced rates; rates for second, third or more dogs
will be higher. Sterilization will be en-couraged by a reduction on the dog-tax.

A detailed version of this plan, including a calculation of expenses, (only in Dutch), is available for any interested person.

We look forward to the day when all residents and visitors of Bonaire will be able to enjoy walking or riding bicycles on our beautiful island without any fear.

The Animal Welfare Foundation Only rule