The Bruno Project, which has been taking care of stray dogs on Vigie beach, has expressed doubts over reports that the animals were responsible for the death of two Hawksbill turtles recently.
The Department of Fisheries believes that the dogs killed the turtles.
But there are now concerns that the dogs may be in danger from humans who may want to get rid of them.
Doris Jolicoeur, one of the founders of the Bruno Project, told St Lucia Times that what happened to the turtles was ‘horrible.’
She told St Lucia Times that while she could not say that it was not possible that one of the beach dogs would hurt a turtle, up until the day after the news broke the dogs were well fed.
“They have no reason to ever hurt a turtle, and as it is, the turtle barely moves – it’s not like it’s fun to chase a turtle. So I have a hard time believing that they did do anything to the turtles. I am not going to tell you that they didn’t – I have no proof, just like no one else has any proof that it was a dog,” Jolicoeur stated.
She asserted that it was easy to blame the beach dogs.
However she observed that there are a lot of dogs in Vigie and Castries that have owners.
According to her, those dogs walk by the beach every day and eat out of the ‘kibble kaddy’ feeders that have been installed to give food to the beach dogs.
“Those dogs have owners, so how do we know it is not one of them? How do we know is is not a human?Nobody saw this happen.”
She said that while the beach dogs ate from ‘feeders’, they are now fed by hand because of the risk of the dogs being poisoned.
The Bruno Project official said since the news was published indicating that the dogs may have been responsible for the turtle deaths, people have been calling for the canines to be poisoned.
She said as a result of the risk the ‘feeders’ from which the animals eat have been removed and officials of the project will try to feed the animals daily according to their schedule.
However, she noted that a lot of locals feed the animals and can be relied on to ensure that the animals do not starve.
“There used to be aggression between the pack – the five beach dogs did not always get along. We installed the kibble kaddies and they started getting along and now all they do is they hang out and be dogs; they are no longer fighting each other for food,” Jolicoeur said.
The Bruno Project has disclosed that since 2016, it has succeeded in getting some 200 dogs from Saint Lucia adopted by persons overseas.
“Right now we are still working on some more,” Doris Jolicoeur explained.
“It has become very effective – we have a huge network in Canada. Our network in the US is growing. We don’t really have much of a network in the UK because it is very difficult to actually get dogs to the UK,” the Bruno Project co-founder observed.
She told St Lucia Times that the project has so far removed nine dogs from Vigie beach and spayed three females.