The Forestry Department is concerned about the threat posed by abandoned dogs to wildlife in the Barre de L’Isle forest reserve.
“Sometimes we find these animals in sacks,” Senior Wildlife Protection Officer, Pius Haynes, told St Lucia Times.
But he explained at other times people release the animals into the forest, hoping the dogs will not return home.
Haynes said dogs in the forest reserve can spell disaster for wildlife conservation.
He noted that the dogs have no food.
As a result, the animals would hunt wildlife that the law protects, such as agoutis and iguanas.
Haynes said abandoning dogs in the forest reserve contravenes the Forest, Soil and Water Protection Act.
The act makes it illegal for individuals to enter a forest or wildlife reserve with dogs.
Haynes disclosed that under the law, abandoning the dogs in that way is also inhumane and constitutes cruelty to the animals.
As a result, he called on members of the public to stop the practice.
He explained that perpetrators face fines or imprisonment under the law.
On Sunday, officers made the latest discovery of a dog someone had abandoned in the forest reserve.
Haynes said the animal was in a sack, but managed to make its way out.
And he told St Lucia Times that the dog was not going very far from the sack from which it had freed itself.
“It was actually coming towards us because it was quite hungry, “ Haynes disclosed.
He said it was obvious that the animal was quite tame and accustomed to being around people.
“Apparently the dog thought the owner would come back to get it, so it stayed in the same area,” Haynes stated.
He revealed that the Forestry Department tries to find homes for the dogs it finds abandoned in the forest reserve.
Headline photo: Abandoned dog near sack from which it freed itself