WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4: In the last seven months the SPCA has dealt with more than 100 welfare investigations in Bermuda.
And the charity has submitted four files to the Department of Public Prosecutions with a view to bringing criminal charges for animal neglect or cruelty against owners.
Since the SPCA’s new Inspector, Glyn Roberts, arrived at the end of August 2011 he has kept a record of every case the SPCA has been asked to look into.
The results show a number of interesting island trends.
Of the 117 investigations that have been conducted since the end of August, most have involved animals in Pembroke. A total of 24 investigations have taken place in the parish.
Somerset and St George’s were the second most common location for complaints, with 11 investigations each.
Meanwhile, dogs are by far the most frequent subjects of an investigation.
They accounted for more than 50 per cent of the complaints received by the SPCA.
Pit bulls accounted for 21 of the 60 dog investigations.
But the charity has also looked into complaints about cats, chickens, goats, hamsters, parrots, pigs and cows.
Mr Roberts said: “Often we end up giving advice in investigations and then check up again at a later date to ensure the advice has been taken on board and followed.
“But it is also important to understand we can take enforcement action, obtain warrants and seize animals in serious cases or where advice is simply ignored.
Just last month the SPCA responded to 15 calls, which involved injured, sick or trapped cats and four dog complaints, including an animal, which had been killed by a car.
Staff were also involved in removing seven cats from a property, which was condemned by the Health Department.
Mr Roberts added: “The Inspectorate Department of the SPCA comprises myself and Animal Welfare Officer Debbie Masters.
“We provide 24/7 365 days-a-year cover and also undertake home checks and vet runs for the shelter, along with providing transport for SPCA events.”
The Bermuda Sun contacted the Government’s Animal Wardens to find out how many cases they had taken to court in the last year.
We were told the Department of Environmental Protection had recorded ‘at least’ 15 convictions and one acquittal over the last four years ‘for various offences including at least three cruelty convictions’.
We asked again how many convictions for animal cruelty had been secured in the last 12 months but did not receive an answer.