Stray dogs attacking members of the public is an increasing problem, police said.
So far this year police have received a total of 68 reports of ferocious dogs or dogs dangerously out of control.
In seven of these incidents people have been bitten and required medical treatment.
Over the weekend of June 17-20 police responded to two reports, one in Bodden Town and another in the Rock Hole area of George Town, where victims had to be taken to hospital by ambulance for treatment.
In many of these cases victims have been either walking or riding along public streets when they have encountered untethered and unleashed dogs that have aggressively pursued them.
In some cases, people have climbed on top of parked cars or had to rush indoors to avoid being bitten; in three of the cases where dog bites occurred, the victim was chased by multiple dogs. In none of the cases, though, have victims sustained serious or life-changing injuries.
While in some cases the dogs were not located and an owner could not be determined, in many of the incidents the dogs in question did belong to an owner but were not properly licensed or secured as required under the Animal Law.
The RCIPS is working together with colleagues in the Department of Agriculture to reduce the numbers of incidents of dog bites or dogs out of control, as well as to form strategies to educate the public about the importance of keeping their animals secured.
“Being attacked and bitten by a dog can be a terrifying experience,” said Robbie Graham, superintendent of uniform operations. “We are seeing a trend of dog attacks as of late and want to remind dog owners of their obligations under the law. You are responsible for what your dog does.”
“Dog owners know their animals as pets, and often have a hard time seeing them as a potential threat,” said Brian Crichlow, assistant director Department of Agriculture, “but the fact is that their dog can be a threat to those it does not know, and often may display an aggressive territoriality in the area around its home. Dog owners therefore need to and are required by the law, to confine their dogs to their property either in a fenced enclosure or tethered in a humane manner.”
The RCIPS and DOA are reminding dog owners of their legal obligations under the Animal Law and Penal Code.