Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 22nd 2016 Contents • Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
SUNDAY, MAY 22, 2016
CHARLES KONG SOO
The US has its Dog
Whisperer Cesar Mil-
lan, while T&T has its
Animal Rescuer Terrance Aleong.
Despite threats and harassment,
for more than ten years animal
activist Aleong has been rescuing
dogs and cats that have been
abandoned and left to fend for
themselves in Macqueripe.
Aleong goes daily to the area to
feed a small pack of abandoned
dogs callously discarded by their
owners because they are no longer
Aleong has also appealed to the
CDA (Chaguaramas Development
Authority) on several occasions for
a small area to create a dog sanc-
tuary but with no luck.
He is appealing to the authorities
to spare the dogs and for the public
and animal lovers to assist in relo-
cating and adopting the nine dogs
and seven cats he currently has as
there is no more space at his home.
When they are injured he provides
medical care for them sometimes
with his own money and donations
from other animal activists. Ale-
ong said the abandoned animals
desperately need help
The head of the NGO, Angels
for Animals is now concerned over
information he received that the
pound is planning to round them
up and destroy them.
Some of his neighbours com-
plain about the barking, he said,
but all the cats and dogs want to
do is live and be given a second
chance at life.
Speaking to the Sunday
Guardian at his Carenage home,
Aleong said, "That was something
I just could not ignore anymore,
seeing cars driving up and people
opening their trunks and dumping
animals that might end up starving
"They're living a horrible life,
then being caught in the most cruel
way by dog catchers and killed in
the most inhumane way.
"I don't believe animals should
be treated like that, they're sentient
beings like humans with feelings,
emotions, they can feel pain and
can actually cry.
"Government has to realise that
killing or destroying dogs is not
sustainable, they're sending the
He said the US FBI (Federal
Bureau of Investigation) now cat-
egorises animal cruelty as a Class
A survey was done in US in pris-
ons in which psychologists had
found that over 80 per cent of
prisoners had committed some
form of animal abuse and cruelty
in their lives.
Aleong said if someone can
derive sadistic pleasure from taking
a dog or cat and swing, hang, tor-
ture or burn it to death, what is
to say the next step is not to do
that to a human being?
He said it was even more dis-
tressing to see well-to-do people
in high-end vehicles such as SUVs
discard their animals in Mac-
queripe as he had seen a woman
do to her cat.
Aleong said many people did
not know that there were provi-
sions for the protection of the wel-
fare of animals and against cruelty
to animals in T&T under the Sum-
mary Offences Act of 1921.
Section 79 (1) states: "Any person
who cruelly beats, ill-treats,
starves, overdrives, overloads,
abuses, tortures, or otherwise mal-
treats any animal is liable to a fine
of four hundred dollars or to
imprisonment for two months."
He advised pet owners not to
dump unwanted animals in des-
olate areas, since their means of
survival were slim, they can be
injured, starve, attacked by other
animals, die slowly and fester.
Aleong said an alternative was
to take the animal to the TTSPCA
(T&T Society for the Prevention
of Cruelty to Animals) or find it
an appropriate home and if given
enough time, perhaps someone
will adopt it.
He said another shelter was
needed in the north because the
TTSPCA was overwhelmed and
doing the best it can.
Aleong said he started rescuing
animals one by one without a plan.
His friends helped him with a pro-
posal inspired by the PBS channel's
Shelter Me programme in which
prisoners are rehabilitated by train-
ing them to take care of shelter
The certified aerial yoga instruc-
tor and Thai yoga massage teacher
said rehabilitation has worked
because the former prisoners
learned compassion again along
with empathy, responsibility and
other life skills.
Aleong said this holistic
approach can be applied to T&T's
prison service and crime situation
as he was in touch with an animal
trainer who had just returned from
Canada and was exposed to these
practices that was contained in his
He said he gave the CDA his
proposal in 2010, which was
reviewed by board members who
found it "very good."
Continues on Page A34
Some of the rescued dogs at animal activist
Terrance Aleong's animal sanctuary in Carenage,
that were abandoned in Macqueripe by their
owners . PHOTO: CHARLES KONG SOO
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