Below is the letter sent to the RUSVM Security office on Wednesday, July 7, 2010. We have not yet received a response. However, yesterday we heard that some students HAVE been allowing their dogs to run off leash. If you have any information about this, please contact us at eyeonstkitts[at]gmail.com.
I’m starting a website called Eye on St. Kitts to serve as an information and news source, primarily for Ross students but also for any citizens and temporary residents on the island. My goal is to keep people informed and safe. I’m concerned that students aren’t being adequately notified about crime incidents on the island.
I’m writing firstly in response to your email titled “Uncontrolled Dogs.” I haven’t seen or heard evidence that any students let their dogs run off their own property, or that students walk their dogs without using a leash. Recently a female student was walking her dog on leash when a local attacked the dog with a machete. He claimed to be concerned about his farm animal, but it was a small dog on leash. You haven’t announced this to the student body — I’m wondering why. I also heard that a dog was maced by garbage collectors, even though the dog was secured in a yard behind a gate.
It’s understandable that locals would be concerned about their safety and the safety of their farm animals, but that doesn’t seem to be what’s happening here. From what I can tell, students are being abused and taken advantage of, because they are in the difficult position of living in an unfamiliar country. Students move to St. Kitts and bring their dogs based on an assurance from Ross University that both they and their animals will be safe. If in all circumstances it’s assumed that the local with a machete or mace is acting appropriately, then students are definitely not safe. Especially while no housing is available in the on-campus dorms, this is a top priority.
It seems that if no action is taken, this situation could keep escalating to the point where students decide they can no longer attend Ross University. Therefore, I want to help resolve the problem. First I hope to build a map of crime incidents with location, date and time.
If there’s no system in place to notify students about crime incidents, I’d be happy to publish that information on my website. You’d only have to email me when something comes up. Another step would be to help teach locals that a barking dog is usually not a dangerous dog. Most dogs bark in defense, especially while on leash.
Thanks for your help.