Dogs: A Continuing and Common Neighborhood Nuisance of New Providence, The Bahamas

In: Society & Animals
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  • 1 Director of Planning, The College of the Bahamas, Oakes Field Campus, PO Box N-4912, Nassau New Providence, The Bahamas;, Email: wfru@hotmail.com

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Abstract

In 1841, the first Dog License Act officially described dogs as a nuisance. From then on, observers have repeatedly noted that dogs were a nuisance and that their barking was probably their prime irritant (Fielding, 2006). Three fatal dog attacks since 1991 have highlighted the extent to which dogs can be more than a nuisance (Burrows, Fielding, & Mather, 2004). This study reports the findings from 496 interviews—collected from a convenience sample with a quota—to assess the importance of dogs as a nuisance in the context of all neighborhood nuisances and to determine respondents' reactions to them. This study found dogs were to be the most commonly reported nuisance and the second most important nuisance in neighborhoods. Almost two-thirds of respondents took no action about the nuisances caused by dogs. Compared to their reactions to other nuisances, respondents were least likely to inform the police about dog nuisances. Reasons offered for these reactions may include antiquated laws and a feeling that citizens are not empowered to alter the status quo.

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