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jandb15
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May 19, 2015 2:04 pm  

I've read this forum top to bottom in the last few weeks. We all know how television and online articles can glorify the way of life on an island, and I can't help but get mixed feelings (and stories) when reading about pets in the USVI. I know each island is different, etc. but are they really pet friendly? Particularly dog friendly? Let's face it, the states have dog parks and dog daycares. You can even sit at restaurants with your dogs these days, as long as it's in the outdoor seating area. How does the USVI measure up to this? The beaches?


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TommySTX
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May 19, 2015 2:16 pm  

There are no dog parks or anything of the sort. There are plenty of stray dogs that wander the island. Almost every beach on STX is dog friendly with Sandy Point being the big exception. I'm not sure if there are leash laws but if there are, no one is even faking like they exist. My wife and I have 2 dogs and always leash them when going out to the beach or somewhere public. We may take them off leash to swim if no one else is around at the time. We also keep them leashed for our and their safety. You never know what may happen with the strays and "local" dogs that wander freely. There are some beach bars and places that won't mind you bringing your dog.

There are plenty of people that feel their dogs are special and don't need to be leashed on a crowded public beach as well. They don't have any thoughts about their dogs running up and down the beach running up to people or bothering anyone. It's very annoying at times. I've seen a couple come to a beach with 3 medium to large dogs unleashed. They put on their snorkel gear and went out snorkeling while just leaving their dogs to run the beach unattended. They were running up to random people, running across the road and were not obedient in any way even when the owners would try to control them. I don't complain about much on this board as I love living here but this is one thing that bothers me.


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speee1dy
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May 19, 2015 2:44 pm  

i do not mind dogs on beaches. i do not want them running up to me and on me, i do not want them to steal our food and i want the owners to clean up after them


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vicanuck
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May 19, 2015 3:17 pm  

STX is very pet friendly!


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Alana33
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May 19, 2015 3:31 pm  

Man's best friend is treated like crap in the USVI.
Just look at the amount of strays, the abuse they endure, the number of animals that must be euthanized in our shelters.


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OldTart
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May 19, 2015 5:10 pm  

When I first moved to STT I brought my dog with me and there were lots of places I could take her off-leash to run and play and swim but all that's changed so much and there are few places left to allow them that sort of freedom. A few isolated and/or less-traveled beaches but unless you're (a) lucky enough to find a place which allows dogs and has a big fenced yard and (b) need a lot of exercise walking yourself, it's quite a challenge - particularly if you have a larger breed.


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Spartygrad95
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May 19, 2015 6:03 pm  

The best decision I made when coming here was finding a great home for our dog. She had over an acre of fenced yard to run, and we do not have that lifestyle here. I cannot fathom having a dog here because in our situation it isn't fair to the animal.


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speee1dy
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May 19, 2015 6:56 pm  

sparty-instead of being selfish, you made the right choice for your dog


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rnblade
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May 19, 2015 7:53 pm  

We brought a dog and have taken in a stray here. The dogs love the island. You can take them with you most beaches and to plenty of out door restaurants. You can be as active with them as you desire. The negatives are as stated, less yard space which means I spend more time walking the dogs which is good for all of us. Owners who don't manage their pets, you get that anywhere.


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Spartygrad95
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May 19, 2015 8:12 pm  

Walking my dogmhere would be tough for 2 reasons. My road is almost 40 degree incline. The neighbors with dogs keep them unleashed and they are agressive around other animals. You can be the best pet owner there is, but if your neighbor isn't, problems will most likely occur.


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watruw8ing4
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May 20, 2015 3:53 am  

There are no dog parks or anything of the sort. There are plenty of stray dogs that wander the island. Almost every beach on STX is dog friendly with Sandy Point being the big exception. I'm not sure if there are leash laws but if there are, no one is even faking like they exist. My wife and I have 2 dogs and always leash them when going out to the beach or somewhere public. We may take them off leash to swim if no one else is around at the time. We also keep them leashed for our and their safety. You never know what may happen with the strays and "local" dogs that wander freely. There are some beach bars and places that won't mind you bringing your dog.

There are plenty of people that feel their dogs are special and don't need to be leashed on a crowded public beach as well. They don't have any thoughts about their dogs running up and down the beach running up to people or bothering anyone. It's very annoying at times. I've seen a couple come to a beach with 3 medium to large dogs unleashed. They put on their snorkel gear and went out snorkeling while just leaving their dogs to run the beach unattended. They were running up to random people, running across the road and were not obedient in any way even when the owners would try to control them. I don't complain about much on this board as I love living here but this is one thing that bothers me.

I second that complaint. There is a leash law, but it's ignored big time. If your dog does get attacked, which isn't a rare occurrence here, expect the police and Animal Welfare Control (to whom the police will refer you) to do NOTHING. So you need to be watchful. Agree with the beach situation, also. Too many people let their "harmless" dogs roam without watching them. And hardly anyone picks up their dog's poo, so watch where you walk. I do let my dog off-leash on the beach when there are no strange dogs around and no people nearby, But I keep her leashed for her own safety, otherwise. And, since we've already been through one nightmarish attack, I carry pepper spray, just in case.

Dogs are welcome at most outside restaurant seating areas, and in many stores in Christiansted. I ask before I take my dog in, though.


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stjohnjulie
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May 20, 2015 7:53 am  

STJ is pretty different from STX sounds like. There are some strays, but doesn't sound like as many as the other two islands. Dogs are not allowed on the National Park beaches, so that is most of the beaches. I only ever see dogs on Cruz Bay beach, and occasionally at Frank Bay. Leash law is more strictly enforced in town. And dogs are not allowed in or near restaurants (even if they are places with strictly outside seating). We have a no kill shelter on St. John, and a veterinarian that now offers a doggie daycare program of some sort, but no dog parks. Fleas, ticks, and heart worm are a problem, so you have to be diligent about prevention. Dogs with thick coats don't seem to enjoy themselves much here. Most of the breeds you see on island have short hair with no undercoats. And unfortunately, dog fighting is still pretty active on all islands. I will also agree with others who said that culturally, dogs here have a different role in the household than they tend to have in the states. It's not always a bad thing, it's just different.


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Jamison
(@Jamison)
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May 20, 2015 10:36 am  

Need a dog? Talk to me. I'm generally fostering some puppies or dogs.


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jandb15
(@jandb15)
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Joined: 5 years ago
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May 20, 2015 12:46 pm  

Thanks for the responses, everybody.

I guess I'm still walking away with mixed thoughts and feelings. No other option but to come and see for myself!

As for STT (STX and STJ, if anyone's willing), what are the areas to avoid when it comes to strays, dog fighting, etc? I have a miniature dachshund who's incredibly playful and friendly, but definitely on the small side. I'm even on the small side and don't particularly enjoy being rushed by dogs that are bigger than me.


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OldTart
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May 20, 2015 1:04 pm  

On STT there are no areas which can be pinpointed as having more strays or dogfights than others. Dogfighting is illegal but the fighters set up their meets in generally pretty inaccessible and hidden areas of the bush where there are no nearby residences and where the activity is more likely not to be noticed.

Julie pretty much summed up the situation on St John in her post. As she said, owning a dog here is just "different" from what you may be used to stateside but it's not an insurmountable problem.


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Alana33
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May 20, 2015 2:09 pm  

Stray and roaming dogs pose a problem for walking your dog and sometimes walking yourself. Many people bring their pets but just
be aware that it's not a good idea to have your pet roaming freely.
It can be attacked by other dogs or get run over on a road just to mention 2 scenarios which frequently occur.

We don't have typical stateside neighborhoods with sidewalks in the majority of residential locations, you walk on the side of the road. If you can find a rental with a fenced in area, that would be your best bet but not readily available.

Many beaches on STT, do not allow pets, leashes or unleashed.

Remember airlines have restrictions on flying in summer unless dog
is small enough to fly in cabin and fit under the seat and they have a limit of how many allowed on any one flt. Call airlines for their policy.

Your pet will need protection from fleas, ticks, various types of worms, including heartworm.
Good luck to you and your dachshund.


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TommySTX
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Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 220
May 20, 2015 4:29 pm  

I just have to say I love mini-dachsunds. My wife and I brought ours down with us when we moved. Unfortunately old age caught up to him and he passed a couple months ago just short of his 14th birthday. He wasn't a fan of the water so much. We got him a life jacket and a floaty for "swimming". There are definitely some other mini's on the island. Our other dog is a chihuahua/terrier mutt. We haven't had issues with strays actually charging toward us or even coming that close when we take the dogs to the beach. Just keep an eye out when you arrive somewhere if you're going to have your dog with you. With such a little dog you won't need a huge yard for exercise either so that ups your options when it comes to places to live.

Good Luck


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jandb15
(@jandb15)
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Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 17
May 20, 2015 6:51 pm  

I never pictured myself with a dog, and certainly not a mini, but she is my child and I want to make sure the move would be healthy for her, not dangerous. I'm going to check things out when we visit. Thanks for your input!


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