ST JAMES, Jamaica — Repulsed by a video showing a social media personality abusing a dog, managing director at the Jamaica Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (JSPCA), Pamela Lawson, on Monday called for stronger laws to punish the type of behaviour shown. This was the second time, she said, that the woman, named Ivany, has made her way onto the JSPCA’s radar.
In the latest video that emerged on Ivany’s Instagram (IG) account on Monday, the woman, clad in what seems to be lingerie, is seen approaching what appears to be a male shih-tzu. The animal is on its back, its splayed legs tied to keep it in place.
Ivany is seen jumping, doing a split and then straddling the animal. She then rolls off the small dog, laughing, and the video ends.
“About a month and half ago she did something more suggestive with the dog, and if you think this is upsetting, you do not want to see that video,” Lawson told OBSERVER ONLINE Monday afternoon.
“It’s repulsive isn’t it? But it’s obvious the more depraved things are, the more followers you end up with,” she said.
Lawson is hoping Instagram will shut down Ivany’s account.
Locally, she is hoping to see more teeth to laws that protect animals. The existing legislation, she said, is “pathetic, weak, and antiquated”.
“I can say to you that there are government personnel at the moment trying to do something about this because we are concerned about it. It is very distasteful and traumatic and distressing, but my ultimate [concern] is ‘Why can't I take away that dog?’” she questioned.
“…To me, that would be the ultimate — not even so much giving her the disadvantage of locking her up but being able to take away that animal,” she added.
But with the ineffective laws, even if the animal were removed, Lawson added, there is nothing to stop Ivany from getting another one.
Ivany Wright is no stranger to controversy. Last June she was given a six-month suspended sentence after pleading guilty to two counts of larceny by trick. The case involved two high-end iPhones.
In 2020 she was charged by the police after she failed to deliver a social media page despite being paid.
Monday’s video also drew outrage from Tammy Browne, managing director of Montego Bay Animal Haven.
“I saw it and it’s disgusting, but it’s cruelty, and it needs to be addressed. The dog needs to be taken away from her and she needs to be arrested or whatever she can be charged with,” said Browne. “The haven doesn’t have the authority to go into somebody’s property and take it. The police need to be involved to get the animal under the animal cruelties act and to prosecute her.”
Browne said members of her team reached out to Ivany via her Instagram page but were greeted with profanity and no show of remorse.
“She is reaching a lot of people here and abroad. They are already up in arms about it because my phone has been going off the hook,” said Browne. “It is animal cruelty and I think the worse part for me is that we work so hard to gain a positive image for Jamaica, especially when we get so many tourists that come and visit, but the cruelty and the neglect they see, they never want to return.”
Ivany’s IG page has since been changed to a private account.