In April, I spoke at the Caribbean Animal Welfare Conference in Puerto Rico, about forming effective collaborations in order to organize high volume sterilization clinics. Kim Aranha, the Director of the Board for the Bahamas Humane Society heard my speech and asked me if Animal Balance (AB) could help in the Bahamas. We visited Nassau earlier this month and held a feasibility study. Our goal was to find out what was already happening in regards to animal protection and identify any challenges that needed to be addressed so that the animals could be better protected.
Kim kindly arranged meetings with The Minister of Agriculture, The Bahamas Veterinary Association, Bahamas Humane Society (BHS), BAARK! and many other animal protection organizations. I also gave an evening presentation to many of these folks explaining who we are and what we hope to achieve. My visit tied in with the BHS Ball, which was a great opportunity to meet many of the supporters of the protection of the Bahamian animals. I was also delighted to be asked to sit next to the Deputy Prime Minister for the Bahamas, the Honorable Brent Symonette, M.P. who appeared not to mind too much to talk about dog testicles with me over dinner!
All these varied events provided the perfect forums to introduce myself, AB and to open discussions over the possibility of an island wide spay and neuter campaign.
What I found was that there is a wealth of compassionate people on the island who want to better protect cats and dogs. Over the years many people have held spay and neuter campaigns and as time has gone on more and more animal protection organizations have been created to address specific issues. While attempts had been made to join forces for large spay and neuter campaigns, it had not happened as yet for a variety of complicated reasons. All these reasons were addressed, any fears were resolved in a very open, honest and direct manner.
After a week of meetings and discussions, I am delighted to tell you that all the organizations have agreed to collaborate to help with a high volume, high standard sterilization program for the most needy dogs and cats on the Bahamas for August 2012. We are now in the process of writing the Memorandum of Understanding, which will form the basis for our collective work.
The future for the Bahamian cats and dogs just got much sunnier!
I will start recruiting for the Bahamas campaign early in 2012. You are welcome to fill out the application form on our website: www.animalbalance.org. If you would like to assist by donating, you are welcome to do so at: http://www.animalbalance.net/Donate.html
Thanks so much to all the wonderful people of the Bahamas who so kindly allowed us into their world and gave us the opportunity to provide some assistance and advice. Together we are going to save thousands of lives. Thank you.
Founder and Director
Emma and the Deputy Prime Minister, the Honorable
Brent Symonette, M.P.at the Bahamas Humane Society Ball.
BAARK! and Spay Busters
check on the street dogs.