|Humane Society of Grand Bahama update: Through a foreign friend’s eyes|
|Wednesday, 04 August 2010 06:52|
On the exact same date as last year, I was fortunate enough to be able to make a return trip to Grand Bahama Island. As I stepped off the plane in Freeport on July 20, I was looking forward to seeing the friends I had made last year and the canine and feline community of the Humane Society.
Upon arriving at the shelter, I found things to be pretty much the same as last year, with some improvements; this year there was a separate outdoor exercise yard for each of the four kennels - A, B, C and D. Like last year, there was the hardworking and very attentive staff, doing their jobs caring for the animals and tending to the many tasks that keep the shelter clean and organized. Like last year, the front desk staff fielded phone calls and questions and assisted the public as they entered the shelter.
The one thing that seemed the same, but I know was different, was the hundreds of dogs housed at HSGB. Sure, some long term residents are dogs that were there last summer and continue to live at the shelter. But the many groups of puppies of all different ages were surely new ...different roly-poly playful little bundles of fur.
Where were the grown up ones from last year? How many found good and loving homes? How many still lived at the shelter? And most disturbingly, how many had gone on to be euthanized due to the limited space and increasing number of dogs surrendered and picked up as strays?I have an idea of the euthanasia statistics; I read this column weekly and speak to various people who know. It is extremely sad and can be disheartening for those who love dogs, most especially for those who work with these beautiful creatures ... their fate depends upon the number of dogs that don’t get adopted or do get dropped off, discarded like a worn out pair of shoes.
The hope for the future lies in the exceptional efforts being made to spay and neuter as much of the canine and feline population as possible. The opportunity is there for every resident to have his or her pets “fixed” for free. A number of clinics in various locations have already taken place, and more are planned for the future.
But you don’t have to wait for a clinic: bring your cat or dog to the Humane Society and have your pet taken care of. That way you can prevent the birth of yet another litter of unwanted kittens or puppies that will ultimately end up here, or worse yet, producing their own litters.
My timing was good in coming to Grand Bahama when I did. I had a unique opportunity to accompany the Director, Tip Burrows, and HSGB Board Member Beth Hatfield, on a trip to Sweetings Cay to investigate the area in preparation for a spay/neuter clinic this fall.
I learned a lot on that trip. The good people of this beautiful little island consider the local bush dogs a nuisance. Many have dogs of their own that are not yet spayed or neutered. It will take a huge effort to get all of the equipment needed to this location. The vets that volunteer their time will need to be housed and fed.
I know that Tip, who has worked tirelessly to carry out these clinics, feels that it is all worthwhile. This small cay can set an example for the rest of Grand Bahama. While I won’t be on the island of Grand Bahama when the clinic takes place, I’ll rooting for them from afar, with my sight set on returning same time next year.
Photo 1: Stephanie Winus, of Long Island, NY, and proud adopter of three dogs, including two potackes.
Photo 2: One of the many beautiful dogs at the Humane Society, waiting to be adopted.
Photo 3: Different roly-poly playful little bundles of fur of all colours and sizes ready to become your forever friend.
Stephanie had a unique opportunity to accompany HSGB Managing Director Tip Burrows and Board Member Beth Hatfield on a trip to Sweetings Cay to investigate the area in preparation for a spay/neuter clinic this fall. It will take a huge effort to get all of the equipment needed to this location.
Humane Society of Grand Bahama Managing Director Tip Burrows speaks to residents of Sweetings Cay about spaying and neutering their pets.
The good people of this beautiful little island can set an example for the rest of Grand Bahama.
Newer news items:
Older news items: