ü SPAY / NEUTER PROGRAMME
Founded in 2000 by Frances Singer Hayward, the programme offers free spay/neuters to all those who cannot otherwise afford it by offering vouchers, issued by the HSGB on Coral Road, which local veterinarians honour, at no charge to the pet owner. Arrangements can be made to have the animal picked up by the HSGB if transportation is a problem.
Since a female dog through her offspring can theoretically produce over one thousand puppies during her lifetime, (cats have a similar statistic) and since so much of the tragic pet overpopulation on Grand Bahama is the result of animals that are owned but are allowed to wander, mating and reproducing prolificly, the importance of spay/neuter cannot be over emphasized. If 70-80% of our local pets were sterilized, the Grand Bahama community would see a drastic improvement in the number of roaming or homeless dogs and cats.
The voucher programme, originally underwritten by Ms. Singer-Hayward, has been subsidized by the Grand Bahama Port Authority support since 2001. We do ask pet owners who can afford to pay for spay/neuter privately to do so, as the programme is intended for those who genuinely cannot afford it on their own.
This programme has provide for the sterilization of about 400 dogs and cats each year since its inception.
ü SPAY / NEUTER FIELD CLINIC PROGRAMME
(Bahamian Animal Rescue Committee – Animal Neutering Education and Welfare)
Our field clinic programme was founded by Tip Burrows, HSGB Executive Director, HSGB Board Member Ellen Kohn (also founder and Director of The Kohn Foundation), and Dr. Robin Brennen, D.V.M., Chief Veterinarian for the programme, with the first clinic held in January of 2007 in the parish hall of St. Stephens Anglican Church in Eight Mile Rock.
U.S. veterinarians and technicians volunteer their time, pay their own way here to work for a week helping us help our animals and needy pet owners.
The goal of this programme is to provide accessible spay/neuter and pet wellness services, to those in the out areas of Grand Bahama, from West End to East End. Concerted educational efforts are undertaken during these clinics, with a view to giving people the knowledge and information to become more responsible pet owners.
From January 2007 to February 2009, this project has been responsible for over 1000 animals sterilized. The majority of funding for this project has thus far come from abroad; the HSGB is always in need of funding for this project. As soon as we finish one clinic, we are planning the next. We hope in the future that more local supporters and perhaps even Government will assist with funding.
See Archives here for articles on the clinics held thus far.
ü SCHOOL OUTREACH
Realizing the importance of educating children from an early age to respect animals and care for them properly, the HSGB takes its message into the schools. School visits are planned with a member of the Humane Society staff bringing a suitable animal to the various schools, allowing the children to interact with it, along with advice about proper care and treatment.
In 2008, the HSGB benefited from the work of Anne Marie Leppink, a university student/intern from The Netherlands, who spent four months with us in Freeport developing an education plan for our programme.
The HSGB finds that most children instinctively love animals, although many have been taught to fear them thus education and instruction on how to approach and handle animals is important. Safety around animals is also stressed.
Documented links between childhood acts of animal cruelty and subsequent or ongoing domestic violence, and even adult criminal behaviour underscores the tremendous importance of this programme.
Almost every animal living at the HSGB Animal Welfare and Adoption Centre is available for adoption into a suitable home. Certain reasonable requirements must be met, and adhered to throughout the animal’s life. Prospective adopters are interviewed, and an HSGB staff member or volunteer will make an appointment to inspect the premises of the prospective adopter to make certain that these criteria are met. Every adopted animal will be spayed/neutered before it is adopted. In some cases, the HSGB will allow a young puppy or kitten to be adopted prior to surgery, with an additional deposit being paid which is refunded upon proof of spay/neuter within the proscribed time period.
All our pets are up to date with necessary vaccinations, routine deworming, and heartworm preventative, in addition to any other medical treatments necessary. The HSGB provides full disclosure to adopters of any pre-existing or treated conditions we were aware of. All adopters are given an adoption packet, with numerous educational information on how to care for and train their new pet. These packets also include valuable coupons from area businesses such as groomers, pet supply stores, training DVDs, and a certificate for a free exam from Caribbean Veterinary Healthy & Healing Centre.
HSGB staff are always available to offer advice to adopters about any concerns or problems they may have post-adoption. The goal is to find the right match for both pet and people, and our staff and volunteers work hard to make this happen.
The goal of the HSGB is a forever home for each and every one of our pets.
ü ANIMAL CRUELTY HOTLINE
Animal cruelty, which ranges from outright abuse to neglect, is unfortunately a reality on Grand Bahama as it is everywhere. The HSGB relies on the public to inform us of situations that need attention and animals in distress. The public should be aware that HSGB staff do not have any law enforcement authority, however when warranted we will make every effort to engage the police in these cases.
Call the HSGB at 352-2477.
If after hours, 727-2477 or 727-1390; please try to only call after hours for true emergencies!
ü OPERATION PUPPY LIFT
Since the inception of Operation Puppy Lift in 2004 (and through 2008), over six hundred potcake puppies and dogs who would have faced uncertain futures on Grand Bahama have found loving homes abroad. This programme was initially the brainchild of volunteer Kim Lines and was implemented initially by then HSGB Managers Tip Burrows and Renee Slone.
The HSGB continues to expand its network of receptive and responsible (no-kill) shelters and rescues (all potential rescues are vetted thoroughly by HSGB) and while this programme is not viewed as a solution to our problem, it allows us to save more puppies and dogs while we continue to work on the long term solution through our spay/neuter and education programmes.
Without the invaluable assistance of Florida volunteers Heike Dose and Debbie Shields, this programme would not be possible. All the puppies and dogs must clear customs in either Ft. Lauderdale or West Palm Beach, sometimes held for a few hours or even days, and then transported to their further destinations, which might mean further in Florida, or to Delta for air transport to all points. One or both of these two angels make sure all this happens whenever we have dogs and puppies in need.
In addition to shelters and rescues taking in our puppies, our Petfinder membership has facilitated the private U.S. adoptions of over 30 dogs per year since 2005.
We have placed our potcakes and purebred dogs all over the world. We have sent pups and dogs to California, Colorado, New Mexico, New York, Massachusetts, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Nevada, Canada, Illinois, New Hampshire, Maine, Virginia, Oregon, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania; in addition to Canada, Germany, and Italy.
ü ANIMAL TRANSPORT ASSISTANCE PROGRAMME
Thanks to our extensive experience with Operation Puppy Lift, we have gained a great deal of experience in shipping animals near and far. With Grand Bahama’s somewhat transient population, we are often called upon for advice and assistance by pet owners who are leaving the island and don’t know how to take their pets with them. We have averted several surrenders by offering our knowledge and sometimes facilitating transport and boarding when needed in order to keep animals with their families.
We cannot pay for transport for private individuals, but we are always happy to assist with logistical issues and give advice and direction to pet owners needing information.
The famous Potcake
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