"Life is life - whether in a cat, or dog or man. There is no
difference there between a cat or a man. The idea of difference is a human conception for man's own advantage." - Sri Aurobindo
As part of the Humane Society of Grand Bahama's ongoing spay/neuter programme, last week we were graced with the presence of seven amazing volunteers from
New Mexico. Veterinarians Dr. Ray Hudgell, Dr. Dan Dessauer, Dr. Kim Hamel, and licensed vet technicians Angie Cherry, Shaunessy Nadeau, Jennifer Cherry and Laura Rowe
all took their precious vacation time and paid their own way here to assist our animals. They also donated many medicines and supplies needed to perform surgeries and benefit our shelter
Angie Cherry, of Helping Paws Across Borders, deserves special recognition as she spearheaded and organized this trip. This was Angie's fourth visit to our shelter; she has become a great friend of
ours and a staunch supporter. She is also the proud owner of two potcakes.
We appreciate the selflessness of these incredible people, and their understanding of our mission. The staff of the HSGB is tired of the endless intake of "surplus" dogs and cats, and tired of having
to make difficult choices that no living being should ever be forced to make on behalf of another. We know there's a better way, and intense spay/neuter combined with education on responsible pet
ownership and law enforcement is what's called for.
We were overjoyed at the end of the week to find that 112 spays and neuters had been performed. About half were shelter animals, and half were privately owned
animals who would not be able to afford the surgery privately, or would not bother to have it done. We had animals from as far as McClean's Town and West End. Many shelter animals also received minor
surgeries and treatments that we otherwise would not have been able to afford for them.
We are doing our part to solve this problem but as always we need financial assistance. And we need the public to do their part by being responsible. We might sound like a broken record but perhaps
if we say it enough it will sink in!
We must also thank Sir Jack Hayward and the Grand Bahama Port Authority for providing accomodations for our volunteer vets and techs. Board members Ivy Elden, Jill
Cooper and Gloria McGlone for their invaluable assistance with recovery animals (an exhausting yet exhilarating job and so critical). Board President Chris Johnston for helping with a myriad of
technical and logistical issues and his general calming presence! Long time volunteer Ashley Murphy for her autoclaving expertise and recovery assistance. Volunteer and foster mom extraordinaire
Nancie Pollard for her support and logistical assistance in locating needed supplies at the last minute. Dr. Owen Hanna of Caribbean Veterinary Health & Healing
Centre for his support of our mission and this project, and assistance with consults, xrays, etc.
Mario Donatto for donating a car to our volunteer vet team. Jill Cooper and Ivy Elden, ditto, and deepest gratitude to Ivy and Dr. Ron for hosting a lovely
thank-you dinner at their home on Saturday evening. Lunches, snacks and beverages graciously donated by Renee Slone, Ivy Elden, Vicki Stafford, Anne Woodman, Richard and Monica Bates, Cindy Albury and the Garden Cafe at the Garden of the Groves, thanks especially to Erika for the
personal tour of the Garden for our volunteers! And for the fabulous kayak tour they enjoyed on their one day of relaxation.
HSGB staff for working hard to keep the shelter running smoothly throughout the week. Staff who are especially appreciated for going far above and beyond: Lisa Lockhart, Operations Manager; Keva
Lockhart, Receptionist; Medical Care Providers Kaylisa Fernander, Ashanti Cooper, Cruz Carroll, and Karen Mathurin; Administrative
Assistant Randi Winder; and Animal Care Providers Nevad Rolle, Reno Saunders, and Floyd Rahming.
We say again - pet overpopulation on Grand Bahama is a community problem - the HSGB did not create it but we are doing our best to combat it. The more support we
receive from the island we serve, the more we can accomplish. We know times are tough; we know it better than anyone probably as our intake has increased dramatically in the last six months. The
innocent animals who had absolutely nothing to do with the economic downturn should not be made to suffer as a result. Even if only a dollar or two, every penny counts; please, Grand Bahama, help us
to help them.