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Columns : The Pet Pages - Kim Aranha Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

No Room at the Inn?
By Kim Aranha
May 20, 2010 - 12:25:39 PM

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President of BAARK Laura Kimball with another kitten looking for a home

At present the Bahamas Humane Society Shelter is over flowing….we have too many of everything… too many puppies, too many dogs, too many kittens, too many cats and lo and behold too many rabbits !!! Not enough homes!


Break down in numbers:

52 Kittens

25 Cats

22 Dogs

25 Puppies and

13 Rabbits…


If you could but see that amazing array of cats and dogs we have, mixtures, crossbreeds, big, small, long fur, short fur….every colour and personality…


We are not a “no kill” shelter, but deep down inside that would be THE dream, huh?


However we really HATE the idea of putting to sleep (nice term for killing) a dog, or cat, or any animal for that matter just because there is no room for them, no space in the inn…not a corner to shelter them…but I am so sure that these animals will make wonderful pets for people needing one in their home.


At a shelter you painstakingly care for the animals to the very best of your ability. Each and every animal, found or surrendered, has a full check up, bath and their personality is evaluated… unless there is something seriously, drastically wrong with the animal they are admitted into an adoption area and then the long haul of looking for a home / being chosen starts…


These animals crave attention, we give then what attention we are able to, a stroke behind the ear here, a nose stroke through the chain link there… never enough, but a start. The staff bring some dogs and kittens into the office for a few hours a day to get used to being indoors and with people…the dogs play in the paddock with fellow adoptees if they are friendly enough…and then there is the Sunday Dog Walking Club that comes and takes the adoption dogs out for a wonderful walk at Fort Charlotte. God bless this group of wonderful and kind hearted people organized by BAARK… what a wonderful opportunity for these dogs to have a couple of hours interacting with humans, stretching their legs and may-be, just may-be somebody will see them and want to home them.


I appeal to people to stop before buying a dog or cat right now, in fact stop and think before breeding your dog or cat, or worse still letting them breed because you never bothered to have them fixed or keep them in. This is a particular time of need…there are so many animals being surrendered weekly, perhaps because of the economy (sorry Mr. Roberts, said it again!), perhaps because of what I wrote about last week, the fact that people do not honour the commitment between pet and owner. Perhaps because we are just not a caring country!


Get me outta here!!!! Fudge (the canine) rescued from certain death at the pound on Thursday morning

Whatever the reason, the bottom line is that there are hundreds of good, beautiful, cats and dogs out there begging for homes. At the Bahamas Humane Society we have 135 animals looking for homes…in Nassau, but that’s not ALL…

Natalia Nunez has lots of rescues she is caring for, BAARK has others in foster homes…people all over New Providence are looking for forever homes. Not to mention the abandoned, homeless, abused, ignored and starving animals in the out islands…Grand Bahama is overflowing, thank God for those lovely people in Miami who helped them in a time of need, but it’s not over. Soon Grand Bahama will be full again…we have got to try and help get ourselves out of this terrible situation. There is a way and there can be a plan but it has to be embraced by everybody, not just the conscious few.


1.      Have your pet spayed and neutered

2.      Persuade your neighbours to do the same.

3.      Keep your own dog on your own property

4.      Persuade your neighbours to do the same.

5.      Adopt, don’t buy, and open up your heart to the homeless.

6.      Support your local animal group, financially or personally. There are things you can do to help that cost you no money.

7.      Be kind, care, love and give…


If we in the Bahamas could follow those seven steps, in a few years our stray dog and feral cat problem would be greatly reduced, perhaps even gone… Cruelty would not be an issue (be kind, care, love, and give…remember?)


And of course, the word nobody really likes to bring up: MONEY… to continue with a rigorous spay and neuter programme it costs money… The animals don’t get neutered for free; the bills have to be paid…by whom? We at the Bahamas Humane Society are constantly trying to think up new and inventive ways to raise money. We strive to be in the press to keep you informed as to what we are doing so that perhaps you might like to give us a donation soon…every little penny counts…Sometime people slip me $20.00 and say apologetically “it’s not much”…NOT MUCH! If everybody gave me $20.00 we could tackle this problem starting today and be able to have a clear and defined difference in five years time, a noticeable difference…It takes a village…


Please, one and all: come out to the Bahamas Humane Society and adopt a pet…give fluffy or Fido a home. Go to sleep thinking that you made a difference, you may well have saved a life, a small heartbeat, but a life that will love you, and cherish you and defend you for their entire life…


As Anatole France said - "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened.”    Time to wake up guys !

Andreas with kittens exploring !


About the author: Kim Aranha grew up in the Berry Islands with her first dog, a beloved potcake named “Friendly” (who was anything but!). First educated at home, and then in boarding school in Switzerland, Kim moved to Rome, Italy in 1974 to pursue a career in the dramatic arts and ended up working as an interpreter. She moved back to The Bahamas in 1980, and now lives in Nassau with her husband Paul, and their two grown sons. Kim has 3 dogs, 3 goldfish fish, a tank of freshwater exotic fish, 11 turtles (2 babies, 6 adolescents. 3 adults), 1 Asian box turtle and 4 Budgerigars. Her idea of relaxing is being home to take care of all her pets. Kim is President of the Bahamas Humane Society, and serves on the board of BREEF, and is co-chairman of the Bahamas Sea Turtle Conservation Group. Kim can be contacted at berryislandgirl@gmail.com

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