The full team
Yes there ARE angels.
I know I just spent five days
with a whole load of them.
They were not shimmering in a
divine light, nor did they bask in a mysterious glow with wings adorning their
No Sir! Mostly they were clad in
scrubs, bending over operating tables, nursing animals back from anesthesia,
prepping cats and dog for surgery, clad in grubby jeans and t-shirts carrying
countless cages of dogs and cats down the grass hill to the makeshift clinic.
These angels crawled around, under
cars and through bushes, on all fours, sweat streaming down their faces, in
order to catch an animal to bring into the clinic…
One of the most popular topics of
conversation, when a few angels took a second off their tireless activity was
to ask: “How many times did you get bitten today?”
When all was done, and the floors
swept clean, the last puppy and kitten went home, these angels were responsible
for a grand total of 231 spays and neuters in Eleuthera and Exuma.
A happy client!
To put this into prospective
imagine one female dog / cat (spayed at four months old). Had she not been
spayed, she could have had, lets say, eight pups/kittens when she was six
months old…those pups/kittens (shall we say 4 were girls) could have 8
pups/kittens six months later…so in the space of one year, one girl dog/cat
(let’s leave the boys out of it for now) could be responsible for about 40
So, stay with me now, lets say
half of the 231 animals were female (and that is a conservative guess, I don’t
have the exact numbers, probably more actually) that would been at least 4640
pups / kittens avoided by the spay and neuter clinic in Exuma and Eleuthera….
How amazing is that!
What an amazing privilege it was
to work with this incredible team of people from all over the world, all
volunteers, all different ages, interests, beliefs, but bonded by the passion
to save and nurture animals.
The Bahamas Humane Society
conducted two spay and neuter clinics this month, one was in Georgetown Exuma
where we spayed and neutered 113 animals. The second clinic was held in
Eleuthera , where we were joined by Pet Pals and BAARK. The Eleuthera clinic
spayed and neutered 118 animals in all.
These clinics are of the utmost
importance. The Bahamas is plagued with too many cats and dogs. The net result
is that these animals suffer. They suffer from neglect, starvation, skin
disease, and at times abject cruelty. By spaying and neutering we can get the
populations to a manageable number. This is not just a service that is provided
for the animals but, if you think of it, it is a HUGE service provided to the
human population of this country. The people living in the less affluent
communities have to cope with the sick, starving animals daily…mess on the
ground, overturned garbage bins (because the humans fail to secure them
properly, and the dogs/ cats are starving)…excessive barking, yowling at night,
fear of being bitten and so the list goes on…with a properly managed spay and
neuter programme all these ills can be righted…humans and animals can
cohabitate in peace and harmony…
I attended the Eleuthera spay and
neuter clinic…I was amazed and energized by the dedication of the people around
me. The pure and unadulterated love shown to each and every animal who was
carried, lead or driven down that hill. Big and small, pretty or scrawny, each
animal was treated with kindness, care, dignity and professionally! What a joy
to be part of this unique event!
This was an experience that
leaves it’s mark on you…that helps you define what is really important, and
what really isn’t.
Doctor in action
The islands of Eleuthera and the
Exumas are so very fortunate to be the target of this small hardworking team of
volunteers….No fancy clothes and long fingernails here, but scrubs and sweats,
hot, sticky, tired and…..ELATED!
One dog will stick in my memory
forever: She was in a large cage, and Laura and Sarah of BAARK struggled down
the hill with her. Laura was visibly concerned about her and with just cause,
her bones stuck out at right angles and you could count her ribs…”The owner
said to kill her”…I bent down and looked in the cage, a big head looked up and
her tail wagged at me…well, I knew what we weren’t going to do…Laura and
Sarah talked to her through the cage and then got a collar and leash on her. As
she stepped out of the cage, we could s
ee that this was a big dog, probably 60
She had puppies, they were in another cage. Shame…. her sweet nature won everybody’s hearts, in no
time we had found a foster home for her in Eleuthera where she can be fattened
up, finish feeding her puppies (who will be homed also). Then the best news yet…one of the angels, said he would give her a
forever home in Montana!
In the course of one afternoon
this dog had been ordered killed, given a reprieve, spayed, given a new
collar, a new name, a foster home and a forever home. Wow! Rosie will become a
US citizen, she will play with another Potcake already living in Montana, she
will grow to love the snow, the freedom of the fields and best of all, Rosie will
be loved and she will never ever be hungry again.
Yes, there are angels, and I
spent five wonderful days in their midst!
Rosie and her baby
Arms of love
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 5 dogs, 2 goldfish, 12 fresh water turtles,
1 Asian box turtle and 2 Budgerigars. Her idea of relaxing is being home to
take care of all her pets. Kim is President of the Bahamas Humane Society, and is co-chairman of the Bahamas Sea Turtle
Conservation Group. Kim can be contacted at
The BAARK team with their van