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

Yes, there ARE angels!
By Kim Aranha
Jan 26, 2012 - 1:37:01 PM

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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 backs…


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 puppies/kittens!


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.


Happy puppy

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 pounds underweight! 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


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 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 berryislandgirl@gmail.com



The BAARK team with their van







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