Baark!

BAARK! For a Humane Bahamas. BAARK! stands for Bahamas Alliance for Animal Rights and Kindness. We are a new organization formed by the members of the Facebook Group: For a more humane Bahamas Government Dog Pound. Mission BAARK! has two main objectives: 1) Immediately improve conditions and treatment of animals at the pound and rescue all potentially adoptable animals. 2) Dramatically increase public awareness and funding for spay & neuter programs in order to reduce the numbers of stray and unwanted animals in The Bahamas.
Jun 16, 2014

Operation Potcake never really ends!

Garbo - before
Garbo - before

Thank you for your continued support of Operation Potcake.  It is such a worthwhile and needed annual event - we wished we could do it more than once per year but it is a large project to fundraise for and organize, so once a year is all our resources can handle right now!  And YES - you may wonder - Operation Potcake 2015 planning is underway... stay tuned for more details in our next report! 

This report is to highlight how Operation Potcake does not really just last 5 days.  Operation Potcake is a focused 'coalition' where all the animal groups come together to organize and then carry out a mass spay and neuter blitz to help tackle our huge stray dog and cat animal population that exists in New Providence. However, Operation Potcake never really ends and actually continues throughout the year. 

Rehabilitating animals: Spending 5 days in an underpriveledged community connects you with people and animals.  Many need help.  Hannah Foster-Middleton came across Garbo and her family.  We had all the dogs that are owned by Garbo's owner done during operation potcake 2014 but Garbo was too sick.  After going by the house frequently to feed and treat Garbo, she transformed.  It was an awesome education experience for everyone involved.  Garbo was then spayed.  

Here is Hannah's account - 

When Garbo was first spotted, she was hiding out in an abandoned building, starved, and suffering terribly from mange and a secondary fungal infection. Shortly after the initial spotting, during Operation Potcake 2014 - a mass spay and neuter program with several clinics held across Nassau - she was seen by another BAARK! volunteer. It took a while to finally get close enough to her to begin caring for her as she was very timid at first but warmed up to the food, water and medicine quite quickly. It turns out that she is loosely owned by people in the community, however those people were afraid that they would catch 'the mange' and so shunned her, resulting in her deplorable condition.

Her advanced ill-health and the shortage of foster placement opportunities forced us to make the decision to treat her in her current location rather than subject her to further trauma. She seemed to be somewhat surviving here, and that itself was a miracle. Three volunteers took turns feeding her on a daily basis ensuring that she had sufficient water and socialization. Ivomection was administered three times a week, in addition to vitamin and mineral supplements.

After only three months, she was transformed into the beauty you now see in this picture. She is a very happy and affectionate dog who has integrated into a pack. With some education and direction, the community now understands that they cannot catch mange and have taken a more active role in her care.

CAT TNR - our presence in the community made us aware of more spay and neuters than we could fulfill in 5 days, especially trapping and tackling entire feral cat colonies.  Our pressence also educates people in a SOLUTION and we receive many calls after Operation Potcake for continued help.   We have tackled 3 large cat colonies of over 20 cats in each colony since February 2014 thanks to teaming up with the Bahamas Humane Society and Baark!  The most recent were spayed on Sunday June 1st and most of the cats were in heat! Meaning there were about to be a lot of unwanted kittens born but we luckily got there in time! BIG POINTS FOR THE SPAY TEAM! 

Education - For 1 week in the summer, Baark! and the Bahamas Humane Society will be providing sponsored spaces at summer camp at the Bahamas Humane Society for children we met during Operation Potcake who we feel will benefit from the camp. 

Garbo - after
Garbo - after
Garbo - after 2
Garbo - after 2
Garbo - after 3
Garbo - after 3
May 5, 2014

Baark! May 2014 Spay /Neuter Update

Poster for a free spay/neuter clinic
Poster for a free spay/neuter clinic

 

May 4th Report #6 - Global Giving 

 

We've been part of the Global Giving community now for just over a year.  We're feel very lucky to have received so many generous donations from people around the world helping us in our mission to reduce the number of stray/suffering animals on the streets of The Bahamas.  So far this year alone we have provided 596 free or subsidized spay/neuters which is the most proven to be the most humane and effective method to reduce the number of animal overpopulation. We thought this was a good opportunity to explain a little more about how we go about these projects.  

 

Family Island MASH (mobile animal sterilzation hospital) Clinics

Are carried out in islands of the Bahamas that do not regular access to vets, or in some cases none at all.  They take a lot of planning, working together with people from the local communities, finding a suitable venue for surgery and recovery, postering and telling local people about the clinics so they will bring in their animals and scouting out areas of stray animals that can be trapped and transported.  The Baark van goes ahead of time on the ferry and volunteers fly in the day before to set everything up.  We are so lucky to have such dedicated volunteers !

We've had a busy first half of the year with family island MASH clinics as we dont do them in summer as its too hot for the animals to be crated before and after surgery.  

March - Gregory Town, Eleuthera, 96 spay/neuters

 

April  - Inagua , 103 spay/neuters

April - Marsh Harbour, Abaco, 195 spay/neuters

We are also planning a clinic in South Eleuthera in mid May.
Inagua was particulary interesting clinic, both challenging and rewarding. The island has absolute no vet care for animals, if owners want their pet spayed/neutered they have to send them to the capital Nassau and a few days stay. There was a also a huge tick problem, amounts of wish we had never seen before. We took great delight in teaching a policeman who loved his dog how to care for him better and learning how to remove the ticks.  He stayed and helped us for the entire clinic and was excited about going  back into the community and spread the word about responsible pet ownership.

 

MASH Clinic, Nassau - 37 spay/neuters

On March 26th , Baark volunteers in Nassau set up a mini mash clinic day using tents and tables in the outdoor grounds of a church.  Local people were encouraged to bring in their animals as well as those caught by our expert trappers.  It was a long and hard days work for everyone, especially those on their knees all day in recovery, but once again rewarding that so many lives could be saved from preventing unwanted puppies and kittens from being born.

 

Stray Busting

We've continued our TNR (trap-neuter-return) programs locally of catching stray dogs and cats from neighbourhoods, having them sterilized and checked over before returning them back to their environments. While we would love all animals to have a loving home, with feral animals this is simply not possible.  Throught spay/neutering the population slowly reduces over time.

Stray-Busting as we fondly call it, is not an easy job and can be time consuming.  Not only do the animals need trapping - and some are quite tricky to catch, they need bringing to the vet clinics for surgery, picked up again the following day and returning to their areas. 

 

Assisting Pet Owners

Baark! also continues to assist pet owners who cannot financially get their pets spayed/neutered themselves or dont have means of transport to get them there.  We take requests both on the phone and via email or our website. Recently a lovely 15-year old school girl called Georgette contacted Baark! about a small kitten she had found and wanted to keep but her family could not afford the cost of spaying.  She had learnt that spaying not only makes an animal healthier but was sensible to realise her family couldnt have coped with more than one cat. We were very proud that this young lady was so smart and responsible and were delighted in helping her set up an appointment with a nearby vet to take in her kitten for spaying and vaccinations.

Baarks truck getting ready for departure
Baarks truck getting ready for departure
dogs waiting at the Gregory Town clinic
dogs waiting at the Gregory Town clinic
a successful days
a successful days 'stray busting'
Inagua spay/neuter clinic
Inagua spay/neuter clinic
No more puppies for this Mama dog
No more puppies for this Mama dog

Links:

Mar 17, 2014

OP 2014 - MASH CLINICS

Spay and Neutering in MASH clinics VS official vet clinic locations is a wonderful way to accomplish high volumes of spay and neuters and educate the community you are working in.  

Operation Potcake focus' on just that.  For 5 days in February 2014 we had 3 MASH Clinics set up across New Providence for 'Operation Potcake' to spay and neuter dogs. 

We did have a cat clinic based out of the Bahamas Humane Society - as ofcourse cats are very crafty and good escape artists so we thought the most secure location would be best for the cats only. 

1184 was our total for 2014! Dogs and Cats - 5 days - 4 clinics! 

This report will highlight the MASH Clinic at East street from two of our wonderful volunteers who travelled in from the US to donate their time and help! 

Being a non-local Operation Potcake volunteer, every day began the same......it was still dark out as we boarded the bus to our clinics. The excitement on the bus was infectious.....we all were on a 'rescue rush'. Our clinic, East Street Clinic, which was under a tent in the back of Our Lady Church on Deveux St, was a real MASH clinic. We were assigned to the recovery team. This involved performing tasks out of our normal comfort zone, but we were loving every minute of it. Even though every day began the same, no two days were ever alike.

Everyone at East Street worked together......locals and non-locals alike. We had Rick, Tali and Steve who were busy trapping the street dogs as well as providing shuttle service to pets who needed a ride to and from the clinic. Shaun and Byron who were always there providing their assistance with crates, tables and anything else we requested. The local and the international vets and techs working together to 'get the job done'; all with Laura's guidance.

But, we would not have had much to do if we didn't have the cooperation of the local community. The community's participation was very enthusiastic and appreciated. We even had local school children wanting to assist us with tasks. Gabi had an after school program every day for the local youth. This was an educational awareness for them to not only learn, but actually put what they learned to use. Their minds were like 'sponges' and they were so eager to assist us and the animals.

It was so nice to see how everyone was so into their work. The enthusiasm and positivity was exhilarating. We do it all for the dogs...and are loving it! There were no distinctions between locals or non-locals.  We all worked together and we were 'family'.  We had each others' backs and got the job done. 

This was an incredible experience.....one that we will always remember vividly and also cherish the friendships that were made. It was also extremely rewarding. Our time at OP was tiring, exhausting, much fun and for sure our most rewarding experience. We can't wait to come and volunteer next year.

Links:

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