Approximately 200 animals were spayed and neutered during the Spay and Neuter Clinics held on April 25, 26 and 27. While a few of these were cats, the majority were dogs. This service was absolutely free and several community members who could not otherwise afford the charge brought in their dogs. However, most of the animals were stray potcakes brought in by volunteers who spent the three days catching stray animals.
Volunteers set traps and also went door-to-door and reported that they had a good response from owners. Once neutered these animals were then released. The areas focused on for this Clinic were Marsh Harbour, Dundas Town, Murphy Town, Central Pines and Spring City although animals were also brought in from Bahama Palm Shores, Casuarina Point and Green Turtle Cay.
The organizers were delighted to have met their goal of ‘fixing’ 200 animals during this three day clinic.
The clinics were held at Dr. Bailey’s Island Veterinary Clinic whose premises were an absolute hive of activity during that time and three veterinarians worked tirelessly during those three days dealing with the many animals that were brought in.
Dr. Bailey of Abaco, Dr. Dorsett of Nassau and Dr. Wildgoose of Grand Bahama (who also brought in a tech) performed the surgeries. The organizers of the clinics are extremely grateful to Dr. Bailey whom they say is always willing to jump on board in opening his premises for these clinics and performing surgeries.
The clinics were promoted by four animal rights groups, namely Friends of Abaco Animals, Abaco Shelter (formerly Pop’s shelter, BAARK from Nassau and Royal Potcake Rescue which is based in Atlanta.
Although spay and neuter clinics have been held on Abaco previously they were originally organized by BAARK from Nassau. This was the second spay and neuter clinic organized by an Abaco group, the first one having been held in October last year.
A large band of volunteers helped on each of the days, working in the clinic dealing with the animals before and after their surgeries while others combed the neighbourhoods to bring in animals which needed neutering. Most of the volunteers were animal lovers from Abaco but they were also joined by three volunteers from Nassau and six from the Royal Potcake Rescue in Atlanta.
Leisa Plummer, who spearheaded the organization of this three day clinic, stated her gratitude to these volunteers and also to the wonderful second-homeowners who had opened their homes to housing the volunteers.
She also expressed thanks to the sponsors who had made these much-needed spay and neuter clinics possible, namely Deans Shipping, Abaco Island Properties, Bahamasair, BNT, Chris Thompson Real Estate, Conch Inn, Golden Grouper, Hope Town Hideaways, Island Breezes Motel, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Schooner Bay and members of the general public, also Maxwells and Abaco Groceries for the donation of feeding supplies.
The vets donated their time and skills for a very minimal charge.
The group is hoping to hold two clinics a year and successive clinics will be concentrating on animals from areas of North Abaco and South Abaco. Mrs. Plummer stated that they very much need the support of dog and cat owners. The goal of the group is to now collect $10,000 to run the next spay and neuter clinic. They are urging the public to donate and anyone wishing to do so should send donations to the Abaco Shelter or Royal Potcake Rescue stipulating that they are for the spay and neuter clinic.
These groups can be contacted on their websites or on their Facebook pages.
Volunteers are also needed to assist at the Abaco Shelter (formerly Pops) either with caring for the dogs, donating food, transporting animals or fostering. Leisa Plummer states that there are on average 36 dogs in the shelter at any one time. There are not only puppies but also ‘teenage’ dogs and older ones all of which make great pets.