Please allow us space to comment on a topic that was raised at a recent meeting of the residents of North Abaco with their M.P., Mr. Darren Henfield and reported in the August 1st edition of The Abaconian. The residents complained about the stray dogs at the community dump sites and that the spay and neuter clinics are releasing vicious dogs back into the dump.
The public should be aware that one unspayed female dog with her offspring can produce up to 500 dogs in a seven year period. The Abaco Shelter, Royal Potcake Rescue and other rescue groups help in reducing the dog population by going into the dump sites to rescue puppies that have been born or abandoned there and find homes for them. The adult dogs are trapped, spayed or neutered and if unadoptable they are released back where they came from to live out their lives but will not produce more unwanted puppies. From our years of experience we have found that these dogs tend to be more timid than aggressive or vicious although they may bark at people.
Since the fall of last year Abaco Shelter has taken 17 dogs/puppies from the dump and streets of North Abaco. We are a no kill shelter and we currently have 51 dogs in residence besides a number of dogs in foster care in private homes.
Abaco Shelter and Royal Potcake Rescue offer several spay/neuter clinics each year throughout Abaco. These clinics are funded by private donations and services are free to those who cannot afford private veterinary care for their pets. Last year we conducted two clinics in Cooper’s Town and one in Fox Town. At the Cooper’s Town clinic 31 dogs, 8 of which were dump dogs and 8 cats were done and at the Fox Town clinic 48 dogs and 15 cats were done. Another clinic is planned for Cooper’s Town later this year as well as one in Marsh Harbour and for the first time there will be one in Moore’s Island in November.
Our goal is to control the population of roaming unwanted dogs humanely through adoption and spay/neuter clinics. While government assistance and funding would be greatly appreciated it is up to us as citizens to be proactive and work together to achieve this in our various communities.