Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Baark! Christmas bake sale

Saturday December 10th
11am -3pm
Harbour Bay Shopping Plaza
outside Windermere Spa

Please come and support Baark! and all your cravings for Christmas baking!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Baark! Tervis tumblers creating quite the Buzz!

Baark Tervis Tumblers ! Do you have one yet?

These tumblers are amazing. Not only  can you use them to keep your icy drinks cold or 

your steamy hot drinks hot but people are finding out they are quite the conversation 

piece as well. I have had more conversations with "strangers" than I can count by virtue of

 just holding my Baark! Tervis tumbler in hand. So many people have started a conversation

 with "you  know Baark! I love their work!" or "Ooo you have a Baark! tumbler!! I have one 

too!"Inevitably the conversation turns to the love of animals that we undoubtedly have in 

common. It really is uncanny. 

I know this is a really simple thing in life, but the fun I have had with my tumbler meeting 

new people and talking about Baark! and the wonderful animals they are working to protect

 really makes my day.

just love how easy it is to create buzz with the simple idea of using a Baark! Tervis 

tumbler. By the very fact that I am holding it in my hand, more and more people are 

exposed to the work of saving and protecting the lives of Bahamian cats and dogs.

I strongly encourage you to join the Buzz about Baark! and order a few Baark! tumblers. 

These Baark! tervis tumblers  make perfect Christmas presents. We have a few left and 

will be shortly placing another order to be here in time for the holidays - place your order 

now to buy one for your friends and family, a gift they'll love and for a great cause too. 

Tervis Tumblers are $20 

Lids $5

Please EMAIL sarah@baarkbahamas.org to place your order

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Keep your Animals safe this Halloween and Guy Fawkes Day!

Baark! wanted to share some safety tips for the upcoming Halloween/Guy Fawkes festivities to help keep your animals safe. This was created by the  amazing people at  the Bahamas Humane Society 

Jack-o'-lanterns, trick-or-treaters, haunted houses, costume parties and fireworks. Halloween is full of fun things for you and your family to enjoy, but it's one of those holidays that is enjoyed more by people than by pets. Keep the following precautions in mind when preparing for the frightfully fun festivities and help ensure that everyone in your family—including your pet—has a safe Halloween and Guy Fawkes.

·  Keep your pet in a quiet place, away from trick-or-treaters and other Halloween activities. You may know that the miniature monsters and goblins that come knocking on Halloween aren't real, but pets don't. Dogs and cats are creatures of habit and could become frightened or agitated by the unaccustomed sights and sounds of costumed visitors. In addition, frequently opened doors provide a perfect opportunity for escape, which can go unnoticed during all the commotion. Be sure all pets are wearing collars and ID tags in case of an accidental getaway.

·  Place live flame Guy Fawkes and decorations like candles and jack-o'-lanterns out of your pet's reach. Curious critters risk being singed or burned by the flame—they could also easily knock over a candle or pumpkin and cause a fire.

·  Don't let the family dog accompany the kids on their trick-or-treat outing. Children may have a difficult time handling a pet during the festivities and your pooch could get loose, especially if your dog is spooked by the strange sights and sounds of trick-or-treaters. 

·  Keep decorations that pets could chew on—like streamers and fake spider webs—and wires and cords from electric decorations out of reach. If pets chomp on Halloween decorations, they could choke or may become ill and, if they chew on electrical cords, they risk a potentially deadly electrical shock. Pets could also become tangled and injured by dangling cords or decorations.

·  Tranquilizers.  If you know that your pet is very frightened of loud noises, please contact your veterinarian to purchase a sedative to keep the pet calm. This will prevent injuries to the pet and damages to furniture.

·  Report any animal abuse by fireworks, to the nearest Police station or The Bahamas Humane Society

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Potcakes take over cable beach!

“Strutt your mutt walkathon” took place today at Goodmans Bay. It was an event put on by Baark! to raise funds and awareness for the plight of our Bahamian Potcakes. First of all, my heartfelt congratulations to those who planned such a well-organized event. It was obvious you put much work into the preparation and executing of this event and it was truly amazing. From what I hear, Baark! raised about $7000 in total! Congratulations to everyone who worked on it and thank you for everything.

Usually in a social gatherings we shake hands and exchange names with a cordial handshake. In this gathering however the social parameters were slightly different, the greetings were initiated by the dogs taking the lead and exchanging friendly sniffs. Only after the dogs were done their meet and greet did the humans shake hands and exchange names. Even then the owners often failed to mention their own names and instead went by the title ascribed to them as a dog owner or walker. I was not Allie today; I was “Snicker’s mom” and darn proud of that title! Today people without names and Potcakes with proud waggy tails formed a head-turning group and took over Cable Beach.

Most of the dogs in attendance were rescues. Some off the street, some out of the pound by Baark! and still others by the kindness of adoption through BHS. There were many tails (and tales) of where each dog came from and how they ended up with their furever family. Some of the Potcakes in attendance today were still awaiting adoption. They had been entered into the event through the kindness of strangers who wanted to help show off the dog’s beautiful personalities to prospective families. I cannot help but think that it was those dogs that enjoyed the event the most; they saw what their future could hold. They got to see dogs, Potcakes like them, previously homeless and sick or destined for death at the pound in a loving family of their own. I would love to think these dogs went back to the BHS or their foster homes with sweet dreams of a future yet to come. (perhaps that future is with you, think about it..these dogs are amazing)

My favorite moment was captured in the picture in this blog. It was just after the walk and we were awaiting the group photo. A few of the dogs sought shelter from the sun by the tent covering the multitude of water bowls. In this group were many differences, puppies and old dogs, adopted and yet to be adopted, dogs of white, brown and black but there was one big common factor, contentment. Their faces say it all, they were contented by a good long walk with people who care, rest in the shade with water at their demand and hope.  Hope in the fact that life can be different even for a Potcake, that is what was found today. Long tongues, panting bellies and stretched out bodies cooling on the grass is evidence that a good day was had by all the Potcakes who took over cable beach for an hour this morning.

Thank you to all who participated, who supported someone doing the walkathon or who is just reading this and wants to join Baark! to help end the suffering of the Bahamian Potcake. All of you make a difference and give hope to our amazing Potcakes!

Monday, 12 September 2011

Baark! and Straybusters make a difference!!!

A day in the life of a straybuster

Baark! and Straybusters are a force to be reckoned with, these two organizations have teamed together to help address the stray and unwanted animal issue in Nassau. Together they are endeavoring to help end the unneeded suffering of our Bahamian animals due to the large numbers of homeless cats and dogs.

Recently I had the privilege to ride along with a straybusting team.  A team of two dedicated and caring women who spend a good deal of their spare time tackling the stray population of Nassau one animal at a time.  This team spares the streets of Nassau many unwanted litters through a spay and neuter program. Baark! is proud to partner with them.
The process of straybusting not a simple one, it involves dirt, sweat and lots of sardines. A humane trap is set and the animal is lured to the trap by the tantalizing smell of sardines.  Once inside, the trap closes and the straybusters move the dog and the trap to the waiting vehicle and then transported to the “waiting area” of the veterinarians office where they will be spayed or neutered. The next day the dogs are released back to the neighborhoods with instructions to the owners or caregiver so that if they have further concerns they can call for help.

Approaching the day that I have to admit I was nervous, I mean these girls were pros and I was really just an observer ready to help when needed but I had no idea how you approach random people and ask them if they want help with their animal or how to trap a dog that is untrusting of humans.

Our first stop of the day was a known area to the straybusters; they had just been to the area few days ago but were called to return to see to a dog whose stitches had come out prematurely. While we were there a dog was noticed that had previously eluded the traps of two days before, she did not have owners who would claim her but was relatively comfortable around the men who hung out on the property. The trap was once again set but this time the men who lived there helped out by placing the sardines in the trap, as our presence made the dog nervous.  What I was impressed with was the community cooperation; the men really did want to see the dogs in the neighborhood happier and healthier. All of a sudden we had gone from a team of three to a team of seven, all with the interest of the dogs in common.  We left with friendships formed, dogs in hand and the smell of sardines wafting not so gently through our clothes.

The next stop was a few blocks away in more of a residential area where there were owned dogs who were having many litters. This time, under direction from their parents to help it was the children who were assisting us in telling us where we might find certain dogs that needed to be spay or neutered. These children had wonderful questions to ask of us, what were we doing with the dogs?, when will they come back? How does that help? The floods of questions were answered patiently and kindly. The children were reassured that the dogs would be returned after they had a quick operation that would stop them from having more puppies. By the time we were finished capturing the dogs, the children in that neighborhood knew a great deal more about animal welfare and were even exciting to help support our cause by telling others. We left with more dogs (and a cat) and clothes sticking to our backs from sweat, all still smiling!

 The drama of that day was went a young, determined female dog decided to lodge herself under a shed to avoid our trap, this is where the dirt and sweat comes in to play.  The straybusters were on their stomachs in the dirt trying to coax this dog out, the dog was eventually captured and transported safely to the vet to be spayed the clothing of the straybusters however might not have made it through the laundry without stains. All for a good cause they both said as their faces shone with satisfaction.

One more thing I want to report. Once the dog is spayed or neutered they receive a purple collar which helps the straybusters determine which dog has already been done. The purple collar also helps raise awareness, kind a marketing ploy for the dog advocates. The purple collar says, Baark! and Straybusters have been here!  So next time you see a dog with a purple collar; please know Baark! in partnership with Straybusters has made a difference not only for that dog but for the dog’s whole neighborhood.

So what is needed from you? A generous donor had recently given Baark! enough funds to purchase a vehicle to assist in the spay and neuter endeavor.  Baark! needs funds to keep the vehicle gassed up and ready to roll.  We need donors to support the cost of the spaying and neutering process. We need alliances in neighborhoods, alliances that care for strays by providing food and water for them.  Alliances that can report abuse or neglect cases to us that can be investigated.  Foster homes are needed for the abused and neglected animals that are found, animals that without the love and care of a home would die thinking only knowing the ache of an empty stomach, the pain of an untreated injury or illness. Baark! and Straybusters need your help, however small or larger you can give, whether time or money, we need your help curb the population of unwanted and uncared for animals on the streets of Nassau.

 Want to help??  Follow this link to Baark!’s website

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Strut your Mutt!!!

Date: Saturday October 1 2011
Time: 8.00 am registration opens to start walk at 9am
Location: Goodman's Bay - walk on Cable Beach - and back to Goodman’s Bay, about 30-45 min walk

What you need to do?
- Get your pledge form email info@baarkbahamas.org
- Get your friends and family to pledge donations to you for being a good samaritan for participating and raise lots of money for a good cause
- If you don’t have your own dog or extra family members who would like to participate and you'd like to walk a BHS Adoption dog let us know via email and meet at the BHS at 8am on the day of the walk.
- On October 1st bring the whole family down to Goodman’s Bay between 8 and 830am with your sponsor money AND your dog and go for a lovely morning stroll (please have your dog on a leash, please only bring your dog if they get along well with other dogs, and please bring a few plastic bags to clean up after your pet should nature call)
- Register for the event - $10.00
- Walk with the pack to raise awareness for World Animal Day!
- Win fun prizes at the end of the walk!
- Every dog will receive a prize at the end of the walk!
- Refreshments will be available at the start and finish point for purchase.

The person who raises the most money from their pledges will win a brand new flat screen plasma TV donated by THINK SIMPLE!!! You must be bring all your sponsor money and be present at the walk to win this fantastic prize.

Our goal is to raise $10,000! If we can get 100 participants and each participant can raise $100 from friends and family we will meet our goal!!!

So lets team up to raise money, spay and neuter and save lives and prevent unnecessary deaths at the pound.

We will be having awesome tshirts ordered please read the attached entry form for details so you can get yours!

A big thank you to the sponsors that have already come on board:
Graham Real Estate, Cole Insurance Agency, KPMG, Purina, Think Simple and Adworks.

You do not have to walk a dog to participate in the event.
Email info@baarkbahamas.org with any questions.
Come out and Parade Your Potcake - See you there!

Saturday, 30 April 2011

A Fighting Chance: The Gift Of Fostering

 Young Danny was rescued from the pound in July 2010. He was scared, afraid and uncertain of what lay ahead. Medical tests performed at BHS revealed Danny had 10/10 for heartworm. Heartworm results like this usually result in having to euthanize the dog, but life it would appear had a different plan for Danny and it came in the form of a wonderful family who decided to give this beautiful dog a fighting chance at life.

Danny was in need of a quiet nurturing environment that would facilitate a higher effectiveness with this required medical treatment. Joanne Dods, Baark member and volunteer, decided to foster Danny and give him a fighting chance. The family environment and medical interventions were the effective pairing Danny needed to make a full recovery. Today, Danny is thriving in his forever home, thanks to the amazing love and care given by Joanne and her family. Joanne spoke well when she said “We do not
know Danny’s beginnings but we know he has the happiest of endings.”

Medical treatments are known to be more effective when the dog is living in a foster home rather than a shelter. Many of our dogs today need all the extra help they can get as they recover from the illness and abuse they have met on the street.
Fostering allows a dog to adapt to a family setting, to learn to live with and bond with
humans like only a dog can. Living in a home environment allows the dog’s personality to
develop, making the dog more adoptable and ready for his forever home.

Fostering a dog does not mean you have to keep them forever, but it does mean you will be able to see the beautiful transition of a dog moving from despair to hope, from illness to a picture of love, and from anxiety to trust. Joanne and Danny’s story is a beautiful and moving example of the power of love and the healing effect of fostering in the life of a dog. There are more stories waiting to be told, won’t you consider opening your heart to foster a dog and give them a fighting chance at a new life.

If you would like to make a difference and become a fosterer or would like more information, please contact us.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Baark! Spay Day Report 2011

Spay Day 2011
Baark joined the Humane Society International’s world wide Spay Day event on February 26th 2011 which encourages animal groups to implement spay and neuter programs. Since the problem of animal overpopulation is so huge in The Bahamas, Baark decided to go one step further and use the whole of month of February to offer FREE spay & neuters, raise awareness about the importance of sterilization and responsible pet ownership. We kicked off our fundraising efforts with a deliciously successful Valentines Bake Sale on February 5th. To get the word out about our free spay and neuters, we placed advertisements in the local papers and on radio, plus a perfectly placed banner on Shirley Street. On February 26th we walked around Bernard Road, an area known for its high population of stray dogs. We spoke to residents there and picked up some more animals that day. The public response to our campaign has been overwhelmingly positive. 

Our official numbers are:
224 TOTAL spays or neuters
179 were dogs and 45 were cats
201 in Nassau and 23 were done in Andros

We believe spay and neuter is the ONLY way to reduce the number of animals that are suffering, 
homeless or euthanized in the Bahamas.

Special Thank Yous
These amazing people dedicated their own time, resources and caring hearts to our important cause, without them Spay Day would not have been possible and we couldn't have made such a difference without them.

From Baark and all the suffering animals on our streets that do not have a
voice – We Thank You So Much!

All the Baark members and volunteers that came out, helped at and supported our events. Those who gave generous donations to help fund the surgeries.
•  The vets who performed all the spay and neuters; Dr Dorsett at Nassau Pet Clinic, Dr Sands at Central
Animal Hospital, Dr Johnson at Purrfect Pets, Dr Solomon at BHS, all their vet techs and clinic staff.
Our generous sponsors; Poop Deck Eagles, Purina, Micronet, Think Simple, ACL Shipping, Windermere, Island FM, 100 Jamz, Y98, more94, Adworks, The Sign Man, Graham Real Estate, Bahamas

Friday, 8 April 2011

Baark! representatives inspired by Caribbean Animal Welfare Conference.

I love learning! And Traveling! So what could be better than attending a conference in a place I have never been?

I had the honor of attending the Caribbean Animal Welfare Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico on April 3-5th 2011, hosted by Humane Society International. I was blessed to experience this conference alongside Kim Aranha, President of the BHS, and Lissa McCombe, Board Member of the BHS.  

As we arrived in Puerto Rico on Saturday evening, we had some time on Sunday morning to explore, so Lissa and I went on a zip lining adventure! 

The conference started with an afternoon registration on Sunday April 3rd and a cocktail reception to follow.  We introduced ourselves and started chit chatting to other attendees about what it is we each do in our little parts of the world.  As I imagined, we quickly confirmed that everyone deals with almost the exact same problems throughout the Caribbean.   I feel that the Bahamas is ahead of some countries as our the horse racing track was closed decades ago while many of the other islands deal with the suffering of horses related to the race horse industry. 

We were eager to get started on Monday, like little sponges ready to soak up new ideas. We were thrilled to experience an HSI conference that not only surpassed our expectations but left us inspired and even more passionate for animal welfare in the Bahamas. Monday and Tuesday were filled with top notch, knowledgeable and fantastic speakers.Some of the wonderful people we met were:

Alexandra Rothlisburger is the Program Manager of Latin America & Caribbean for the HSI  and is pictured to the left.

Dellia Holondenschi has implemented an incredible concept call the ‘Cat CafĂ© in St. Thomas of the US Virgin Islands  and we are inspired to find volunteers and supporters so that we can start implementing the program here to help cope with our feral cat population in Nassau.  We will be asking the support of local businesses and hotels. 

Marien Rodriquez from Save a Gato  gave us a tour of their project on Wednesday April 6th and we were so impressed with what this volunteer group has accomplished with the stray cats of San Juan.  (pictured right)  

Mike Arms, our most moving and empowering speaker of the conference, had those in attendance in tears twice when he spoke about the idea that “We are in the business of saving lives”. Mike took the time to build us up and told us that we we are not second class citizens because we care about animals. He reminded us that these animals will do anything for us, they are loyal and forgiving and loving, and in return it is our job to protect them.

On a proud  note, Dr. Mark Antonio Butler from the Ministry of Agriculture in The Bahamas was the only government official representative from any country in the Caribbean so we felt that was a great sign of forward thinking from our Ministry of Agriculture.

Listening to the speakers at the conference made me realize just how much more I have to learn, and that there is no end to learning because there are always new ways to see a situation.  The experience was invaluable and has allowed the three of us to come back with new ideas and new contacts in the animal welfare world that will benefit the welfare of Bahamian animals. The conference was concluded with a lovely dinner on Tuesday evening.  After just two days we had made friends with other attendees and shared great stories.  A new friend said to me, ‘It’s just so nice to be together with so many people that understand each others daily frustrations that we have to go through to help the animals.” I agreed.  Being involved with animal welfare is perhaps the most emotionally painful profession you can be in, but it is also the most rewarding and I truly believe that we can see the end to animal suffering in The Bahamas.    

Laura Kimble

p.s We hope to attend the ACES training program at some point very soon in California.

The kind man feeds his beast before sitting down to dinner.  ~Hebrew Proverb

Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.  ~Will Durant

love came running

Our foster dog, "Bruno the brave" has been with us for two weeks now. When awake he spends about three quarters his time on our back porch the rest he has taken to wandering around our yard like a palace guard. He is really quite the charmer as he stands on guard or wanders around acting like he has been hired to guard our family.

Bruno still has some weakness in his back legs but just the other day he lifted his leg to pee, a great sign that he is regaining some strength! Another great thing to report is Bruno's hair growth, it is coming in well now and I think he knows he is looking handsome.

Yesterday Bruno made my heart swell. Bruno and my other two dogs were at the far fence of our yard. Snickers, my adopted potcake heard my back door open and came running up to see me, Bruno followed suit. Did you hear that? He ran to me. He was so excited to see me he ran. This was a dog who had a hard time sitting up about 10 days ago and he was running!
I knelt down and opened my arms as Bruno ran towards me and all I could think of was the phrase love came running! He enthusiastically welcomed my hug and affectionate pets. It was a moment of true gratitude and friendship.

I always thought I was the one giving love to Bruno as he was healing from his neglect and poor health, but yesterday Bruno was the one who showed me true love as love came running to greet me in an all out, unhindered way. Thanks Bruno, you are amazing.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

hang on! Love will come.

Yep, my heart was stolen today by a boy named Bruno. Bruno is our new foster dog, he is need of some serious love and attention. Baark/ Straybusters found him in miserable shape, neglected horribly by the people who were to care for him. He has been in care for almost a week now, and today he came to our home to be fostered back to health. The minute he turned the corner of my yard I fell in love with the courage of this dog. He should have given up the will to live a long time ago, but something told him to hang on, love will come. He should have been seriously suspicious of all people considering it was people who neglected him so badly, but again he must have known that love will come. He was shown his new dog house, in our backyard, but he was not interested. Instead he has chosen to try stay near where we were and laid down on our cement back porch so to not miss any opportunities to see us. I found an old quilt for him to lay on more comfortable, he is sound asleep right now. (here is a picture of him on our quilt!)
I am guessing that he will be a great role model to a lot of us living here on planet earth. Bruno, some how knew that no matter what he was going through that love was on its way. He held on and will still need to hold on as he recovers from the long neglect on his body, but he has this face that says.. see Love was on its way! The amazing thing is that Bruno is holding on even while still in pain, he was counting on love so much that he choose a more uncomfortable spot to lay down and wait for it. So often we despair with all that is going on, Hold on, love it on its way. I have friends waiting for answers, big painful answers; hold on love is on its way. I have friends living with painful pasts; hold on, love is on its way. It is closer than you think, and while it will not erase your past or present hurts, you will know that love, God's love is real and powerful.

shine on my friends!

p.s Bruno, has only been here 10 hours and already he is much welcomed and loved here at the our house, he has found a place where he can both love and be loved. A place that I hope he can recover to the point of being adopted by a deserving family. It will need to be a family that is in awe of his courage, and determination to survive. It will need to be a family that shows love in all they do with and for their animals. Perhaps you are that family, I will be blogging about Bruno's progress as we continue together. Stay tuned and pay attention to your heart, your home might just be the home Bruno is waiting for.