Every Friday, as many as 50 dogs and several cats are put down at the Government Pound. With your help, we can shift the focus from killing suffering animals to prevention, through spay & neuter programs and public education on responsible pet ownership.
Hot weather can be dangerous for our dogs. Dogs lack the ability
to cool off as effectively as is often required. Since we live in the Bahamas,
known for our often soaring temperatures we dedicate this column to helping our
canine friends stay safe in the heat.
Dogs cooling off in the shade after a long walk.
1.Water, water and more water.Dogs can dehydrate very quickly. In the hot weather dogs need access to
plenty of water. Be sure to check the bowls a few times a day to ensure a
constant supply of fresh water.
2.Shade, shade and more shade. Think about it, if you get hot
while in the sun what do you do? Chances are you seek shade and feel the
instant difference. Dogs require the same thing and need access to a shaded and
ventilated area if they are kept outside.
3.Limit your dog’s exercise to cooler portions of the day.
4.Remember dogs are much closer to the ground than we are,
standing on the hot asphalt street will heat up the dog faster than it does us.
Be mindful and if choose grassy areas over the pavement to stop during your
5.Groom your dog regularly. This not only helps prevent flea and
tick problems but it helps thin out the dogs hair which can trap heat. Dogs can
get sunburn so avoid shaving off their hair; instead keep their coat shorter in
the hotter months.
6.Bring your dog inside your home during the hottest hours of the
Please spay and neuter your animals, this simple procedure saves lives and decreases the suffering of unwanted animals.
This column is proudly brought to you by BAARK! the Bahamas Alliance for Animal Rights and Kindness.
This beautiful adoption story came to us through our writing contest. We
were so thrilled to hear that even after writing her story, there was a part two
to the adoption. Read and enjoy. Thank you to Chiara Anderson for lending her
writing skills and adoption tales to us!
I first met Meowth when she wondered
into our front yard hungry and lonely. She was so thin and frail-looking. I fed
her, gave her a drink and a rub. The next day, she pounced her way into my
heart and has been a part of my family ever since. Life has certainly changed
since meeting Meowth.
About two months after
Meowth adopted us, we adopted Tink . I found Tink through BAARK as a result of
entering this essay competition and decided to adopt him since Meowth started
to get bored with her wrestling buddy (my arm). Tink had been hit by a car and
broken his hip. As a result, he was extremely timid but needed a lot of TLC.
Tink and Meowth did not
get on well at first. Meowth was aggressive and playful while Tink was shy and
still trying to recover from his injuries. Those first days and nights were
really draining as I didn't want Meowth to further injure Tink, but I learnt
that they needed to figure out their relationship. To make matters worse,
Meowth started ignoring and avoiding me. I felt like I was the mother of a
rebellious teenager! Not to mention that Tink became very clingy towards me.
Meowth’s attitude ended
the night Tink snuck outside and didn't return home. Meowth whined and couldn't
nap. She missed her little bro. The next afternoon we went on a hunt and found
him hidden really well. He was a little cold and frightened but felt better as
soon has he got inside. Meowth began grooming him right away and started to
play instead of swatting. That's when I started to breathe a sigh of relief.
Today, Meowth is part
big sis, part mom and part best friend to Tink. Meowth is now teaching him how
to hunt and Tink goes outside but can now find his way back home.
Tink's hip also healed
pretty quickly after getting out and becoming more active. He's still a bit
timid but is slowly coming around. It helps that Meowth is around to teach him
the ropes - she isn't afraid of anything.
Please spay and neuter your animals, this simple procedure saves lives
and decreases the suffering of unwanted animals.
This column is proudly brought to you by BAARK! the Bahamas Alliance
for Animal Rights and Kindness.
Excuse this bit of a rant but there is something that has to be
said. There is a disturbing mindset, all too common in our country, that
animals are disposable. There is a habit of throwing away our animals when
their age or infirmities become more of a hassle to the owner than is desired.
This has to stop.
Puppies and kittens they are cute, but for most, the aging dog
or cat is just a nuisance and consequently many aging animals are neglected or
let loose on the streets. There was an initial attraction to the animal but
obviously, at some point, the family lost an interest or compassion on this
poor animal and decided to dispose of it or let is suffer without care right
before their eyes.
Our stance is that you not
take in an animal if you are not prepared to care for it properly. This will a
topic of a future column.
During our spay and
neutering campaigns, we go out to streets and neighborhoods we come across many
dogs and cats who have been left neglected and mistreated all because they are
no longer wanted. We come across people
who tell us to just take their animals, they are too old to be of use or too
sick to care for. It breaks our hearts for the animal that is discarded with
such little concern. Old dogs are left to starve; sick animals remain untreated
and suffer intensely. All because the animal is no longer what they want or
need. This is unacceptable. Taking ownership of an animal is a lifelong
commitment, you are promising to care for the needs of this animal because you
value its life, NOT because it looks cool or can benefit you in some way.
Baark!’s efforts with our spay and neutering campaigns are
making a huge difference in the animal population here in the Bahamas. We are
working towards and making great strides in helping to eliminate the needless
suffering of unwanted and homeless animals. But we are not done, our mandate is
to help create a more humane Bahamas, our spay and neutering campaigns are just
the start, we need to educate and enable more responsible animal owners. Please
consider helping to change the mindset of animal owners all across Bahamas,
speak up for the wrongs you are seeing and be an advocate for those voiceless
The dog that inspired this column is pictured here. His name is
Lover Boy, he was given away because he was too old, he obviously had been left
unattended for a long time. He is still awaiting his furever home. Please
consider helping this beautiful animal. Contact us for more information.
spay and neuter your animals.
ensuring your animal cannot produce more litters you are saving lives and
decreasing the suffering of unwanted animals.
Please consider donating or helping with Baark!’s efforts to improve
animal welfare in the Bahamas.
It was a shivering puppy that caught your attention; he was
huddled far into the corner of a box on a side street in Nassau. From a
distance it looked like a pile of trash, up close it looked like desperation; there
can be no other word to describe this scene. People were milling all around the
street and had they looked closely they would have seen this, perhaps they did
and chose not to take action. Whatever the case, this poor desperate puppy had
made its way into a broken down cardboard box and was clinging to whatever bit
of life it had left in its body. Unloved, unkempt and unwanted this small puppy
was undecided if it was going to live or die and you seemed to be the only
witness to this scene.
His life now depends on your actions. Do you walk away hoping
it miraculously gets better, naively hope his end is near and that will be
quick, or do you take action and seek to save this suffering soul. This was a
decision that was not to be taken lightly and one we all wish could be avoided.
But what if this scene could have been prevented? What if we could end the
needless suffering before it started? This is something you CAN do.
This is the goal of Baark!’s spay and neuter campaigns, preventing
the addition of unwanted animals into the already full streets of Nassau. Ensuring a more humane Bahamas for animals,
that is our focus. Let’s help prevent suffering, together.
Please spay and neuter your animals, this simple procedure saves
lives and decreases the suffering of unwanted animals.
This column is proudly brought to you by BAARK! the Bahamas
Alliance for Animal Rights and Kindness.
Bite Prevention: Simple behaviors to keep your children (and you) safe
It’s a vicious cycle. You’re scared of dogs, you
see a stray dog, you tense up, when you are fearful, and this makes the dog
fearful. When dogs become fearful, they either ‘fight’ to defend themselves or
take ‘flight’ from the situation. This happens quickly, leaving the observer
thinking the dog has instantly gone into attack mode.
used with permission
So how can we break this cycle and keep ourselves
and more importantly, our children, safe? Your children mimic exactly what they
see you do, if you are afraid of dogs, there is a good chance that they will be
too. There is a group of volunteers who
visit Nassau’s primary schools, showing children how to be safe around animals.
Here are a few points that are given to the children during this presentation.
1. If a strange dog approaches them that they don’t
know, they should stand very still
like a tree, with their arms crossed and fingers tucked away, and be very quiet
2. Look upwards, as dogs can perceive direct eye
contact as a challenge, which we want to avoid
3. If the dog knocks the child to the floor, roll
up like a ball, all limbs tucked in, and stay still and quiet
4. If the child is on a bike, dismount and put the
bike between them and the dog, wait until the dog has passed, then quietly WALK
5. They can carry food in their pockets, like
cheese cubes or kibble, and throw it on the ground to distract the dog.
elements of our “stay safe” message are staying still and being quiet. Running
or screaming could lead to a dog bite, as friendly dogs may think it’s a game
and get too excited whereas other dogs may perceive the shrieking, fleeing
object as prey.
is very rare that dogs do bite for no reason. Recognizing when a when a dog may bite is very
important any time that dogs are protecting something, be it food, toys,
puppies, property, even the friendliest dogs may bite, because they are doing
their job. Dogs may also bite if they are sick.
We do want to remind you that most
barking dogs are just scared or being protective and are not being aggressive.
The majority of dogs will not want to bite you. If we can break the cycle of fearing dogs in
future generations, people will be safer and the dogs of the Bahamas will have
much better lives.
spay and neuter your animals, this simple procedure saves lives and decreases
the suffering of unwanted animals.
column is proudly brought to you by BAARK! the Bahamas Alliance for Animal
Rights and Kindness.