Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Baark! On: Potcakes vs. Pure Breeds


Whenever we talk to people about spay or neutering their animals, most are in total agreement. The idea of operation potcake which took place last year and helped alter 2,315 animals here in Nassau was well received and highly supported. We found that most people, even non animal lovers are in favor of lowering the number of “nuisance animals” here on the island. By nuisance animals they mean the potcakes that litter the streets, homeless and abused. But when we asked them if they had spayed or neutered their animal, we get a different story. “No, my dog is a pure breed, I cannot spay her!”

We have to ask it; why is there such a difference of opinion when it involves sterilizing potcakes vs. pure bred dogs? 

We have heard the excuse pure bred dogs are so much cuter than potcakes. Sorry, but have you seen a potcake puppy, and can you claim any sense of originality in the look of a pure bred? There are similarities for our Bahamian Potcakes but each one offers a unique look, we are sure there is one at the Humane society for you! 

Another reason we encounter for not spaying or neutering their pure bred animals is because the person has intentions of breeding the animal to sell the puppies or kittens. They firmly believe that they will be able to sell every animal that is produced and therefore do not believe they are adding to our stray dog population. This is simply not true, there are many pure bred animals that end up on the streets or shelters because they not able to be sold and then are simple discarded.

 Please encourage your friends and family to spay and neuter their dogs and cats, all of them – pure breeds and potcakes alike. Consider adopting not shopping for your next dog or cat, the difference starts with you and the stance you take in your family.

Please spay and neuter your animals.- All your animals!

By 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.

For more information contact us at or (427-SPAY)














Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Baark! On: Our Weekly Sunday Dog walk


Every Sunday afternoon at 4:30pm, Baark! organizes a dog walk for all the dogs in the Bahamas Humane Society shelter.

Volunteers arrive with leashes in hand to take the eager dogs out for a much needed walk around their neighborhood. The dogs have spent most of the week in their kennels and are needless to say, more than excited to get going. Once the leash is in place, the dogs pull and the humans lead all in a blur of excitement.

There is a slight chaos that continues for 10 minutes at the start with everything needing to be sniffed at and examined by the curious canine nose. But soon after, the dogs settle into the walk and a calm to comes over them. It was almost as if they remember how to be a dog. Nose the ground, tongues hanging out and the occasional grateful look back towards the human walking them. The tails however are the most noticeable. Wagging tails everywhere, such happiness, such joy for these wonderful beings.

Without volunteers they would unfortunately be stuck in their cages. All it took was the ability to open the cage, but it was not something that the dogs could do for themselves. A cage was holding these dogs back until the doors were opened, allowing them the space to be the fabulous dogs they were meant to be.

Life in a shelter, while keeping them alive and safe is hard for dogs. Dogs tend to be more stressed and often have a hard time gaining weight and keeping their coat healthy. All due to stress, The staff at the shelter do amazing jobs with such care but the bottom line is that it is not a natural place for an animal to be and therefore stressful.

Why does Baark! do this? Because although our primary focus is our spay and neuter programs we recognize there are many dogs that still require a forever home and deserve to live with respect and compassion. We support the Bahamas Humane Society’s massive efforts to take in needy and helpless animals. We want to help the dogs find their homes and believe that helping them socialize around safe humans is one way to help them with successful adoptions.

Baark! is proud to provide this small but important service to the amazing dogs at the Bahamas Humane Society. Please consider joining us on Sundays at 4:30pm for this marvelous hour of dog walking.

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

For more information contact us at, (427.SPAY) or visit our website




















Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Baark! On: Junior Straybusters Report!

Written By St Andrews School students: Emily Wilson and Hope Nevins

For our St Andrews School vocational experience we had the amazing opportunity to work with Shelley and Baark (Bahamas Alliance for Animal Rights and Kindness) to help spay or neuter dogs. This is a free service for strays and pet owners who cannot afford to pay for it themselves. Throughout the course of three days we have gained new knowledge and understanding of this amazing non-profit organization and the treatment of animals in this country.   

On the first day of the vocational we went straybusting with Shelley in the South Beach community. We met lots of new faces, both dogs and humans. To begin, we visited a location with five potcakes that had to be spayed and neutered to avoid unwanted litters of puppies. Trapping the dogs humanely and lifting them in the van was a challenging but we were able to get the job done. We then continued down the street and met Ricardo, the interesting yet loving owner of two beautiful potcake puppies. We were able to take the pups for their first vaccinations and worming, another service Baark provides in addition to spaying, to prevent the spread of fatal puppy diseases. In the same neighbourhood we met 4 additional dogs that required Baark’s assistance.  

The following day we collected the dogs from the vet after their surgery. The dogs were all given wormer and vaccinations. Unfortunately, one puppy was suffering from jaundice caused by leptospirosis and had to be euthanized as he was going downhill rapidly. The dog was contaminated from the urine and feces of rats, this disease results in the yellowing of the skin and gums. This personally affected us both, and highlighted the importance of puppy shots! 

During the course of our days we observed some poor conditions that dogs are kept in, including being chained, not fed properly, or having adequate shelter. We were not expecting to see this. However it was a surprise to see that these dogs can still be friendly despite what humans have done to them. It is heartbreaking to witness the human neglect that these poor dogs go through. However thanks to Baark! and the Bahamas Humane Society, a lot of these dogs get the help that they need, whether it’s rescue or working with their owners to improve their situation.

 The last three days have been extremely fun even though we’ve been through a lot. Some aspects have truly broken our hearts, but thanks to Shelley and the BAARK team we know there is hope for other dogs. Shelley and other Baark volunteers give a new meaning to the term “dog lovers”. We owe them a lot for what they spend their days doing without getting paid, it’s truly inspiring and we hope one day we can be as empathic and caring as they are


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.

For more information contact us at, (427.SPAY) or visit our website