Humane Society appeals for patience

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The group in charge of animal welfare on Barbuda is appealing to members of the public who are reportedly criticising how the animals are cared for, to exercise a little more patience with the process. Karen Corbin, president of the Antigua and Barbuda Humane Society, said that people are quick to criticise without understanding the fundamental challenges they face.
The Antiguan-registered charity was given the mandate to oversee animal care on Barbuda following the passage of Hurricane Irma in September. The dogs, cats, goats, sheep and donkeys were left behind by owners who, like all other residents, were mandatorily evacuated from the island following the devastating hit it took from the category 5 storm. While the humane society caters to all the animals, their main focus is the dogs who were left to wander in Codrington, thus creating a problem for livestock owners.
At the moment, the nonprofit group is providing food and water for 130 dogs per day, 10 of which are kept in an old hotel property dubbed ‘Doggy Hotel.’ The group is also caring for other dogs that were left at private homes in Codrington. “We are asking folks to understand the situation; we are quick to criticise, you need to understand what the realities and difficulties are. “We are an animal organisation, we are doing a good job. We will do the best that we can, and at the end of the day, people will see that the rights things have been done,” Corbin said.
She explained that widespread poisoning made it necessary to secure the dogs in the old property for their own safety, and while tethering is never the desired way of securing a dog, under the circumstances it was in their best interests. According to the president of the charitable organisation, the Humane Society has so far spent in excess of EC$ 50,000 to feed the dogs. They are also paying two Barbudans who are responsible for feeding the animals daily.
In addition to this, the group will also be spending close to EC $200,000 to construct a Kennel/ dog pound on Barbuda. Once the kennel is completed, dogs that are not claimed by their owners, along with those remaining at the doggy hotel, will be transferred to the kennel and be offered for adoption. “We are actually heading out today (Tuesday) to purchase the blocks and the steel that is needed and it will be sent on the barge tomorrow. It is still going to take a couple of months before the project is finished,” Corbin said.
She said that the humane society is having a difficult time getting the kennel up and running, because most of the materials have to be transported to Barbuda and it also harder to manage the process from mainland Antigua. The kennel construction also had to be revised due to water seepage on the allocated land that delayed the process. That problem has since been resolved.
A representative from the charitable organisation travels to Barbuda once a week to supervise the project. The work of the organisation is being funded by overseas donors, one of which is World Animal Protection. They are also receiving some support from the government

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