|TCSPCA Expands to Grand Turk|
|Written by Kathi Barrington/TCSPCA|
|Thursday, 10 March 2011 12:04|
The Turks and Caicos Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals celebrated yet another milestone on Thursday, March 3, when a Grand Turk chapter was officially set in place and a board of directors selected.
This major step occurred thanks to many concerned residents on the capital island who requested a meeting (held the week previous) to determine if a separate branch was feasible.
TCSPCA Executive Director Susan Blehr, Vice President Barb Young and TCSPCA veterinarian Dr. Rich Sefcik flew to Grand Turk at the end of February to meet with a large group of citizens who care deeply about the countless roaming animals – many of them horses and donkeys, which they felt require help.
They also discussed their concerns that there is no spay or neutering facility or program in place for the island’s many dogs and cats. In fact, the newly elected chairman of the Grand Turk association, Stephanie Human, has already arranged for more than 20 dogs and cats to be flown to Provo (on Air Turks and Caicos) in February alone, for a spay or neuter operation and vaccinations.
Human is a qualified veterinary nurse whose expertise will be well utilized at the new TCSPCA. She has also volunteered to work with government’s Environmental Health Department personnel when needed.
Environmental Health Department representative Lance Dowridge attended the preliminary meeting and the March 3 event. He told both groups that he will work closely with the newly formed chapter, especially in cases of animal cruelty and with education of the public to help them become more responsible pet owners.
Blehr felt that Dowridge’s attendance and endorsement was a major plus for the Grand Turk chapter, in that any non-governmental organization (NGO) cannot be truly effective in positively impacting the welfare of all animals in the country without government’s support.
A low-cost spay/neuter clinic on Grand Turk is one of the most urgent goals of the new chapter. Flying pets to Provo is an expense many cannot afford, especially at this time. Other targets for the new group are fundraising events to help offset the cost of setting up a modest office and retail shop on Grand Turk.
This headquarters would provide the visibility necessary to attract tourists to the organization. On Provo, many tourists adopt kittens or puppies, or courier adopted animals to their new homes, and they are often generous with financial donations.
Ten years ago, the Provo TCSPCA was operated from a room in Blehr’s home. Since then, the group has established its office and retail shop at Suzy Turn. It has, in the past, worked with government to implement the feral dog program and paid for surgeries for countless animals prior to establishing their low cost spay/neuter clinic in August 2009.
Since that auspicious date, more than 1,000 cats and dogs have been spayed or neutered, and thousands of vaccinations against the most common and deadly diseases have been administered at the new clinic.
The TCSPCA has visited Grand Turk, North Caicos and Middle Caicos to provide vaccinations and veterinarian care to hundreds of our sister island’s pets. Blehr said the Provo group looks forward to working with the new Grand Turk chapter and helping it in any way possible. At this first stage, a strong foundation of volunteers and adequate fundraising will help to ensure the long-term success of the fledgling organization.
If you wish to help, please contact the Provo TCSPCA because Grand Turk does not yet have a single telephone contact.
The new Grand Turk board members are Chairman Stephanie Human, Vice Chairman Lucy Schofield, Secretary Audrey Harrell, Treasurer Jenny Carnahan and board members Nate Wieser, Ginny Allan and Mitch Rolling.
Blehr addressed the Grand Turk chapter about future developments. She said that each of the inhabited islands of the TCI has unique conditions and different problems to address with respect to animal welfare. TCSPCA programs and projects need to carried out through local island chapters, and she congratulated the Grand Turk members on the new chapter and stated that she hoped that, in the near future, every island would form a chapter or branch of the TCSPCA.
The Provo TCSPCA is always in need of volunteers to foster animals or donate funds or goods. Please contact the Provo TCSPCA at 941-8846 if you can help.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 March 2011 13:25|
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