December 20, 2020

Humane Society seeks support for Brac vet clinic

By haziqbinarif


The Brac Branch of the Cayman Islands Humane Society has launched a campaign to open a veterinarian clinic on the bigger of the two Sister Islands and is seeking community help to make it happen.

“Our pets are our family and they have nowhere to go… When they’re sick or when they’ve been hurt and there’s no place to take them to get help, it’s pretty desperate,” branch secretary Kathleen Bodden-Harris said.

With no permanent vet services available on Cayman Brac, pet owners are forced to transport ailing animals to Grand Cayman to seek medical care.

This, Bodden-Harris said, is a financial as well as emotional challenge for pet owners. “We are desperate to have a home base and a residential veterinarian on the island,” she said, adding that being separated from a pet that is ill can create a strain.

Humane Society seeks support for Brac vet clinic Bodden-Harris said the Humane Society has secured the Noah’s Ark building, which has served as a pet hurricane shelter, as the site for the clinic.

She said the society hopes to use the dual-purpose facility for the vet clinic and shelter. On 5 Dec., the society hosted a ‘Cause for Paws’ concert which featured 14 musicians and entertainers from across Cayman to raise funds for the vet clinic.

Bodden-Harris said $5,000 was raised from the event. She said she hoped that the society can get an on-island veterinarian and visiting vets to provide medical care and spay/neuter services controlling homeless animal populations.

She pointed out that absence of the vet services is also having a knock-on effect of increasing the feral animal population. Bodden-Harris said there is a wish list that the society has created to get the project up and running, including exam tables, a surgical table, operating lights and a minivan.

“We need a portable X-ray machine and table and screen, a veterinary scan, microscope… things like that and veterinary supplies,” she said, adding she hopes vets who are upgrading equipment or closing clinics would consider donating items.

She said the effort has the support of Cayman Brac MP and deputy premier Moses Kirkconnell who donated money for the concert.

However, she would like more government assistance to aid with getting the vet on the Brac.

“We really need them to come to the table with us and talk to us about getting the vet here; [that] is our main issue right now. We’ve got the building, so it’s getting it furnished with all kinds of medical equipment that we need,” she added.

Kelly Edwards, who conducted an informal survey on Cayman Brac, said she found a need for on-island vet services following responses from 131 of the island’s residents. She also related an experience with her own pet which prompted her to act.

“My dog was bitten by another dog and I was unable to get any veterinary assistance as travel between the islands was restricted,” as part of the COVID-19 lockdown measures earlier this year, she said.

“I had to get a local doctor to help me take care of the wound until medication could be sent over from Island Vets in Grand Cayman. After this experience I learnt that lots of pet owners have found themselves in similar situations in the past. Pets that were sick were unable to get emergency care and some animals had died as a result,” she said.

Donations to the effort can be made through caymangiftcertificates.com

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