Monday, October 20, 2008

Still no resolution

As for that weekend update I had promised, well, there isn't much more to tell yet. The Arecibo Shelter has gotten some press lately for its unimaginably poor conditions, and we should have some news this week as to a resolution to the problem, as meetings are being held that should decide, hopefully, whether or not the shelter needs to be shut down (yes, this means a mass rescue effort will be involved) or kept open and run more properly (also meaning that a budget must be set and USED for the shelter. In an email I recently received, an animal activist and frequent volunteer at the Arecibo Shelter listed the following cases of neglect and abuse she has witnessed since the official opening of the shelter (as I've had to say before, brace yourself for this):
  • Unsterilized males and females are mixed in large kennels
  • Large and small dogs are also mixed in kennels; small dogs are not able to compete for food
  • No bowls for food and water (though the last time I went to the shelter, we bought approx. 30 bowls...hmmmm)
  • Dogs sleeping in puddles
  • Food on the floor (not to mention the dogs) is soaked in water and cleaning chemicals
  • Newborn puppies are dying from being soaked and left to lay on the wet and cold floors
  • Cats are eating kittens; no getting enough food
  • No one is cleaning the cat area; cats all mixed in one area
  • No one seems to buying food; food is primarily being supplied by animal activists and the public
  • No vet care for sick and/or dying animals
  • No vet on-site
  • Little to no medications or vaccinations are given to animals in need
  • Sick, injured, and dying dogs are kept on site until they die since they are not set up for humane euthanasia
  • Dogs run over by cars are also kept in pain without vet care
  • Dogs are given up for adoption without being sterilized
*Please note that I paraphrased the original email I received.

So yes, something needs to happen ASAP. As soon as we hear word of what's going to happen next, I'll let you know. As of now, we're preparing for all the options, whether it be a huge rescue mission with the help of other groups and individual rescuers on the island or having Jackie Fahey from St. Hubert's come down to show the Arecibo Shelter how it should be done. I have a feeling we may end up doing a mixture of the two.

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