It was just after 7 am on May 11, 2011, when an ex-employee of the GSPCA, travelling west in a minibus on Homestretch Ave, saw (from the bus window) what looked like a piece of wood on the road. As they got closer the passengers all gasped in shock; a big breed dog was lying about 8 feet onto the road, the dog was an absolute skeleton. Knowing he had to get urgent help for the living animal, the man exited the bus and dialled my number telling me what he just saw. I immediately got my rescue tools and headed out to meet him. Editor, I have rescued many abused animals but I will never forget the look and condition of this dog as long as I live. How did he get to that stage? Where did he come from? The poor thing could not walk and smelled horrible; Dr Waldron later showed me his mouth inside was rotten. I asked a few security guards if they saw anyone dumping the dog there, they said no. We then placed him as gently as we could into my kennel and at around 7.30 am I arrived at the GSPCA (whose mission statement says it is duty bound to alleviate the suffering of animals). I called out for the caretaker who in a very angry voice said the clinic doesn’t open until 8 am and she is not accepting any animals from me until then. I informed her of the condition of the dog but she would not listen.
I had been informed by one member of the GSPCA Executive Committee in October of 2010, that the clinic/shelter no longer was accepting animals before its opening time of 8 am, but if the animal was at death’s door they would make an exception. Now was the time, I felt, for an exception, but apparently this information had not been sent to the clinic staff. I sent a telephone message to the committee member, resulting in her calling the caretaker and telling her to accept the animal from me. When I arrived back at GSPCA, I offloaded the dog in the kennel from my car on the bridge. The caretaker refused to help me lift and carry the kennel with the dog into the clinic/shelter; we had a verbal exchange.
In frustration, I lifted the kennel with the dog back into my vehicle and took him to Dr Nicholas Waldron at AniPet Clinic on Quamina Street, where his courteous assistant took the dog from me. Later, Dr Waldron, in his gentle and caring way, euthanized the poor dog in my presence. Finally, he was at peace. I will forever curse his abusers.
If the GSPCA clinic/shelter’s duty to the welfare of animals does not begin until 8 am, they should put a rescue bin at their gate for people to put unwanted, sick and dying animals. In that way they would not be bothered before and after working hours and the animals would be a little better off until GSPCA staff was able to deal with them. That might also decrease the dumping of unwanted or sick animals around Bourda Market.
Mr Editor, I am sending a picture of this dog. Please publish it. Guyanese need to wake up and confront animal cruelty. Don’t turn your back on our voiceless friends.