We need more young and dynamic animal rescue volunteers

Dear Editor,

I read RA Narine’s letter to your newspaper dated August 30 regarding a foal standing over its dead mother on the East Coast Road at BV.  I received many calls regarding that foal and told the callers that foals, like humans, mourn their losses but with luck and the right kind of help from their owners, or good Samaritans, they can survive. When I read Ms Narine’s note that the foal was still mourning the mother’s death, I called Maria, a young animal lover, and we went looking for the foal armed with bran, molasses and water.

While driving up the East Coast Road, past Le Ressouvenir, we noticed a very sick dog searching for food; we stopped, picked him up and continued to BV to look for the foal.  We did not find the foal or the mother and assumed that NDC took care of the dead horse; hoping that the owner found the foal.

We stopped at a private clinic at Mon Repos where the very sick dog was put to sleep. Local residents told us of a dumpsite not far from the Golf Club, so we took the Railway Embankment road and drove past the Lusignan entrance. But we only got as far as Annandale when we noticed a donkey tied on a very short lead to a post. We stopped, thinking the owners were at least kind enough to leave water for him (it was 2 pm and very hot). We exited the vehicle to further check on the condition of the donkey and to speak with the owners; to our horror we saw the water was in a paint can with paint still in it. The water was chalky and thick. The donkey was not in the best of condition, to say the least. I called out to the apparent owner and a couple walked over.  I asked why they used a paint can but they didn’t seem to see anything wrong. I explained that the donkey provided their livelihood and they needed to take care of it. Maria and I made the lead longer and we got the bran, molasses and water from my car and found a clean bucket among the garbage lying all over the parapet. The donkey immediately started drinking the bran mixture; we asked the owner for more water and the donkey drank a second bucket full.  We then asked the owner to put the donkey into their yard where there was shade and lots of grass and they readily complied. We promised to return with medication for the bruises the donkey had on his neck.  We also left them with molasses and bran for a second meal.

We finally found the Lusignan entrance and made our way to the dumpsite to dispose of the dead dog. It was a bumpy road with lots of garbage lying on both sides so we just followed the trail. When we arrived at the dumpsite with the dead dog, another horror awaited us; we saw a dog which had recently lost one leg after being run over by a tractor. All she could do was drag herself around with her front legs. Her bottom was raw and she was skinny and tired, trying to scratch herself but to no avail; the workers said she had been like that for quite some time. They told us they do not accept dead animals at the dumpsite but they would take the dog and bury it.

We asked permission to take the injured dog with us, they put it in our kennel and we made our way back to the private vet where it was euthanized. On our way back to Georgetown on the Railway Embankment Road we saw a dead dog in the middle of the road. I stopped my vehicle, Maria got out, put on a pair of disposable gloves and moved the dead animal off the road to the grassy area.

This is pretty much an average day in the life of an animal rescuer in Georgetown. You leave home with one goal in mind and end up doing something quite different.  For every suffering animal observed by travellers along the roads and highways there are dozens of cases of animals in need that go unseen or unreported. We have to unite our voices on behalf of all animals.

We need more young and dynamic animal rescue volunteers like Maria. They don’t need many resources, just good eyesight, a passion for helping animals and a win/win attitude for getting people to look at their animals in a more positive way.

Yours faithfully,
Syeada Manbodh

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