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Humane Society of GB Update
Runaway on the runway: Potcake Caddy's tale from lost to found to forever
Written by Tip Burrows / Humane Society of Grand Bahama   
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 10:11

Ever since Lisa Petri, founder of Colorado Animal Welfare League, walked through our shelter back in March during our spay/neuter clinic, choosing dogs her rescue would take; we'd been trying to prepare our shy petite Caddy for a new life, indeed a new world.  But how do you really prepare a timid little island dog for the biggest event of her life? 

Finally the big day came.  Ready or not, on the morning of Father's Day 2014, two kind Pilots n Paws pilots (one plane) arrived in Freeport to pick up our precious cargo of five adult dogs.

We knew ​​Caddy was nervous and worried.  She was leaving the only home she had known for the past year, and sadly our shelter was probably the best home she'd ever had.  She was trembling with fear, and we comforted her the best we could.  ​​

We've sent timid dogs to rescue before and it always turned out well, so we reminded ourselves of those dogs and thought we were giving her the best possible chance for a happy long life.

After landing at the St. Lucie International Airport, the unthinkable happened.  As one of the pilots was lifting her out of the plane, another pilot nearby started his plane engine and the loud noise spooked Caddy.  That split second of the pilot not having a good grip on her leash was all it took and Caddy was off like a shot, running across two live runways and disappearing into a heavily wooded area. We were all distraught and frantic with worry.  

In fifteen years, we had never lost a dog during a transport.  And she was lost in a completely foreign, heavily wooded area filled with swamps and dangerous animals! ​

How one dog changed the life of a Humane Society of Grand Bahama volunteer
Submitted by Tip Burrows / Humane Society of Grand Bahama   
Tuesday, 26 August 2014 14:52

Volunterr Steph with shelter dog Isis.From our good friend Stephanie Winus of Long Island, New York.  As always we appreciated Steph's help and enjoyed her visit very much.  We're also grateful to her for transporting one of our blind cats on her return trip to New York to meet up with her adoptive mom​!  

As I contemplated my recent trip to Freeport to volunteer at the Humane Society of Grand Bahama, I couldn’t help but think about how it all began. This trip, my sixth summer visit to the island, went much the same way as the five previous ones have gone. I spent the weekdays at the shelter, helping where I was able, observing the day to day operations, and of course interacting with its residents --- the many homeless dogs and cats.

Well, they do have a home for now --- an animal shelter that truly cares for them, providing them with food, water, exercise, medical care and a safe place to sleep at night. But is this a true home for such loyal and lovable creatures?

I have to go back ten years to pinpoint what made my presence in this setting possible: it is one solitary dog that truly changed my life. I have been fortunate to have a total of five different dogs as pets in my adult life. Each one of the three that have passed on have affected my life in an important way. The two dogs that I currently have (both Potcakes) continue to enrich me.

Potcake Pals 2014 concluded!
Submitted by Tip Burrows   
Wednesday, 20 August 2014 09:01

The remainder of our summer camp went very well and we think all the children had a great time and hopefully also learned a lot.  We did hear that they would have liked to to spend more time with shelter animals and we will make that happen next year.  ​

​Big thanks to HSGB Board Members Beverley Dobinson and Lisa Pakosh for organizing and working hard to make the camp a success.  Also big paws up to Jade Dobinson and Sydney Pakosh, able and enthusiastic camp counselors.  ​

Day Three - We started of the day making and decorating milk carton Bird B​oxes.

The kids had a great time adding stickers to make theirs the brightest, then we played hop scotch and we beautified the entrance to the shelter by drawing with chalk, big paw prints so visitors could follow the paws to the front office. Next on the itinerary was a visit to Dr Gibbs where she had an injured dog that needed his leg putting in a cast and all the kids got to watch, and then sign the cast! 

PotCake Pals Summer Camp 2014 underway at the Humane Society of Grand Bahama
Submitted by the Humane Society of Grand Bahama   
Thursday, 14 August 2014 08:01

First day of summer camp - We had 24 children signed up for PotCake Pals summer camp 2014. Thanks to Doreen our education volunteer for coming and giving a talk on how to care for your animals. Thanks to Lisa ,Sydney and Jade for helping the kids make pom poms for the cats and helping make clay models.

Day Two - We went out to Ol' Freetown Farm for a farm visit and tour. The children got to pet the Guinea pigs and rabbits, Magnolia the pony allowed the kids to come into her stable and pet her, then Mr George walked us all down to the goats to feed them, then it was around to see the chickens,peacocks and Patches the big pig. Then Casper the friendly goat came out and he was very well behaved he loved all the attention. Thanks to Beverley Dobinson and Lisa Pakosh for donating pony rides to all the children that wanted to ride :) all the kids had a wonderful time at the farm and a big big thank you to Sissel Mosvold-Johnson and George for opening up the farm to our summer camp every year.

Day Three - We started of the day with making and decorating milk carton bird boxes the kids had a great time adding stickers to make theirs the brightest, then we played hop scotch and we started to beautify the entrance to the shelter by drawing with chalk big paw prints so visitors could follow the paws to the front office. Next on the itinerary was a visit to Dr Gibbs where she had an injured dog that need his leg putting in a cast and all the kids got to sign the cast..... We got a visit from Silly the clown that helped entertain the kids with balloons and hula hoops, then it was on to our last art of craft of the day paddle boards. The last stop of the was to the cattery to give the cats some love.

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Cassie the blind kitty on her way home and an update on Canine Distemper
Written by Tip Burrows / Humane Society of Grand Bahama   
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 09:58

Cassie the blind kitty on her way to New York with Stephanie.Our good friend (and proud mom of two potcakes), Stephanie Winus, of Long Island, NY, was here for the last week on her annual visit.  It just so happened that former HSGB Board President Chris Johnston was also on the island for a few days last week. 

It occurred to us late last week that we might just be able to get Cassie to her new home in Philadelphia without subjecting her to cargo travel.

Sure enough, after much organizing, Cassie left Grand Bahama forever Tuesday, New York bound with Stephanie.  As carry on, Cassie enjoyed a comfortable ride in the cabin with a reassuring human next to her the whole way.  

Chris met Stephanie at LaGuardia Airport Tuesday night and transported Cassie back to his home in Manhattan, where she will enjoy two nights of pampering​ and kitty camaraderie with the Johnstons and their cats.

She will finally meet her new mama Thursday morning, who is driving into the city to pick her up.  Cassie will be in her forever home by Thursday evening and it all came about in the least stressful way possible for her!  ​

​Now we just have to get Miss Fortune to her new home in Louisiana and we're hoping to find an equally stress free way to accomplish that.  Her new mama lives near Folsom, which is about an hour away from both New Orleans and Baton Rouge.​

What every dog owner should know about Canine Distemper in the Bahamas
Written by Tip Burrows / Humane Society of Grand Bahama   
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 07:10

Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) is a serious and deadly illness with no cure. The vast majority of infected dogs will succumb to it or be humanely euthanized to prevent further suffering.  Very few dogs survive even with the best of veterinary care, which can only treat the symptoms.

Currently the island of New Providence is experiencing a serious CDV outbreak.  At last report, over 400 dogs and puppies have already lost their lives to this virus, and those are just the ones known to the Bahamas Humane Society (BHS) since early June.  The numbers seen by private veterinarians or by the government run Canine Control Unit have not been reported (why not?), and of course, sadly, there are likely to be many dogs affected that have and will suffer and die on the streets.

CDV affects only dogs and other canids (e.g. raccoons, ferrets and other wildlife like wolves and foxes not present here in the Bahamas).  It is not transmissible to humans or cats or any other animals, but it is highly contagious from dog to dog as it is an airborne virus.  People who have been around an infected dog can also spread it via their clothing or shoes from one place to another.

The symptoms and details are readily found online and in the sources cited below which were also used in writing this article.  Responsible dog owners already know that any unusual symptom their dog exhibits should be seen immediately by their veterinarian.  Inexperienced and new dog owners are urged to take note.

The symptoms of CDV can vary widely and some can also mimic other diseases, just as other diseases' symptoms can mimic CDV.  The main thing to know is that if your dog or puppy starts coughing, stops eating, has any discharge from the eyes or nose, becomes lethargic, loses weight rapidly, exhibits vomiting or bloody diarrhea, or any of the above; he or she needs to get to a vet right away.  None of these necessarily indicate CDV, but any one of these symptoms do indicate a serious problem.

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