Hundreds of abandoned dogs being cared for by Ocean Acres Animal Sanctuary will be shortly bound for Canada on board a sponsored MJet flight helping to fulfil Canadian demand for loveable house pets.
This latest initiative to reduce the number of strayed and abandoned dogs in Barbados comes as Ocean Acres deliberately shifts its organizational focus from pet rescue and long-term care, to education and prevention of animal abuse.
Founder of Ocean Acres Karen Whittaker, said the time had come for a new approach to addressing the problem of animal abandonment and abuse in Barbados.
“Our aim is to change behaviours and attitudes and reduce the numbers of strays and abused animals in Barbados, but our present approach is unsustainable. We simply do not have the funding to continue incurring tens of thousands in monthly costs to rescue and care for animals, while the numbers continue to grow.”
The planned flight to migrate at least 250, and hopefully more dogs, to Canada where they will be received in approved foster homes until offered for adoption, should be taking off from Barbados by mid-October. The animal care advocate is appealing for further financial assistance as she notes, getting the pets ready to travel is a costly undertaking.
“We are pleased to share that Mjet is generously covering the flight expenses. However, it’s important to note that additional essential costs are associated with preparing the dogs for the flight. These costs encompass various aspects such as crates, dental care, vaccinations, and export and health certificates.
One aspect that significantly contributes to the success of our initiative is short-term fostering for the dogs before their flight. By opening your home to be a volunteer foster, you can play a vital role in ensuring more dogs get on the flight. The capacity at Ocean Acres limits the number of dogs we can send. If you foster, then extra dogs can go. In addition, the dogs benefit from better socialization, reduced stress, and arrive better prepared to be matched quickly with their perfect forever home.
We want to extend an open invitation to businesses, families and individuals interested in lending a hand–whether contributing towards these costs or stepping up as a foster caregiver for the dogs before their journey. Your involvement can truly make a meaningful impact.”
Commenting on the apparent demand for Barbadian dogs as house pets in Canada, Whittaker said while they were often unappreciated locally, the manageable size and good-natured temperament of Barbadian dogs made them a favourite choice for many Canadians seeking house pets.
“Canada is a great destination for our dogs. Bajan dogs are generally small, hardy and adapt well, and Canadians love them. We send only healthy, adoptable dogs, with no communicable diseases. All dogs are vetted before departure and again once in Canada.