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Upgrade sanctuary insteadof building new dog pound

Published: 
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Animal rights activist suggests
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Dogs which were rescued by Pet to Vet Ltd last week from the condemned animal shelter. Photo by:Kristian De Silva

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Instead of building a new $3 million animal shelter in San Fernando to keep stray animals, vice president of Animals Alive Jowelle De Souza is suggesting that the money be used to expand the existing Animals Alive sanctuary in South Oropouche.

She is also hoping that part of the $3 million can be used to embark on a mass educational campaign to advise citizens to spay, neuter and care for their pets. For those who neglect and abuse their pets, De Souza hopes the Government could impose stiffer fines.

Speaking ahead of her planned meeting with Local Government Minister Kazim Hosein at San Fernando City Hall today, De Souza said instead of building another pound, the Government could utilise the five-acre plot owned by Animals Alive to re-home stray animals.

“Instead of using up land space in the city and building another animal pound, why not forget the pound and do an investment with Animals Alive instead?” she asked.

“We can set up more buildings for the animals at our sanctuary and we could invest that money in an education drive to spay and neuter.”

Currently, the sanctuary at Ralph Narine Trace has 385 stray animals. There is already a staff and the sanctuary is run using funds from corporate citizens and animal lovers. De Souza said the Government should also advise the citizenry about the penalties for dumping their animals.

“We want to encourage the minister to partner with us. We need an advertisement drive to remind people of the need to spay, neuter and care for their animals. De Souza said she also hoped to meet with incoming Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith to discuss the enforcement of existing laws to protect animals.

“We will be mounting a campaign for fines to be increased. The fine for dumping dogs should be increased. We will also be campaigning for the media to help us in our efforts to educate the public about spaying and neutering,” De Souza said.

She added that the new pound will cater for the stray animals in San Fernando but questioned what will happen to the stray animals in other parts of the country.

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