AC: 1994 and 2004 Trip

Posted By: MALIBU

AC: 1994 and 2004 Trip - 08/20/04 02:40 PM

WOW! The place sure has changed!!! Well, nothing ever stays the same and I guess it's a good thing because life would be awfully boring and no one would ever make a living if it did.

The first change we noticed was the airport on the mainland; it was not wide open anymore and they had real security - not the guys in fatigues with machine guns. AND it was airconditioned. 2nd was the plane (Maya Air) has grown to seat 14 people!!! instead of 4.
The water was BEEUUUtiful on the flight to AC. I was automatically relaxed at the sight of the different colors and the islands below.

OMG! A real taxi has picked us up at the airport AND the landing strip is paved-proper! WOW, this place has grown up. There are so many people and dogs everywhere and what happened to front street? The beach used to serve as front street but they've closed it off. As a matter of fact AC used to be so open you could access the beach around every single building and there was nothing barricading it from the street or the rest of the island. We were taken to Portofino immediately by MO, really great guy. Portofino is beautiful! Decided we won't stay in town because it is too hectic and full of people unlike up on the North side where it is calm and quite and very lovely.

Finally met the group from the board Friday night. What a great time that was and really fun to meet everybody! AND got to go to Papi's, yummy food! Rented a golf cart and rode all the way to Portofino in the dark on an uncharted (to us anyway) very dark and partially flooded pathway. It was great fun! SO glad I had my sports bra on!
Much of our time was spent looking out at the beautiful water and reef. I could look at that all day. Then walk out onto the pier at Portofino and look at the beautiful land with the palm trees! Wow this is a beautiful place.

One day we went exploring in the golf cart WAY up North. There is garbage everywhere which was a bit dissapointing. Heard someone say the water current was just right to bring in the garbage from the cruize ships that dump garbage into the ocean. YUK. Kindof funny was the amount of shoes that were in the refuse by the water. Millions of shoes!!! Mainly flip flops. I was reminded of a cargo ship several years back who lost a part of their load which was shoes. Wonder if that is where all the shoes came from.

All those dogs really upset me as I am part of a dog rescue org here in US. I wrote some people in the B gov't to inquire and I spoke with a woman who lives in Belmopan about it. Maybe one day this problem will be taken care of and just maybe I might be able to help out the problem. The part that was the kicker for me was the poison meat. Yep, crying on vacation is not fun. That is all I'll say about that.

The rest of the trip was spent drinking, eating and relaxing. We met a great couple from Chattanooga TN who was staying at Portofino. Weathered a storm with them at bar on the 3rd floor of a building up North. Wish I could remember the name of this resort as the food and drink were great! The rain was so fierce it was blowing thru the cracks in the glass doors on the bar and somewhat flooded the place. But it was great fun sitting there for hours and the flood waters just drained away. I had several wonderful lime daquiries that they made with real lime. YUM

Was anyone as surprised as I was the first time you went to the bathroom in Estelles on the beach? "Put water in bucket to flush toilet"???? I am somewhat of a germophobe and I was really stuck trying to figure out how to get water into that bucket and subsequently into the toilet without touching anything in there. Being a creative person I worked it out.

Surprised to find all the grocery stores and ALL the shopping! I believe if you wanted to go shopping in '94 you could pick up one of the 3 or 4 souvenier type things they had at the golf cart rental place!!! Yes, THE golf cart rental place and they had 5 golf carts I believe.

Of all the places we went there was only one place that had not changed: The Pier Bar. This place is the exact same as it was before. Very nice to go in and have a Belikin there AND I got a new T-shirt as my 10 yr old one has holes in it.

Well, that about sums up the trip. VERY different than it was 10 years ago but up North it is quiet and very similar to the way San Pedro used to be. But still lovely - think we are returning in February for Mr Malibu's birthday. Anybody going to be there? See you on the seaside........
Posted By: sandytoes

Re: AC: 1994 and 2004 Trip - 08/20/04 03:15 PM

What do you mean "poison" meat? Are people poisoning the dogs?
Posted By: MALIBU

Re: AC: 1994 and 2004 Trip - 08/20/04 03:17 PM

Well, yes. The government is. They use poison meat as a form of animal control. Check it out. Hopefully it will chap your hide like it did mine.
Posted By: Teenah

Re: AC: 1994 and 2004 Trip - 08/20/04 03:18 PM

So Malibu, did you try any One Barrel while you were there? smile
Posted By: ChrisW

Re: AC: 1994 and 2004 Trip - 08/20/04 03:29 PM

"What do you mean "poison" meat? Are people poisoning the dogs?"

Do a search. There has been a bunch written on this in the past. It is a sad solution, but the alternatives take money and/or volunteers that are not easy to come by.

Also, to do nothing would be to let the population remain at overly high level with large numbers being regularly killed off by starvation and disease.
Posted By: MALIBU

Re: AC: 1994 and 2004 Trip - 08/20/04 03:46 PM

Didn't try One Barrel. My favorite was the Panty Ripper! Couldn't wait to try it and when I did found out it was my regular drink!!!

About the dogs: the government, not the people, routinely puts out meat laced with poison, strychnine typically, that provides a very slow, painful and horribly disgusting death.
What the poeple do is get a new puppy, then when the puppy reaches adulthood the people don't want it anymore. So the adult dogs are thrown out to roam the streets and a new puppy is obtained.

This problem could be resolved over years of dedicated education. I realize the resources are not currently present to do this although some in the past have tried. Additionally, spaying/neutering is not top priority.
A much better way would be for the government to humanly put the dogs down thru euthanasia: with a needle. The B gov't actually gives out free Rabies shots (this from the woman in Belmopan); surley they can help this situation AND it more than likely would be more cost effective for them to do so. Maybe, one day when I get that winning lotto ticket I will be able to do more.
Posted By: Windjammer

Re: AC: 1994 and 2004 Trip - 08/20/04 04:00 PM

Malibu, I hope to go back in February for my birthday too. When is Mr. Malibu's? Maybe we'll be there at the same time again & Mr. Malibu & I can get on the bar again. laugh
Posted By: MALIBU

Re: AC: 1994 and 2004 Trip - 08/20/04 04:06 PM

Hey!!! I just got the picture of Mr M on the bar from our other boarder friend here in Spring! That was so much fun...

His Bday is the 18th. I think we will be there from the 11th to the 19th or the 15th to the 22nd. Don't know how the Continental miles will stack up yet. Maybe we will see you there!
Posted By: Windjammer

Re: AC: 1994 and 2004 Trip - 08/20/04 05:30 PM

Mine is the 17th!
Posted By: lakegirl

Re: AC: 1994 and 2004 Trip - 08/20/04 06:11 PM

I can't believe they poison the dogs:( Do they do this on a regular basis? Who picks up the dead animals? I am really saddened by this and hope I don't seee any of this going on. I am a dog lover also and would hate to spend my vacation crying!!

Posted By: tradewinds

Re: AC: 1994 and 2004 Trip - 08/20/04 06:41 PM

We're headed back to AC from 2/4-14th. My wife's b-day is on 2/13.
Posted By: MALIBU

Re: AC: 1994 and 2004 Trip - 08/20/04 07:12 PM

Looks like we will be there Feb 16th thru 22nd.

Lakegirl: if you see a dog lying in the street foaming at the mouth you will know what has happened to him. If you are interested email me privately and I will give you info to contact the B gov't.
Posted By: Phyllis&Ray

Re: AC: 1994 and 2004 Trip - 08/20/04 08:38 PM

From all of the previous posts I have seen, it didn't sound like they did this anymore? We were there in March, and didn't see very many strays at all. We did see a dead puppy in the water early one morning, but was gone on our way back a couple of hours later, thankfully, not a pleasant site on vacation. We were going to bring treats and food to donate, but had read on the board that since mad cow they wouldn't let us? Not comfortable with money donations, no telling where it would end up. What's the status of bringing supplies, for our return trip next May ??
Posted By: MALIBU

Re: AC: 1994 and 2004 Trip - 08/20/04 08:47 PM

They still did it as of July '04.

There is a group on AC who has tried in the past to help this situation, unfortunately I don't know who they are or anything about them. I am checking it out for next time though.
Posted By: bywarren

Re: AC: 1994 and 2004 Trip - 08/20/04 08:50 PM

They are the Saga Society. You can do a search and find out about more about them.
Posted By: sandytoes

Re: AC: 1994 and 2004 Trip - 08/20/04 08:56 PM


Sounds like a worthwhile organization, however, I would do more research before sending money.
Posted By: Tom

Re: AC: 1994 and 2004 Trip - 08/29/04 10:15 PM

Contact Eileen at the San Pedro Sun, she is actively involced with SAGA. I am sure she can answer any question that anyone mught have in regards to SAGA.

Have spennt many a birthday and non-birthday at BC's in February as mine is on the 29th and only get a real one every 4 years.
Posted By: Terri & Chuck

Re: AC: 1994 and 2004 Trip - 08/30/04 07:45 PM

That's terrible about the dogs. We have a rescued greyhound and help support their program. We love dogs and hope we don't witness any of this when we're there in a couple of weeks.
Posted By: MALIBU

Re: AC: 1994 and 2004 Trip - 08/30/04 08:47 PM

The 2 best things you can do are:

1. contact the government about it
2. Check out the Saga society to see if this is something you might like to donate to.

Thank You,
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: AC: 1994 and 2004 Trip - 08/30/04 09:28 PM

Malibu: You have been misinformed about dog poisoning. As of several years ago Saga has an agreement with government to stop the poisoning of stray dogs. I have contacted Eileen of Saga and asked her to educate the people on this board about the situation. Please rest assured that no dogs are being poisoned on Ambergris Caye.
Posted By: bywarren

Re: AC: 1994 and 2004 Trip - 08/31/04 12:14 AM

There are a couple interesting articles in this weeks San Pedro Sun about Saga.
Posted By: collyk

Re: AC: 1994 and 2004 Trip - 08/31/04 07:46 AM

Hi guys, just wanted to show some additional support for SAGA. I have worked as an animal professional for 15 years. I have worked in and with local organisations and authorities where animal welfare was an issue low on the priority list of local governments. I have read enough about SAGA to know that what they are doing is excellent work on Ambergris Caye. This is truly a grass roots organisation with a realistic strategy that has worked in other areas of the world that have stray dog problems. If you are going to donate money, it is far better to donate to a small organisation with low admin costs so you know your money really does help those you truly want it to help. SAGA's programme of education and sterilisation is the only way to improve things. I realise that their policy of neuter and release of stray dogs is controversial to some but at least the dogs they release cannot contribute to the stray population futher by reproducing. Poisoning is not a unique method of stray control and many poor (and some not so poor) countries depend on this form of 'vermin' control. Prior to the Olympics in Athens, the local government undertook a massive poisoning campaign of stray dogs. Malibu is right, contact the government and ask what they are doing about animal welfare in Belize and support education programmes like Saga. Educating people about responsible dog ownership is the only way forward.
Posted By: jvid

Re: AC: 1994 and 2004 Trip - 08/31/04 10:55 AM

HELLO OUT IN LA LA LAND!!!!! My 6lb.Chihuahua-Min-Pin mix was just murdered by a pack of 5 white dogs on 8-26, I found her in the owners yard,still warm and being surrrounded by these dogs!!! We, among many other residents, have complained for many monthes,Nothing was done about it,Saga has their hands full,trying to control this issue,but...when there is a pack of dogs living under someones house and they come over and attack your dog, which these dogs did to my other dog,I did complain,she survived,I was told to contact the police,the town-board, and the health inspector,what a joke that was...this is not the U.S.A.,if I had a weapon in my house I would have killed everyone of those dogs!!! My Nina was chased from our yard by 5 dogs in a mattter of 15 minutes,and to top it off, the lady who was working the ferry that day,was laughing at me as I tried to bring her back to life.Poison them???? Hell Yes, let it happen to you and see what anyone does, nothing. Welcome to the third world.Your not in Kansas anymore Dorthey!!My NINA did not deserve to die this way.SO please.... do not voice your opinion, unless you have seen this happen.I did.
Posted By: NYgal

Re: AC: 1994 and 2004 Trip - 08/31/04 01:18 PM

I'm so sorry to hear about your little Nina. frown
Posted By: bywarren

Re: AC: 1994 and 2004 Trip - 08/31/04 01:40 PM

The topic of euthanasia was cussed and discussed in length on the board a while back if those interested want to do a search and read that.

Sterilization is fine for controlling unwanted pets. I define pets as animals that have owners to take care of them. Hopefully responsible owners. If a pet does not have a responsible owner to take care of it, it is better off and the community is better off, with that pet being in pet heaven.

And, the community is better off if there are not unwanted animals running around trying to scavenge enough food to live, spreading disease, defecating everywhere and being a possible threat to other pets and humans. Just because they can't have babies while they are running around doing all of this is not, IMO, a valid arguement against euthanasia (humane euthanasia).
Posted By: MALIBU

Re: AC: 1994 and 2004 Trip - 08/31/04 02:59 PM

bywarren: You are right. I agree with you 100%. Once again you prove yourself as the enlightened one as the words you speak glow with intelligence.

collyk: you are wrong: I personally witnessed a dog in July dying in the street from poisoning. Maybe it wasn't the gov't but I inquired and was told that it was. It was disgusting. You are fooling yourself if you think this does not happen. I am sure SAGA is trying but apparently the gov't isn't holding up their end of the bargain.

jvid: I am sorry about your little baby. I think it's time you visit a gun shop.
Posted By: Kathy F.

Re: AC: 1994 and 2004 Trip - 08/31/04 03:51 PM

Malibu -- I think you meant Jesse instead of collyk.

jvid -- so sorry about your Nina.
Posted By: SimonB

Re: AC: 1994 and 2004 Trip - 08/31/04 06:42 PM

I cannot speak for the rest of the country but there has not been a poisoning of dogs in San Pedro for over 3 years. This is due to the efforts of Saga in educating the local government officials about the futility of such programs (populations rapidly fill in to take place of the eradicated dogs, there are numerous studies that support this fact), the fact that most of the dogs poisoned are actually family pets and not stray dogs and the damage to the reputation of the community in the eyes of the tourists. Licensing programs, sterilization, education and other combined efforts are the only solution to the problem. Education is the biggest key and huge improvements have been made along these lines, when the Saga clinic was first established most of its clientele were gringos and now the majority of the clientele are Belizeans who provide loving care for their animals. Much more work needs to be done and keeping up with the increasing population of the island and the influx of new animals is a challenge.

If you saw a dog being poisoned on Ambergris Caye it would have been the work of a private (sick) individual and if you had advised Saga they would have taken steps to have the individual prosecuted under the cruelty to animals act.

In recent months Saga has opened up a shelter for stray dogs to be held for adoption and have adopted out numerous dogs over the last year including several who have been flown to the US thanks to the efforts of Kathy Marin at Pampered Paws. There are currently 15 or so dogs up for adoption at the clinic and if you wish to adopt a dog or help support the feeding and upkeep of the dogs please contact [email protected]

Saga has been working closely with San Pedro Town Council to open up a second shelter where street dogs can be held. The original plan of Town Council was to pick up all stray dogs and euthanize them after a 3 day holding program. Thanks to the efforts of Saga the Town Council has agreed to allow Saga to take responsibility for the animals after the 3-day holding period. This ensures that no dogs will be unnecessarily euthanized and remains in keeping with Saga's mission of being a no kill shelter.

If anyone would like more information I can be contacted directly at [email protected] and please remember that your donations are urgently needed to continue providing the only local source of care for the islands animals.

I am also very disheartened to hear about Nina, an attempt had been made earlier to pick up some of the dogs but we were confronted by their owners and were not able to take action. The health inspector was notified and it then became a matter for the health inspector and police , who were contacted by Saga 4 times over the last few weeks in regards to the situation. Saga does not have the right to seize animals from their owners and would be held criminally responsible if they did. I don't think the dogs deserve to be shot however, they are not responsible for their actions, their owners are.


Simon Backley
Saga Director
Posted By: collyk

Re: AC: 1994 and 2004 Trip - 08/31/04 09:06 PM

Malibu, I didn't suggest that poisoning does not occur, whether sancitoned by local authorities or undertaken by individuals. In fact, quite the contrary, I was pointing out that this is done commonly in other places in the world. I was only stating that the best way forward, proven internationally, is education and that I thought that Saga was doing a good job.
Posted By: MALIBU

Re: AC: 1994 and 2004 Trip - 08/31/04 10:52 PM

OOPS, I am so sorry collyk. I DID mean Jesse. Fingers going faster than eyes...

I think what SAGA is doing is great and as a matter of fact I have started a drive here (emailed Simon above earlier today) amongst my rescue friends to get some much needed supplies to them on my return in February. Any of you Houstonians want to help in my effort? PLEASE email me and I will forward you their wish list. I am available most anytime to meet you and pick up your valuable donation. I fully agree with you collyk and appreciate your view.

Simon, Thank You Thank You for your post on this forum and for what you do for the animals (and people for that matter) on Ambergris Caye. Though I've not met you I feel I know you from your site, post, and your emails earlier today.
Posted By: jvid

Re: AC: 1994 and 2004 Trip - 09/01/04 05:33 AM

Thanks to all of you,for being so kind about our dog.Just do not come to my house when you find a DEAD PACK OF WHITE DOGS,floating in the should call the sand-police.
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