Animal Control Committee established

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 11, No. 10            March 8, 2001

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SAGA Society and the San Pedro Advisory Committee (SPAC) met last week and are joining forces to aid in the control of stray animals on the island. Director/Dr. Bron Eastwood and Chairwoman Eileen Jamison of SAGA Society, and Corry Mc-Dermott and Ramon Nuñez Sr. of the SPAC were joined by resident Dr. Bob Morris, a retired US veterinarian, to discuss what is currently being done by SAGA and what they can do to assist. After a discussion of the numerous domestic animal problems facing Ambergris Caye, it was decided to form a sub-committee of the SPAC, namely an Animal Control Committee, involving the services of Health Inspector Acosta for the eradication aspect. Dr. Bron Eastwood was named as Chairperson with the previously mentioned persons named as directors for the committee.

    Land for an animal shelter was the number one need listed by SAGA for the implementation of their plans. After eliminating the areas not suitable for such a shelter, several suggestions were made and members of the committee agreed to follow up with certain land owners on SAGA's behalf. The Director stated that funds had been raised to build the shelter and continued to be solicited from several charitable foundations abroad. Dr. Eastwood stated the lack of a US 501C3 Tax Exempt certificate as the only obstacle in obtaining US funding from some of these institutions. Dr. Eastwood has obtained a "do-it-yourself" legal kit to file for this certificate (via an animal rights society over the Internet), but kindly requests the services of any attorney or knowledgeable person's assistance in preparing and eventually obtaining this document. 

    In regards to education, Dr. Eastwood mentioned the visits she had made to the elementary schools, teaching children of the island how to safely handle animals. She further informed that she would be attending the United States Human Society Congress the following week and would gather further educational materials and information needed for licensing of animals. The laws of Belize pertaining to animals were then discussed and will be reviewed by the SPAC before the next meeting. Enforcement of these laws was another issue addressed by the committee and several options will be investigated. Director Eastwood explained that she and the Health Inspector had submitted a proposal to the Mayor of San Pedro Town last year. Mr. McDermott promised to contact the Town Administrator and Mayor Nuñez as well as the appropriate government agencies for their input into these challenges.

    The next meeting of the Animal Control Committee is scheduled for March 30th. Anyone interested in becoming a part of this solution may contact Corry McDermott at 2161 or Dr. Bron Eastwood at 3266.
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