Saga funds island veterinary care

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 12, No. 41            October 24, 2002

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Saga Humane Society is pleased to announce the services of Dr. Sheila Schmeling every Friday at the Ark Veterinary Clinic behind Ramon's Village. Dr. Schmeling, a resident veterinarian of Corozal Town, boasts 25 years of caring for animals in Belize.

    In order to provide health care for the island's animal population, Saga Humane Society has found it necessary to assume the financial responsibility for providing these veterinary services, as well as those of maintaining the clinic's opening hours, Monday through Thursday from 8:00 to 12 noon and all day on Friday. Clients requiring pet sterilizations (spay or neuter surgery) or any other type of time consuming treatment must schedule an appointment in advance. Persons wishing to book appointments or purchase supplies may visit the clinic during the aforementioned hours or call 226-3266 to make other arrangements.

    In several meetings held over the past two months, Saga's Board of Directors and its volunteers have united their efforts to solicit a resident veterinarian for Ambergris Caye. In the interim, the society is relying solely on its donations to fund the temporary services of Dr. Schmeling and to purchase a minimum stock of necessary products for the clinic.

    The general public is reminded that rabies was confirmed in the Cayo District of Belize last week in a case involving a young boy being bitten by a fox. This case marks the first case in Belize for the year 2002. The Ministry of Agriculture has strongly advised the public NOT TO KEEP foxes or ANY WILD ANIMALS AS PETS! Any and all cases of a wild animal biting a human are to be immediately reported to the nearest area health inspector, Belize Agricultural Health Authority office or the Ministry of Health.

    Pet owners should be aware that there are four colors and shapes of rabies vaccination identification tags. The rabies vaccination ID tag for this year is oval-shaped and an orange/gold color. The other three tags are either blue, red or green, and signify the pet may be due for a current rabies booster. Pets should be vaccinated yearly unless the animal was inoculated with a longer lasting vaccine. Puppies may be given rabies vaccination at twelve weeks of age.

    As a reminder, Saga Humane Society recommends all puppies be vaccinated against canine illnesses at six, eight and twelve weeks of age. Also island dog owners are warned to contain their pets inside a fenced area or chain them inside their yards to avoid any injury or harm to the animal. As always, dogs should be provided with proper collars to avoid chafing and rubbing the neck raw, and animals need a generous length of chain or rope when they are tied. Additionally, pets must be provided fresh food and water daily, and shelter from the sun and other extreme weather conditions.   

    The Society currently has three kittens and two young male pups who need loving homes or temporary foster care. Anyone wishing to adopt or provide shelter for these animals should contact the number listed above.

    Through this medium, the Saga Humane Society would like to thank Dr. Sheila Schmeling for her kindness, as well as Tropic Air for providing assistance with her travel arrangements. As always the Society extends its heartfelt appreciation to their sponsors and wonderful volunteers who give 110 percent to the society's mission: "Preventing cruelty and promoting kindness to animals."
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