A demonstration of compassion and love for animals
I wrote a letter to the editor on February 12, regarding the need for the GSPCA to develop a volunteer network to provide support services that their existing employees are unable to carry out (animal rescue, animal transport, general support to people who need help with their animals, etc.).
The need for such a volunteer network was once again brought to the fore this past week.
On Sunday February 20th, 2011, at approximately 7:30 am, an animal lover called, in panic, telling me of a dog in a trench at Ogle; it was raining heavily, the water was rising and she feared the dog would drown without immediate help. I was still in my warm bed and, thinking it might be a prank call, I questioned how she got my number.
I was surprised at the source but knew it was no prank. I jumped out of bed, got the necessary tools and threw in my rain boots.
The caller gave me the name of a person to call when I got to Ogle road. I called the number and immediately saw a woman waving from the area called “Pradoville.” I drove to the location and met a lovely, caring woman who told me her name was Mrs. Ramotar; she pointed to the dog partially submerged and hidden under some tall grass/weeds about 12 feet away, on the opposite side of the trench. At first I thought the dog had died but then saw some movement.
Mrs. Ramotar said she thought the dog had been in the trench for three days, since the night of Thursday (February 17th) when she heard cries but could not locate the source.
The following morning she saw the dog and since the water was low she waded across the trench and tried to free it but it kept snapping at her. She then enlisted her son’s help but still could not succeed.
On Saturday, still tormented by the dog’s cries, she called the GSPCA and was told by a female employee that it was a “matter for City Council”. Feeling loss, frustrated and not knowing what to do next, Mrs. Ramotar’s daughter called a friend, who called another friend and they eventually got my phone number. Note: If an effective Network of Volunteers existed in Georgetown, at this point those on call could have jumped into action (like volunteer firemen).
Since the water in the trench had risen and the dog was trapped under the tall grass/weeds (but still able to snap at his rescuers), Mrs. Ramotar enlisted help from her neighbour, Mr K. Sattaur. He had an inflatable boat and with the help of his two sons, we rowed across the trench (with my snare, gloves, blanket and garden shears). When we got to the dog, I put the snare around her neck and tried gently pulling her towards the boat. Then we realised she had a chain wrapped tightly around her neck, the other end of which was imbedded in the weeds/grass and could not be seen. With the garden shears, the Sattaur boys held the snare while I cut the weeds/grass, unhooked the chain from around her neck and freed the animal. With the snare we pulled her into the boat, picked her up and wrapped her in a blanket. The beautiful but terrified and shaking dog’s nightmare ended happily. The dog was a skeleton with lots of bruises on her tiny frame.
People like Mrs Ramotar, who identified the problem and acted, her daughter Liza, friend Carmelita and the Sattaur family all demonstrated compassion and love for animals. Like these, there are hundreds of people willing to help animals; all they need is an effective mechanism through which to channel their energies. That is why Guyana needs a Network of Volunteers to help animals.
The rescued dog was named Carliza, after two wonderful young ladies who helped in its rescue. Carliza is recovering wonderfully, thanks to the services of Vetenarian. Dr. Mark Pierre.