Feb 08, 2012 Letters
I went to Sparendaam Police Station on Aug 28, 2011 to give support to a friend whose dog was fatally chopped by some thoughtless persons in the village where she lives. During the proceedings I kept hearing a horse neighing. As soon as the case was adjourned, I exited the court and went to see where the sound was coming from.
Unfortunately, I saw a malnourished mare tied on a short leash in the sun; her small foal standing next to her. I asked a police officer if I could give them some water and the mare drank two large buckets full. I went home and called the station; asking whose horse it was. They said the horse was involved in an accident and that the owner had never come to care for it. I then asked for permission to feed the horses until the matter was settled.
On Aug 29, when I returned to the Sparendaam Police Pound, myself and another volunteer found more animals, including two goats and a ram sheep, which we named Bully, because of his aggressive attitude.
During September, three wild horses came into the pound. We assisted in cleaning/sanitizing the pound, bought fresh grass and banana leaves and molasses and bran and fed them all. The three wild horses went within 10 days, much to the relief of the mare and foal and the rest of us.
While we expected the other animals to be returned as quickly to their owners, or sold, that was not to be the case.
It has now been over five months that several volunteers and I have been helping to care for the animals. We go to the pound daily and with permission of the authorities untangle their tethers, move them around, pick up garbage, try to improve their miserable surroundings, feed and water them and we even cleaned up the police station compound of stray dogs.
Upon arrival, many times we found the animals entangled to the point they could not move. They were nearly always thirsty and seldom received any food other that what we provided. Bully, the ram sheep, when stressed would continuously grind his teeth.
The orphaned animals quickly won over our hearts. Every day when we arrived they would start a chorus of animal sounds. One day a heavily pregnant donkey arrived at the pound and I asked about her story, the officers said she was involved in an accident. I asked and received permission to move her into a shaded area two buildings away.
She was very sweet and gentle and we left her with water, bran mixture and grass, hoping for the best. The next day she died, apparently from internal injuries caused by the accident. She was buried on site.
Recently, another goat came in; we helped the owner get it back within two days. A cow showed up, brought in by the stray catching vehicle. I asked the driver where they found her. He said “A” field Sophia. Luckily, the cow was friendly and let us help make her stay at the pound comfortable. She seemed so friendly I was sure she must have good owners.
I went to “A” field Sophia and asked residents to spread the word about the cow in the pound. Within four days the owner showed up and paid the pound fine and took his cow home. The owner said “Queenie,” was the family pet and his kids missed her very much. I was glad to see Queenie go as the pound has none of the comforts of home.
After nearly six months, including Christmas and New Year, the two goats and one ram sheep are still at the pound. I have asked many times when they would go to the auction block but somehow the paperwork never reaches the commander’s desk. Commander Trotz is someone whom I admire and greatly respect for his honesty and frankness but somehow the decision making process seems to be flawed.
We have learned over the past six months that police stations are not equipped with infrastructure, equipment or personnel to properly care for the animal’s welfare.
There is a pound keeper but many times, including holidays, weekends and during the elections, he was absent from his post so the animals were often tangled in their filth and left tied for long periods in the rain or sun.
While many people, and rightfully so, call for the removal of animals from Georgetown and our roadways there must be a more humane way of dealing with these animals than just dumping them off at police pounds where facilities, food, water and care are inadequate.
Impounded animals should not be there for more than five days. Unclaimed impounded donkeys should be relocated to private farms.
I wish to thank all my friends who contributed to improving conditions for the animals impounded at the Sparendaam Police Pound, including Noreen Gaskin, Rachel Hibbins, Susan Isaacs, volunteers Richardson, Gloria Fernandes, Soraya Arjune, Natoya Richardson and a very special young lady, Savannah Mendes, who donated her “Christmas vacation earnings” ($5000) to help pay to clean the pound and provide food for the animals. A special thanks to the police officers who assisted us whenever they could.
I’m hoping the auction of the two goats and Bully, (the ram sheep) will happen soon so I can buy and send them to an appropriate “forever home”.
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