A new animal rescue group has recently formed in Grand Cayman.
Cayman Animal Rescue Enthusiasts is an association of individuals whose aims are to alleviate the suffering of neglected or abandoned animals on the island and to reduce the animal population in the most humane way.
They work where appropriate with the Cayman Islands Humane Society, but are also developing their own projects.
Spokesperson, Kiralee Harnett, said ‘We are people who care about animals and who want to play an active role in saving them. Everyone now involved in CARE was doing their best as individuals but by pooling our expertise and strengths and working together we have found that we can achieve much more. We use those talents in areas where we have identified that we can make a visible difference.
‘For example over the last few months, two of our members have worked very hard to set up a site for CIHS on petfinder.com (www.cihs.petfinder.com) and have established a link with a New York group United Action for Animals. Through their efforts, nine adult dogs from the Shelter have been adopted in the New York tri-state area. Another member, on hearing that the puppy transfers to Broward County Humane Society were being put on hold due to overcrowding at Broward, established a new connection for the Shelter with North Shore Animal League in New York City. With a donation from CARE to assist in expenses the lives of 16 dogs were saved.’
Members raise funds through a variety of sources-monthly donations, social events etc. Recently, a class at Cayman Prep School became interested in the work of CARE and raised funds for CARE projects through a bake sale. As a direct result, two adult dogs were transferred to a Canadian shelter, again through a CARE connection.
The current fundraising initiative of CARE is a 2009 calendar For The Love of a Rescue. Kiralee Harnett says, ‘We were careful to check that CIHS had decided not to issue a calendar this year. It is important to us that we do not compete with CIHS’. The result, a beautiful, glossy calendar featuring twelve ‘rescued’ dogs and cats, is a great Christmas gift idea and ideal for mailing out to family and friends overseas. The CARE calendar costs $15 and will be available at, the National Trust craft fair, from CARE members or by e-mailing <[email protected]>.
Kiralee also emphasises that CARE participants are in most case paid-up members and active volunteers at CIHS. ‘We support the work of CIHS. Some CARE members are regular dog walkers. Others are foster parents taking into their own homes on a temporary basis dogs that are sick, stressed or just in need of a respite.’
CARE members were on hand to help at the Shelter this year when Hurricanes Gustav and Paloma threatened the Cayman Islands. They assisted the staff by locating and calling potential foster parents, assembling crates, moving equipment to safety and transporting supplies to Appleby’s where any dogs and cats remaining are housed for the storm.
And for the future? Much depends of course on the level of funds they can raise but Kiralee emphasises that CARE are firm believers in a concerted Spay and Neuter campaign.
‘All our members agree that the puppy transfers to Broward and NSAL and the adult transfers to Canada must be viewed as band-aid solutions. The long-term answer to Cayman’s stray animal problem is education coupled with an intensive and focussed spay and neuter campaign. CARE, as always, is ready to assist in any way we can,’ she said.