History of the Bahamian Animal Rescue Committee:
The Bahamian Animal Rescue Committee (B.A.R.C.) was formed in April, 2005 to assist the Humane Society of Grand Bahama in their ongoing efforts in West End concerning animal population control, spay and neuter programs, and disease mitigation. The situation with wild dogs and cats has worsened since the hurricanes devastated the village in 2004. There are many more puppies and kittens in the village, resulting in a large homeless population.
The majority of the dogs are of mixed breed, named Potcakes (which is a recognized BREED in the Bahamas) after the popular peas and rice dish that sticks to the bottom of the pot. The leftover peas and rice is often fed to the dogs; hence the name they have been given. These dogs are extremely intelligent and easily-trained, and they make the most grateful and loyal companions.
The facts concerning the adoption rates of dogs and cats are very discouraging. About 100-200 dogs are collected each month, with only 5-10% adopted. Sadly, the Humane Society of Grand Bahama is NOT a "no-kill" shelter, so the survival of even healthy animals is minimal.
Thanks to several generous supporters, the HSGB moved into a brand new facility in June 2008. The new shelter is situated on 2.5 acres, with 88 indoor dog kennels, 24 outside pens, and 2 cat rooms, plus ample exercise fields for the dogs. The buildings are built to code and beyond to ensure safety during any hurricanes. There is also a small surgery suite, an exam room, a proper lobby, laundry room, and separate food room. Gone are the days when two tiny rooms encompassed all of those things! Unfortunately, with the downturn in the economy in 2008, the number of animals coming into the shelter have increased. In 2010, 1647 dogs and cats were taken in by HSGB.
The new facility has also meant a substantial increase in operating costs. Necessities such as electricity, water and staffing have increased dramatically. The local adoption rate has increased, slightly, to a mere 15% of total intake. Donations and fundraising proceeds have decreased as a result of the depressed economy.
A shelter veterinarian, whose salary is being funded by a private individual for the first two years, came on board in February 2011. This will enable the HSGB to perform almost triple the current number of spays and neuters previously done in a years time, in addition to providing better medical care for shelter animals, and ultimately bringing in more revenue for the shelter.
The adoption fees for pets of the Humane Society of Grand Bahamas are only $75.00 for dogs and $50.00 for cats. These fees include one vaccination, basic deworming, and sterilization. The cost of the health certificate ($10.00 required by U.S. Customs) and rabies vaccination for animals older than 3 months ($15.00 - not required in the Bahamas) is added for U.S. adopters.