Goodbye 2021 and welcome 2022

Dear Editor,

Animal Defenders SXM wishes to thank the sponsors, supporters, the adoption families, the foster parents and specially the dedicated volunteers who have continuously worked so hard the whole year through. Thanks to the veterinarians for the great work and cooperation through 2021. Thank you to Steffy from Steffy’s Pet Sitting for all the lovely help, your love for animals is felt and is much appreciated.

  It was a very difficult year with lots of challenges and all volunteers were always there for the animals. Some volunteers had to work extra to substitute for others because some left the island permanently and some for a longer period next to the normal vacation absence and sick notices.

  The pandemic did not make it easy on us humans and that reflected directly on the animals. Many pets were abandoned and the foundation has never received so many reports and calls from pet owners who want to surrender their pets because of financial reasons. It is worrisome. Although people love their furry friends, they cannot take care of them anymore.

  Although people want to spay or neuter their pet, they cannot afford the spay/neuter operation, not even with a big discount via our foundation. Too many kittens and puppies are born daily which is not necessary at all. We try to help as much as we can to prevent all these unwanted births.

  We encountered many dumped dogs who got lost, injured by traffic, bitten by other dogs, sick or too hungry, skinny and weak to fend for themselves.

  We cannot remember having so many calls and sad cases of animal neglect and abuse. Not a nice recollection to end the year. But this year also brought us nice memories of the lovely volunteers who continued to work and love the helpless animals.

  This year was very difficult to choose a volunteer of the year because this year we all did the extra mile for the animals. Thanks to Alex who found a lovely handyman Orlando to make feeding stations for the strays. Thanks to Paul who had a school project and chose to fix up the enclosure for Joanna. You all did an amazing job. Thanks to Vivian, Annet, Natalia, Evi and Alma who brought strays to the vet and back. Thanks to Sherwin and Dorien for helping with the pet food collections. Thanks to the volunteers who left the island and thanks for the new volunteers. There are many more volunteers to thank. Thanks to all the volunteers for feeding and being ready to jump in for help when and where needed.

  But one volunteer needs special mentioning: Shobha Lall jumps out because of all the extra work she did next to her normal feeding rounds. When others were sick or on vacation Shobha was there to help. She brought pets to the vet to be sterilized. She also created solutions for 2 abandoned dogs in a deplorable state.

  At one location we were feeding 3 dogs with a group of volunteers. An old dog who was not able to walk because of the arthritis, he needs daily medication but we could hardly find him hiding in the bushes next to a busy road. The other dog, his longtime friend, she protected him from a neighborhood bully, she recently died of old age and tick fever plus there was a younger dog who usually gave us hints where the older dog was hiding but she herself was not always there and she was scared of the bully.

  The older dog missed out days of his medication if he was not to be found so the arthritis got worse by the day. We could not leave food plus treatment behind because the bully would eat it all. Shobha came with a great solution and her husband approved to move the older dog to the garden of his company where the dog now lives in an enclosed area. He cannot escape and now he gets his food, medicine plus tender loving care daily from Shobha and her husband.

  He now looks much better and he walks again but he was all alone. His friend the younger female dog who took care of him was left on her own and started wandering off. But Shobha and her husband took her to the same enclosure and the two friends are now happy to be reunited and well taken care of. No more worries of traffic or other dogs bulling them. The young female likes car rides and she is allowed to go along in a big truck sometimes; it is an awesome sight to see her on the passenger seat with a big grateful smile on her face.

  Shobha makes many more dogs happy in the area next to her own 4 dogs. She does it with a nice smile, a sweet voice and a soft touch. Thank you Shobha for all that you do and for touching all those animals’ hearts. You touch our hearts as well, plus you are a great example.

  Knowing that there are many more people helping out the animals we hope that many more others will join in this higher cause for the animals.

  Wishing everybody a Happy Healthy New Year with lots of love and laughter, hugs from the animals.

The Board of Animal Defenders SXM

Cheers to Shobha. She was chosen as Animal Defender of 2021

Thanks for no fireworks or for using silent fireworks, nice and peaceful without the bangs.