By Foresee Foundation
St. Maarten Animal Welfare Foundation (SXM AWF) is celebrating 30 years of existence this week. The foundation has dedicated resources, time in volunteering hours, and lots of passion to ensuring that animals on St. Maarten are treated humanely.
SXM AWF, which was signed into existence on September 21, 1992, at Notary office JGM Speetjens, will continue to focus on their spaying and neutering campaign and school program, which teaches “responsible and humane pet ownership”.
Reflecting on her experiences over the years with the foundation, President Heather Caputo said, “We have really seen a positive difference over the years. Back in 1998 when I got to St. Maarten, I would see packs and packs of mangy unkempt dogs roaming the streets. Now, we don’t really see that to that extent.”
The foundation has gained a great reputation as the “people to call” to help stray cats and dogs, but also for exotic animals. “We have been called out to help pelicans, different kinds of injured birds, turtles and other animals. We had an animal ambulance that was damaged during the passing of Hurricane Irma and it served us well to help with animals on the roads.”
Caputo said volunteers have many great rescue stories, “For me, it was always great to see the gratitude on the face of the animals we rescued from bad situations. Rescuing animals can be very emotional at times; I remember my husband and I rescued a senior dog from a ditch it was trapped in for days. Thankfully, someone called and we saved him and he was adopted and lived out the rest of his days in comfort.”
Caputo said that education is another one of the foundation’s main focus in the coming years: “We empower our generations to grow with good values about treating animals humanely, and the importance of spaying and neutering their pets.”
The foundation is proud of their achievements to date:
3,378 Adoptions facilitated
15,091 Sponsored pet sterilizations
18,839 Home visits/free transportation
1,074 Mange or flea treatments
What does your organization do and who is your target group?
We work to educate the community about humane animal ownership, and we offer free and low-cost sterilizations to help stop unwanted puppies and kittens.
How can someone sign up to volunteer or support your organization?
People can sign up with Volunteer.sx – go to our page and message us, or send us a message on Facebook.