Shelter Helper

St. Eustatius Animal Welfare Foundation (SEAWF) is a non-profit organisation that was founded in 2002 to help the dogs and cats on Statia. Twice a day volunteers are feeding the animals at the shelter, walking the dogs, cleaning up the cages, the kennels and the outside run, squeezing ticks and giving the furry guys their daily portion of TLC. It’s not that we love cleaning peed & poo-ed up newspapers. It’s not that we love coming home covered in mud, with dust in our ears and nose. We do it (or at least I do it) for the thankful looks, the wagging tales and sometimes the outrageous love-explosions you get from your friends. Because that’s what they are: friends on four legs.

I remember the days we had one or two dogs at the shelter, sometimes three. That was when we adopted our first dog, Gipsy.

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Over the last year the number was growing and growing. At one point we had 22(!) dogs at the shelter, plus some kittens. It was a madhouse! It was decided that some dogs had to be put to sleep. But on the day the vet came to the island, around 6 dogs were adopted and we could keep the rest. That really was one of the best days in my SEAWF-history! I couldn’t stop dancing.

Another great event was the official opening of the extension that was built behind the existing kennel room. Thanks to donations from Statians, people in Holland and NuStar (the oil terminal) and thanks to the great work by the constructor, we now have 4 pretty big outside kennels with separate sleeping parts. One-bedroom apartments so to say 🙂

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Sometimes we find dogs or cats (often being dumped and left to die!!!) that are too young and vulnerable to stay in the shelter. They need to be bottle-fed and kept nice and warm the whole day. They often end up being temporarily fostered by one of the volunteers. That’s what we did with these guys. We decided to officially adopt them. Yes, it’s a full house at the moment (they have grown about 10 times their size), but pure happiness!

Onai, Rosa & Nelson

Once every two weeks the vet from St. Maarten, Dr. Garry Swanston, comes over to help the Statia pets.

The animal shelter is located behind the LVV office in Concordia and their phone number is 318 4150. They also have a Facebook page.

If you move over to Friends with Paws you’ll find an overview of all the dogs that live in the animal shelter at the moment. They are all available for adoption. I’ll update it regularly with stories about my friends. Please check it out. If you are looking for a friend, or if you know someone who is interested, please let me know or just pass by the animal shelter any day around 9 a.m. or 5 p.m. Some dirty, sweaty but happy person should be there.

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