Animal Balance’s Dream to Serve Trinidad Finally Comes True
Dr. Raymond Deonanan and I met at the international division of the HSUS EXPO in 2012. We quickly figured out that we felt the same way about equal rights for all species. Since then, Dr. Raymond has joined AB on campaigns all over the world from the Bahamas, to Maui, to the Galapagos, bringing his calm, peaceful demeanor to our clinics, while at the same time fixing zillions of animals without breaking a sweat. Our dream was to balance the karma and have a MASH clinic on Trinidad, which is where Dr. Raymond is from.
However, for many years we could not find international funding for Trinidad. Then, thanks to assistance from The Animals 360 Foundation, an NGO on Trinidad & Tobago that serves animals, our dream finally came true. The plotting began and a few months later, AB is on the ground in Trinidad serving the animals and communities that so desperately need our help.
This trip was a journey like no other. We lived at Dr. Raymond’s home and served his community. His family had been planning for our arrival for months. Beds and mattresses were purchased, things were built, vegetables cut and stored; his whole family pitched in to host all 13 of us!
We arrive and promptly fall head over heels in love with Pavi, his 300 or so, pound pig. He rescued her from a horrible situation and she very kindly allowed us all to love on her, scratch her monster ears and take 100 million selfies. He has all sorts of species that he has rescued from certain pain and death. It is a peaceful sanctuary for so many. We are then given the first of many more delicious, mouthwatering Indian dishes. All vegan, all delicious and all made with love.
The first day, we head out to Barrackpore, a community that is desperate for spay/neuter help. Animals 360 have kindly arranged the appointments and made 80 per day. We were hitting the ground running. Raymond’s phenomenal tech crew had kindly already built the clinic for us, all we had to do was safely run the clinic. For 2 days we worked in Barrackpore and then, we switched to Charleville and did 3 clinic days there. 333 spays and neuters later, in 90 plus degrees, with thick humidity and Jurassic Park size bugs, we had accomplished the task. We had also all fallen in love with Trinidad, her people and her animals.
This time, I was on registration/release and was able to talk to pretty much everyone who came in. The sense of community holds true; everyone helped everyone else without question. The clients had a calm demeanor and even though people might have not wanted to wait around all day for their animals, they did so without complaint. People hung out in the shade and chatted about life on Trinidad and how best to cook certain dishes and of course, which spices go with what. When it was time to release their animals, it was a celebration. Anxious parents were waiting for their ‘kids’ to come out of the clinic, while everyone intently listened to the aftercare instructions and pretty soon were informing all the additional ‘parents’ arriving to collect their animals, for me.
Unfortunately, there are no cat carriers on the island that are affordable or accessible, so the cats were brought in, in imaginative ‘cages’. From customized shopping carts to laundry baskets to bird cages. Here is a sample. As when you have nothing, you improvise.
We would love to get more cat cages to Trinidad. They are SO needed, people were getting scratched and the cats were getting hot. We can get a good discount on the Tru-Catch transfer cages, so we are starting a fund. We will then carry them in next time we go. We are dedicated to making this an AB annual campaign (for Trinidad). They need help, we have a way to make it happen on the ground, we have amazing volunteers who would like to help, all we need are the funds for the medicines. We are starting a ‘Fix Trinidad’ fund as of today. We need to raise $25,000 and with your help, we can do that.
Dr. Raymond is a very special member of our AB family and as such we invited him to sit on our Board of Directors. We are so proud and consider it a great honor that he accepted this position. Dr Raymond’s influence on every being he meets is extraordinary. He is an incredible ambassador for kindness. Let’s help him help his community and repay his kindness by showing our own.