BAARK! (The Bahamas Alliance for Animal Rights and Kindness)
May 24, 2022 | 0
For years, The Bahamas Alliance for Animal Rights and Kindness (BAARK!) has fought in earnest to ease the burden of the abundance of unwanted companion animals on the islands. Since their founding in 2009, they have sterilized around 18,000 animals. The organization says that these efforts have helped hold the population explosion in check, but they admit that The Bahamas are still burdened by too many homeless dogs and cats.
“Rescue groups… are constantly filled above capacity,” BAARK! writes on their website. “Regrettably, the number of animals needing homes is continually in excess of the number of homes available given The Bahamas’ small population.”
COVID-19 only seemed to make it worse, they explain, with shelters being overwhelmed with surrendered animals as people struggled financially throughout the pandemic.
You can hear the exasperation of The Bahamas’ residents in the comments section of BAARK!’s Facebook page:
“You will definitely have plenty to spay & neuter in Nassau… seems like the shelters are overrun,” wrote one user.
Another wrote: “Spent many years sailing in the Bahamas. Hated seeing all the stray cats and dogs.”
For one resident, the problem hits close to home.
“Have a program with cats in my neighborhood. Can you please help?” the resident pleads.
That’s why in 2020, to better deal with the problem of pet overpopulation, BAARK! began to make plans for a big change in how they operate.
“Over a decade of experience gave us the answer,” they write, “a major capital investment and change of operating procedures and expanded educational outreach.”
In other words, their answer was to invest in a brand new La Boit-built mobile spay/neuter clinic.
The BAARK! mobile clinic, affectionately referred to as “Cleo,” is a 26ft mobile spay/neuter clinic that will significantly increase BAARK!’s capacity to perform sterilizations (from 2000-2500 surgeries a year to about 5000-7000 surgeries a year). The clinic has all the features needed to meet their needs, including a fully-equipped separate surgery suite, cages and crates, refrigerator, exam area, autoclave, sink, and so much more. It will be staffed with a dedicated veterinarian and vet tech to operate the clinic year-round. It will also provide education on the importance of spay/neuter.
BAARK!’s President, Laura Kimble, explains that owning a La Boit has been a goal of theirs for a while.
“We have been following La Boit for many years,” she wrote to us in an email. “When we were ready to move forward we asked around to some leading experts in the animal world and hands down everyone said La Boit are the people to go to!”
For BAARK!, the vehicle is proof that with a long-term vision and plenty of hard work, you can make a difference in your community. She says that seeing the mobile clinic materialize is a dream “bigger than BAARK!s’ and older than us.”
“It’s a dream that so many animal lovers in The Bahamas have had for many years,” Laura says about the truck. “As a viable solution to really making a difference with the number of unwanted dogs and cats in this country.”
She tells us the story of Sally Gamble, who she describes as “one of The Bahamas’ original animal welfare crusaders.” The moment that Sally first laid eyes on the clinic, she was so overcome with emotion that she didn’t know what else to do, so she kissed the clinic!
At La Boit Specialty Vehicles, we never get enough of hearing stories like these – clients that have dreamed of utilizing a mobile clinic to help their community and they finally see that dream come to fruition.
We do our best to make the process easy for them, and maybe a little bit of fun too. Which is why we were so pleased to hear Laura’s response when we asked her what it was like to work with La Boit:
“THE BEST!,” she replied in an email. “Honestly what could have been a very stressful experience was actually FUN! It is a lot to think about and La Boit staff are just so knowledgeable they were able to alleviate any fears.”
Congratulations to BAARK! and all the volunteers, staff, and advocates in The Bahamas who work tirelessly to end animal cruelty and homelessness throughout the islands.
About La Boit Specialty Vehicles
La Boit Specialty Vehicles president Gil Blais first started La Boit in his garage in 1981, where he hand-made organizational boxes for traveling veterinarians. Fast forward to today, La Boit Specialty Vehicles is now a leader in specialty vehicle manufacturing for the Veterinary, Spay/Neuter/Adoption, Dental, Medical, Command, and Bloodmobile industries.
La Boit Specialty Vehicles offers a variety of vehicles to suit your needs, from 18ft pull-behind trailers to 40ft drivable coaches, none of which require a CDL to drive. Best of all, our vehicles are commercially-built from the chassis up for your specific needs, and are never converted RVs.
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