Our Readers' Opinions
February 18, 2014
VSPCA Bequia fund-raiser hailed a success

Tue Feb 18, 2013

By VSPCA

The non-profit Vincentian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (VSPCA) held its second annual Bequia fund-raiser on Sunday, 9 February 2014, at the Sugar Reef Café in Industry. The splendour of this venue provided the 100+ supporters with an intimate, yet still magically spacious area to meet, dine and bid on fabulous auction items.{{more}}

The sumptuous curried beef and chicken lunch was prepared by mainland chefs/proprietors (and VSPCA directors) Winston Ferguson and Leslie Barnard of the Driftwood Restaurant and Lounge in Ratho Mill, and included a lively array of vegan delights, provided by members and donors. Talented Bequian singer/entertainer Bob Berlinghoff wowed the group with a Beatles’ medley, until surprise guest Stan Carew, a Canadian musician/songwriter/radio host, joined him and performed before an enthusiastic crowd.

After brief words from board directors Lesley Quashie (Bequia Branch chair) and Margaret Hughes-Ferrari (vice president), volunteer auctioneer Bob Bradley took the mic and the bidding began on items ranging from a massage and giraffe statues to dinners and exotic getaways – Moonhole, Petit St Vincent, the Bougainvillea Resort on Barbados – with Mustique Airways and SVG Air throwing in their kind donations of return flights. And the silent auction featured: paintings, hammocks, Lotty B sarongs, Kipling bags… The generous, giving hearts of so many people could be felt throughout the afternoon.

And why did so many people contribute to the $32,000 success of this event? Because despite what Vincentians have grown used to, the painful sight of emaciated, hairless, diseased and broken-down animals is appalling. It sickens those who know that dogs, cats and other beautiful, intelligent creatures – who feel pain just as all animals (like us) do – these creations are being largely ignored by a seemingly smarter species. And both locals and visitors are affected, because these pitiable lives bring the aesthetics, economy and whole consciousness of a society down. Not to mention animal-to-human diseases, which are on the rise. That’s why these people care and why the VSPCA was formed. It’s not only about the animals, it’s also for the country’s whole well-being.

Half the money collected from this fund-raiser will go to medications, vet costs, surgical supplies, foster care, education and the like. The other half will become part of the matching funds needed to procure a safe and sanitary mobile vet clinic, which will provide animal care on all of SVG’s inhabited islands. Spaying and neutering (sterilising/fixing/altering/tying off) will be the primary focus of this mobile clinic, the same priority seen at our community clinics where surgeries are performed under less-than-ideal conditions, with payments based on what owners can afford. These procedures are the only proven, humane ways to stop the out-of-control population growth of our companion animals. Too many of them begin life – and continue until death – unwanted, starving, sick and suffering. What a cruel thing we humans allow to happen.

Incorporated a little over two years ago, the VSPCA currently has 110 members and a core group of nine volunteers, with a dozen others assisting when they can. Many, many thanks to all of them and to our donors and supporters, including those from VSPCA’s recently formed Bequia Branch, located at Lesley Quashie’s Oasis Art Gallery, who did a fantastic job of advertising and selling tickets. Every bit of effort to stop animal cruelty helps in tremendous ways, but the work is only beginning.

For more information, please contact us at 784/532-9327; P.O. Box 32, Kingstown; [email protected]; www.vincentianspca.org; or find us on Facebook.

Together we will end this cruelty, one animal at a time – for a more compassionate, healthy and prosperous nation.