Animal Control Group Forms on Abaco

Another animal group has formed on Abaco, the Abaco Animal Control Committee. A number of concerned Abaconians have come together to try to solve the ever growing problems caused by stray and wild dog and cat populations which are exploding out of control.

Feral cats threaten the tenuous existence of the Bahama parrot (which is unique in its need to make its nests at or below ground level). Feral and out of control domestic dogs still prey on the wild horse herd. Irresponsible people let racoons loose on Grand Bahama Island. They were released on another small cay and now are making their way south from the northern part of Abaco. They present serious problems in terms of predation on crops and the parrots and as a source of rabies.

The issues are thorny. On an island where people and animals have always roamed freely, it’s hard to convince people that the time has come to keep their animals either tethered or in fenced yards. Spaying and neutering are, to many, still mysterious processes which they fear will adversely affect their animals.

The AACC is working to establish a permanent pound area for holding strays. Once the pound is established the laws covering animal control can be enforced. Once people realize that there is a place where unwanted animals can be taken, to be dealt with in a humane manner, it is hoped that the numbers of abandoned animals will decrease. Enforcement of control laws, along with financial support from AARK (Abaco Animals Require Kindness) will eventually lead to reduction of the stray and feral populations.

The activities of these committees and their concerned members directly affect the Wild Horse Fund. Eventual control of the wild and stray dogs will take pressure off the wild horses. As the education efforts of these groups take effect, people will become more aware of responsible animal care and it is hoped that incidents of horse harassment will cease.

The Wild Horse Fund is helping both committees by attending meetings and providing volunteer help whenever possible. It is hoped that as the new company being formed in the U.S., Arkwild, Inc. grows it will also be able to provide financial aid to these groups.

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