My visit to the Dominican Republic
diary of a journey
(08/28 - 09/14/2012)
My last day
I got up early on my last day. I had promised to take medicaments to a few people at the beach and later on I wanted to meet Colleen and Lee and show them around. It was still quiet when I reached the beach. At the washrooms, close to the entrance, I found him:
Piggy, a young male, neutered by the A.A.A.S, and a frequent visitor at the A.A.A.S. thrift store. Obviously he had been poisoned.
I called Tanya and Tom who took him to Dr. Bob.
The tourists on the beach to whom I talked were horrified, particularly when I told them that animals were mainly killed because of them as communes and hotels are afraid their guests may be disturbed by strays. They all assured me that the opposite is the case especially when animals are healthy and well-fed as it is generally the case in Sosúa. Their reaction showed me that tourists mostly have no idea about the poisonings and their background and that information is needed here. I was reminded of the discussion I had had with Emma Clifford and the Collares Rojos members in Cabrera about possibilities to fight these poisonings. Just like the Caribbean Animal Welfare Organisation, I firmly believe that tourism as the biggest economical factor in the Carbbean has to become more involved in animal welfare.
In the beginning of 2013 we will start a petition in Germany and collect signatures of people who declare that they won’t spend their holidays in those communes and hotels in the Dominican Republic where animals are being poisoned. The petition will run unlimited until an impressive number of signatures has been collected. Our friends in the Dominican Republic have signaled that they are in the process of negotiating with the responsibles and trying to convince them with positive arguments. If they don’t succeed we will hand the signatures of the petition over to them to use as they see fit as a means to convince communes and hotel managements. In addition we will advertise animal friendly communes and hotels and name those that oppose any kind of agreement. In Germany the petition will be used to sensitize tourists to the situation.
After this sad beginning of my last day I took Colleen and Lee for a walk along the beach and introduced them to everybody: “Hola, these are the new ones!” I told everybody about Piggy and warned them to watch out for their animals. Back in Germany, I sent Colleen and Lee a list of all the animals, with photos and data of received or still needed treatments, places where they could be found, names and phone numbers of the people looking after them and a list of those that should be spayed and neutered at the next opportunity. By now I have received already several times news from “my beach”: Colleen and Lee are doing a great job there and enjoy it very much. Thank you, Colleen and Lee! You are making me very happy!