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Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 01, 2019 (SKNIS): On July 30, the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (RUSVM) in partnership with animal-care community groups opened the first animal rescue center in the Federation, the Basseterre Animal Rescue Center (BARC).

Deputy Prime Minister, the Honourable Shawn Richards, commended the pioneers and members  
who have immersed themselves “in one of the greatest initiatives relative to animal rescue in the Federation.”

The Deputy Prime Minister stated that the animal rescue center is undeniably appropriate and timely from a local and cultural context.

“Indeed animal activists can be proud and can boast about an undertaking such as this that would help to bridge the gap of disharmony between humans and animals,” he said. “Undoubtedly this establishment is teamed with persons who have shown a vested interest in showing care and concern for animals.”

Deputy Prime Minister Richards said that persons across the diaspora are still unaware of the realities of animal cruelty on a regional and global scale.

“Some persons are devoid of emotions for animals while others are merely lacking in understanding of the value that animals’ diversity adds to our societies,” he said.

He added that it is known that many animals are abandoned and subsequently become endangered “as they are left to suffer the onslaught of the weather elements, other animals and uncaring humans on a daily basis.”

“It is on this premise that I further re-emphasize how meaningful and urgent an initiative this animal rescue centre is in our Federation.

It was noted that the Basseterre Animal Rescue Centre has the potential to make a significant imprint in the country’s history.

The Deputy Prime Minister paid homage to American Veterinarian Dr. Karen Smith and National of Saint Kitts and Nevis Mala Western for their foresight back in 2000 when they established the People for Animal Welfare On St Kitts (PAWS), which had a prime focus on changing the way in which animals were treated in St Kitts and decreasing the population of unwanted pets through surgical sterilization and education.

BARC will offer a safe and caring environment for abused and neglected animals, adoption services, population control services through surgical sterilization, education for new and existing pet owners about how to be responsible and caring pet owners, and raise awareness of animal cruelty. 

The Minister said that these are very honourable goals and thanked PAWS for the vision and the Basseterre Animal Rescue Centre for making the animal shelter a reality.

“I look forward to the realization of all of the goals of PAWS and for greater sensitization about animal care in the Federation,” said Deputy Prime Minister Richards.  

The first building includes an examination room, reception area and pavilion that will be used to host community programmes. A second building, opening later this year, will house kennels and an additional examination room.

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