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Pawsitive Service To Barbados The Green Monkey of Barbados ISSUE 3 | ANIMAL TALK | 1



OFF THE HOOF 4 The Horse Whisperer 7 Nature Fun Ranch

WAGGING TAILS 8 Pawsitive Service to Barbados 10 Hey, I Need Love Too 11 Heat Stroke & Dogs

AQUATIC LIFE 12 Building A Koi Pond CARIB WILD 16 The Green Monkey of Barbados FEATHERED FRIENDS 18 Tee Tee & Moss PURRFECT CATS 20 The Persian-Shiraz 21 Cat Facts

ASK THE VET 22 The Acupuncture Alternative SPOTLIGHT ON 24 Dorin Boyce & Woodbourne Kennels CHILDREN’S CORNER 26 Gracie and The Black Belly Sheep 27 Word Search and Quiz Time

LIFE AT THE SANCTUARY 28 Carriacou Animal Hospital 30 Humane Society of Dominica 31 Taking your Dog to the Beach


32 Useful Numbers: Vets, Horse Dentist, Shelters, Kennels and Transporation


Published by Managing Editor Art Director & Designer Copy Editor Advertising Sales Contributing Writers Guest Contributors

Jewel Enterprises Gail Jewel Hunte Sian In Design Inc. Christine Fell Gail Jewel Hunte Gail Jewel Hunte, Karen Stiell, Wayne Norville, Laura Hutchinson, Mitchel Hird, Roseanna Tudor Barbados Wildlife Reserve, Corey Lane & Esther Austin Photograpy Peter Hinds , Distribution Robert Chung Printers Printed in the UK by The Magazine Printing Company using only paper from FSC/PEFC suppliers Special Thanks To Our advertisers for choosing to promote their products in Animal Talk. Our guest, and regular writers whose articles are always great, Sian, Christine, Robert and Peter for your hard work.

Contact Us:

Animal Talk welcomes your feedback so please email us sharing your thoughts and ideas at:

Advertising Sales:

To advertise in Animal Talk Magazine, please email Gail Jewel Hunte at: Cover Photography by: Peter Hinds

Pawsitive Service To Barbados The Green Monkey of Barbados

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Animal Talk makes every effort to ensure accuracy but cannot be held responsible for errors and omissions. The content is strictly informational. You are therefore advised to speak with a registered veterinarian or qualified professional for all matters relating to your pets and other animals. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior written permission from the publisher. 2 | ANIMAL TALK | ISSUE 3

Animal Welfare Rocks! 2017 was a great year in helping spread the message on the importance of animal welfare in Barbados. The Animal Control Centre, along with a group of animal lovers, that included vets, dog trainers, The Ark Animal Welfare Society and the RBPF Canine Unit, held an outreach at Carter’s in Wildey in October 2017 for Animal Week (special thanks to Carter’s for sponsoring the event). 2017 also saw the start of Animal Craze, a weekly radio talk show about animal welfare. The series is aired Tuesdays at 7pm on the Beat 104.1 and podcasted. Animal welfare is always a top priority for The Ark Animal Welfare Society, Hope Sanctuary, Barbados RSPCA, K9 Friends, The Mariyzayra Sanctuary and The HORSE Charity, who all continue to rescue and save the lives of animals in Barbados, and we are eternally grateful for their transformative work. We also want to acknowledge all the volunteers and special individuals who help animals. Dorin Boyce who manages the magnificent Woodbourne Boarding Kennels in St. Philip, is a stalwart animal advocate who is not afraid to “tell it like it is” when it comes to animal welfare. Animal Talk (AT) caught up with her at Woodbourne, where she generously took time out to talk with us about her work, and even pose for a photo or two. But animals also look out for human welfare. From national security, through to helping heal the broken soul after the trauma of war. So, it was a privilege for AT to interview Sergeant Moore and his team at the District A Police, Canine Section. You can learn about the work these dogs do in the Wagging Tails section of this issue. It was also great meeting Tee Tee and Moss, two beautiful Amazon Parrots along with their owner, Rastafarian Martin Felix. He had a fascinating story to tell about these birds that he loves so much. Their feature is in Feathered Friends. Earlier last year, AT connected with the Humane Society of Dominica before the devastating hurricane. Read about the incredible work the Society does to help animals in Dominica in Life At The Sanctuary, as we continue to pray that Dominica comes back stronger than before. All this and more awaits you.

Gail Jewel Hunte

Christine Fell

Copy Editor

After living in Barbados from 2012-2014 where she volunteered at The Ark, Christine Fell moved back to Canada and now calls Torbay in Newfoundland, Canada, her home. She is an excellent proof reader with years of experience. Christine is also passionate about animal welfare and about promoting the cause.

Sian Pampellonne Designer

Owner of Sian In Design Inc., an advertising studio that provides bespoke creative solutions across a wide range of industries with strategic marketing insight. As an Expressionist painter, her signature style, vivid colours and fresh interpretation is reflective of her world view. f/i: sianpampellonneartist / sianindesign •

Dr. Laura Hutchinson Writer Wayne Norville Writer Dr. Laura Hutchinson, DVM esmt CVA, and owner of Trinity Vets, is a veterinarian, and is also certified in the specialist areas of Equine Sports Massage Therapy and Veterinary Acupuncture. Listen to her on Morning Barbados as part of a series on animal care.

Mitchel Hird Writer

Wayne Norville, joined the RSPCA at 13. He’s won many awards, including the Silver Medal from the RSPCA in England and Community awards in Barbados. Over the years Wayne has saved hundreds of animal lives making him a real champion and hero to animals.

Karen Stiell Writer

Karen Stiell is a mother, writer and novelist. Originally from the UK, she now lives in Grenada and is one of the organizers of Grenada Sailing Week. Karen especially loves the different species of wildlife found in the Caribbean.

Roseanna Tudor Writer

Roseanna Tudor is a champion for animal rights, and has been recognized for her community work by the Lions Club. She has a particular interest in the work of Service Animals, and how these special animals help people in so many different ways.

To learn more about all the contributors for this issue, please LIKE us on facebook: Animal-Talk-Barbados

Mitchel Hird is a Marine, and Freshwater Biologist who has a special love of Koi fish. He operates Select Nishikigoi, a Japanese Koi Store in Barbados and offers design consultancy on large scale Pond and Aquarium Displays. ISSUE 3 | ANIMAL TALK | 3


Written By Esther Austin


The Horse

There is a beautiful exchange when I conduct my sessions with horses, of authentically giving and receiving, and I feel as if I am caught up in a wave of bliss, and often spend hours just being in their presence talking to them. As a practitioner, this is a truly healing and therapeutic experience and one that I prize and treasure. To be able to connect with horses always gives me a sense of wonderment and excitement because what you see and sense with them is what you get.

Animal Communication can be expressed as the means to connect with and exchange thoughts, feelings and opinions with the animals around us. I became aware that I could communicate and feel horses on a spiritual, physical and emotional level some three years ago. This came about as I was delivering an Intuitive Reading to someone over the phone, when halfway through I was asked if I could tune into her horse, Shamus, and find out what was wrong with him. I was a little taken aback at first because I had never consciously tuned into an animal before even though I was and had always felt them and connected with them: it was just something that was innate in me. I remember questioning myself as I was being asked to tune into this animal from a professional perspective, and I wondered how I could possibly verify and confirm what I was picking up and feeling from the animal. I began, and as I intuitively connected to this particular horse, the feeling was one of deep interconnectedness, a sense of knowing who he was: I felt his pain and sensed his anxiety and distress, and it was deep and powerful The horse offered information about how he was feeling, what he needed, past experiences and how those had and maybe still were impacting on him on an emotional and physical level. I felt such an incredibly strong pull into this animal’s most inner-most and personal space, and as I sensed him more I noticed a depth in his rich dark eyes which held so many secrets, pain and things he wanted to communicate.

After this experience I decided to find out more about animal communication and came across a few short courses by James French on Animal Communication. I gained valued insights and knowledge on how to effectively communicate with horses more, and learned how animal communication was a great way for people to transform their lives and understand themselves better. The Trust Technique taught me how to support animals to the point that they would trust me so that healing could commence.

The Process Of Communicating I bring my mind into a very calm state, almost like that of subtle meditation. Once my mind is calm I am then able to connect and communicate with the animal on their level. During healing, sometimes I place my hands on the animal and walk around them. I pick up messages about what’s going on inside them physically, mentally and socially. The healing takes place on a very deep level often resulting in an animal’s pain or discomfort disappearing. The reason I’d been asked to communicate with Shamus was because he was exhibiting signs of irrational emotional behaviour. These were experienced by the owner when Shamus was non-responsive, not allowing her near to him, and when he didn’t mix well with the other horses. He also exhibited a stance of being rejected. Upon tuning into Shamus, I discovered he had been ill-treated by a previous owner, creating trust issues. He also had stomach upsets triggered by his distrust, which had brought on stress and in the process a vet had discovered that he was allergic to some of the food he was being fed. I also picked up that ISSUE 3 | ANIMAL TALK | 5


The Horse Whisperer some of his nervousness was due to him being in a fire a few years previously, which the owner confirmed. Shamus and his owner were also reflecting some of each other’s feelings and behaviours to each other. After the first session of animal communication with Shamus, the owner noted a marked improvement, reporting that Shamus was much calmer, more responsive and she was able to ride him more. They were both learning to build back trust with each other. There was still a lot more work to do with Shamus but this was the first positive step of change. “Mum who looks after Shamus while I am back in Banbury has seen a huge difference in him and says he seems so much more comfortable with his body. So I cannot wait for you to come again. You have such a way with horses, how you approach and touch them is so correct it’s like you have always been round horses.” - Horse Trainer

Continued from Page 6

I share Shamus story, to present to you that animals have feelings just like humans. “Horses themselves are highly emotional creatures. In a herd, they literally experience what seems to be a united nervous system. When something startles a herd, there is no time to communicate the need to flee by anything other than the reactive nervous system. Instinct takes over because conscious thought is too slow, so instinct and feeling are everything. This is precisely why horses buy into the emotional imbalances of other horses, as well as their riders and handlers… When you learn how to become your horse’s leader, he will ignore everything else and only focus on being in harmony with you as his leader.” - Linda Parelli Shamus was exhibiting signs of anxiety and fear which were representative of what his owner was going through - she had difficulty expressing and believing in herself, which showed up in her not

trusting people and living life from a place of deep fear and limitation. Once I had worked on Shamus energetically, he was able to shed some of those symptoms and his relationship between himself and the owner got better, but I also had to do some work on the owner too. We build bonds with our animals and those connections usually intertwine themselves in some way in our lives. Signs that alert us to how a horse or other animal is feeling may include: • Stance • Positioning of their ears • Posture • Changes in behaviour/personality The beauty of animal communication is that it allows the animal to express itself, knowing it is understood. The animal’s needs are met, resolved, transformed and healed so that they can operate better, more efficiently, productively and also enjoy a better quality of life.

Esther Austin is an Intuitive Healer, Empowerment Speaker, Talk Show, Lifestyle Presenter, Animal Communication Practitioner (has worked with animals in India, Barbados, the UK) and a Person-ality Image and Dress Style Consultant. Her passion and remit is transforming, empowering and facilitating healing in lives. She is mother of two young men and a grand-mother. Esther has often been called eccentric because of her spontaneous and adventurous outlook on life and is definitely a non-conformist. She loves being out in nature and is very much into health, well-being and fitness and has a passion for horses. For further information or to book a consultation contact Esther Austin on: •


Social learning theory clearly states that individuals learn from observing their environment; hence to achieve a positive behaviour, a person should be a part of a positive environment.

’ Written By Corey Lane

Nature Fun Ranch (NFR) runs a holistic developmental programme for youth who are at risk of being ostracised by general society, and uses animals to positively influence their behaviour. Most ranchers (youth) when initially introduced to the program display a sense of apprehension especially when they realize that nature, including a variety of animals, will be their new teacher. The experience can be somewhat overwhelming because it requires them to tap into skills that can be considered unorthodox due to their lived experiences. These experiences include drug use and abuse, school drop outs, gambling, violence, recidivist, dysfunction in the home and hopelessness.

stables, exercising the animals and learning to ride. This phenomenon is usually extremely surprising to parents and guardians, of whom in many instances, never witnessed these softer skills of their children or wards.

With this background, NFR has made available a natural serene environment consisting of horses, fish, birds and sheep to name a few. We believe animals can serve as important sources of social and emotional support, areas which are critical to NFR programming.

Research has shown that bonding with animals can lower a person’s blood pressure, slow down the heart rate, regulate breathing. All of which are signs of reduced stress. Therefore, it is also clear the health benefits of using animals within a holistic youth centered developmental programme.

Most of the ranchers’ interaction is with the horses of which they quickly establish close bonds. As a consequence they dedicate tremendous time to feeding, grooming, cleaning

Email:, to learn more about the work at the NFR

Moreover, due to the mentorship component of NFR, ranchers are mentored by other ranchers within their similar age grouping. These mentors assist in the reinforcement of further skills such as respect for property, selflessness, compassion for others, empathy, communication and general self-control. All of these skills are a result of the newfound love for the animals.



Pawsitive Service To Barbados

Written By Roseanna Tudor

” I knew this was going to be a morning well spent as when I’m around animals, especially dogs, there is no second guessing what my demeanor will be like for the rest of the day… exhilarating.” Had it not been for “Alfie”, the gun would probably not have been discovered. His partner Constable Kemar Jordan, though experienced and qualified to respond and investigate the scene that warranted a search, was extremely happy and fortunate that Alfie accompanied him that day. Once again, the Canine Branch of the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) not only celebrated the fact that another gun was off the streets, but was also convinced that the work of the well-trained Cocker Spaniel and the other Service Dogs of the Branch; absolutely enhances the quality and protection of the people that they serve in Barbados. Like many Barbadians I was unsure as to the exact nature of the work carried out by the dogs at RBPF Canine Branch. Most


of what the average person is aware of is the precision and dexterity of their training displayed at Police Tattoos and on special Occasions where their commanding presence helps keeps crowds under control when needed. However, having been exposed to the service and lifesaving skills that dogs provide to humans, especially persons with disabilities, I had to find out more about our local four-legged service providers. Living on an island conjures up this idyllic setting of palm trees swaying and gentle waves rolling along the beach and the thought of any criminal activity seems remote. However, in the real world of which Barbados is a part of; protecting its citizens and visitors from the multitude of criminal elements in society, falls right into the hands and paws of the Royal

Barbados Police Force. A pair of those trusting hands belong to Sergeant Jerry Moore, ably supported by his trusted partner with paws “Rem”, and before we ventured out to the kennels where the dogs were housed, I learnt a bit more about Sgt. Jerry Moore. In 2001, when Sgt. Moore was asked if he would be interested in joining the Canine Unit, he had already had a love for dogs so it was not such a hard decision to make. To this day, Sgt. Moore admits that it has been his most favored post within the RBPF. Speaking about “Rem”, his pride and joy, you would think he was speaking about his son. This close relationship with his dog was a pattern I soon discovered among Sgt. Moore’s other colleagues in the Unit. All of the dogs at the Canine Unit are “specialty dogs” comprising two breeds; German Shepherds and Spaniels, and their handlers I imagine are a special breed of human to these dogs. The Spaniels being excellent sniffer dogs are trained to detect firearms and drugs as well as explosives. The German Shepherds are more of a hybrid, more commonly referred to as the attack dog. This is the type of dog that the public would most often see being used in public to control crowds or when faced with a search situation. This Branch is a well organised and trained Unit where the entire team work together when presented with any given situation. The Spaniels that detect firearms or drugs are used mostly at the ports of entry into Barbados. However, they are also used on search warrants of residences and facilities where it is suspected that drugs and firearms may be present. If a situation presented a likely altercation where for instance a potential criminal element is hiding in a field or building, and the Team has to search, apprehend and arrest a suspect, the Shepherds are the Unit’s partner of choice. Their ability to attack and their strength would be the required tools needed to bring down this type of threat. Sgt. Moore quickly pointed out that the Unit would typically use the non-lethal method of apprehending first, which are the dogs. Failing this and the situation warrants, they would then have to resort to other weapons they were trained to use.

In almost all the cases where drugs and ammunitions are discovered, the dogs are the important ‘tool’ used to discover the illegal items. This was the case just the day before my visit where the Unit scored a victory when “Alfie” was able to sniff and retrieve a gun that his human partner Constable Jordan would most likely have missed. This is why the entire Unit cannot underscore enough the importance of their ‘four legged partners’ and the fact that these dogs work equally or even harder than their human counterparts. With ages ranging from nine months to fourteen months, they each give no less than eight years service unless an illness is presented. Then the dog will retire early. One other member of the Unit who is proud to be the first female pacesetter to work in the Canine Section since 1999 is Sgt. Donna Codrington. She has known the support and love of three dogs since being assigned to her current partner “Jako” who is dual trained; meaning he can work on general assignments as well as explosives and detection. Sgt. Codrington explained that like her colleagues she has full responsibility for the care of her dogs on a daily basis and develops a strong bond with them. Like her colleagues, Sgt. Codrington finds her job fulfilling and would like the public to be more aware of dogs as more than just “an alarm system” for their homes. Yes they are amazing at protecting and defending their owners, but they do have very strong emotional needs similar to those of their human counterparts. Like Service Animals around the world, the dogs of the Canine Unit of the RBPF have a special relationship with their ‘User’ and each dog ‘belongs’ to that one person. The dogs are specially trained to work under-command from only their ‘User’, but the ‘User’ must learn to interact with all of the dogs, in case one of them happens to be off duty or for some other reason. The untold stories of how these amazing dogs protect us are too many, and obviously classified to be included in this article. However, Rem, Jako and Alfie along with their team, have proven that their service to Barbados is far more than a “bark”. The RBPF Canine Unit uses two types of dogs: Spaniels and German Shepherds. Contact the Canine Unit to learn more about these breeds and the work ISSUE they 3 | do. ANIMAL TALK |




Imagine you’re trapped in a confined space with no room to stretch or stand properly. Your muscles ache, and due to poor circulation you have pins and needles in your legs. You feel hot, irritable and bored, as you do not have much contact with anyone, except at meal times and for your cramped space to be cleaned. Each day you wake up hopeful that things will change, you have a big heart and so much love to give, but no one loves you back. I think we can all agree that to live such a life would be miserable, but this is what some of us to do with our pets. There is another way! Make it a regular practice to take your dog for early morning or evening walks or schedule playtime in the yard. It’s a great way for both of you to get exercise, and to make it fun, the whole family can join in. It is such an enjoyable experience and mood lifter, you’ll wonder why you never did it before, and your dog will love it! Dogs who are not given the opportunity to ‘be dogs’ are at greater risk of developing behavioural problems such as excessive barking and aggression. We all have different lifestyles, not everyone wants their dog on the bed with them. This doesn’t mean that we can’t show love in other ways, so develop a more loving relationship with your pet and find your own unique ways to build trust and loyalty with your canine friend.


Written By Gail Hunte

Do you have a funny story about your dog you would like to share? Email:


Living in a hot climate means we have to find ways to keep our pets cool, and to know the signs to watch for if our dogs are affected by the heat.

Signs Of Heat Stroke

• Panting / Dehydration • Excessive drooling • Increased body temperature above 103° F (39° C) • Shock • Reddened gums and moist tissues • Small amounts of urine or no urine • Sudden (acute) kidney failure and organ dysfunctions • Rapid heart rate/Irregular heart beat • Vomiting, which can have blood in it • Black Tarry Stools (may be blood) • Muscle Tremors • Wobbly uncoordinated movements • Unconsciousness

Risk Factors

• Previous history of heat-related disease • Age extremes (very young, very old) • Heat intolerance • Thick Coat • Obesity • Poor heart/lung conditioning/ Underlying heart or lung disease • Thyroid problems (hyperthyroidism) • Short-nosed, flat-faced (breeds • Ingestion of poisons • Excessive exertion such as intense exercise or walks during the day • Dehydration, insufficient water intake, restricted access to water

Keeping Your Dog Cool

• Provide cool water for your dog • Provide shade for your dog • Invest in a kiddy’s pool and fill with cool water for your dog • Walk your dog early morning or late evening • Dogs do not sweat and keep cool by panting. Watch for signs of dehydration • Let your dog dig to keep cool • NEVER leave your dog unattended in a vehicle • Trim long coats regularly • Give your dog a frozen vegetable smoothie with dog treats blended in



Building a

Koi Pond

Natural ponds are complex ecosystems where everything is in balance. Whether you want a dedicated Koi pond or a water garden with plants like water lilies, essentially you are aiming to mimic nature. Remember the pond isn’t a sterile chlorinated swimming pool, it’s a living environment which must provide for the needs of its inhabitants, as well as being aesthetically pleasing. Build your pond right and you will be rewarded with years of enjoyment, a fascinating hobby and a relaxing sanctuary in your back yard. Build it wrong and you will have yourself an expensive, smelly, sludge filled hole. To avoid creating a pond where only cane 12 | ANIMAL TALK | ISSUE 3

Written By: Mitchel Hird

toads and mosquitoes flourish there are some important rules to follow:

Concrete or Liner

A well-built concrete pond is best, it will last longer, looks better, is easier to clean and won’t puncture... however the key point here is “well built”. The concrete and steel reinforcement must be correctly specified and professionally installed. The concrete, mortar and block pour should all contain a good quality water proofer, suitable for use with fish. The finished pond must be leached to remove the harmful lime that seeps out of new concrete for at least a few weeks prior to the final filling and stocking with fish. A liner is a more economical alternative and

There is a Barbadian saying “yuh can’t start wrong and end right” this is particularly true when you build a pond.

great results are possible, as long as it is carefully installed. With just a little care during cleaning and maintenance a liner will last for many years. I always recommend liners made of EPDM, specifically those made for ponds. This is the same material your car inner tubes are made from so it is tough, durable. Preparation is important as any sharp rocks left underneath can pierce the liner when the water is added.


The pond is meant to be an attractive feature and so its location and design are important. Ponds fall into two main categories – Formal and Informal. Formal ponds can be at ground level, or can be raised. They have geometric

shapes - circles, squares and rectangles, resulting in clean architectural lines which compliment classical or modern house designs. Informal Ponds are more natural in appearance and freeform in shape. They should blend seamlessly with the natural environment giving the impression that they were always there. Boulder edging (artificial or natural) and lots of plants are useful in softening these designs.

Location, Location, Location

Choose carefully and understand the impact your location will have on the pond. Look at the levels of your chosen site, a sloped site is ideal for a waterfall but may mean part of the pond will need a raised edge. Consider how the pond will look from the house and patios. Reflected light coming from the pond can cause a nuisance shining in through an office window or it can create beautiful reflections. A good tip is use a mirror laid on the ground to see how this will look. Remember your pond will need access to electricity and water supplies, so think about how these will be provided. Falling leaves: A shady spot under trees has advantages but falling fruit, flowers and leaves can be a maintenance headache. ISSUE 3 | ANIMAL TALK | 13


sloped bottom with a pond bottom drain, or recess, at the deepest point. This is where the external pumps suction or a submersible pump should be located. The sloped bottom encourages fish waste and sludge towards the pump where it can be removed. Building a pond without a bottom drain is a bit like building a bathtub without a plug hole – a bad idea! Other features that can enhance the way the pond works are surface skimmers, which keep the waters surface free of floating leaves and dust. Water jets are also a useful way of carrying the clean water back to the pond from the filter, whilst producing a helpful current that can be used to push sludge and debris back towards the bottom drain.

Building a Koi Pond

Equipment Continued from Page 13

Toxins: Caution should be taken when locating a fish pond in an area that needs routine chemical treatment – slug pellets, weed killer, cleaning products, termite treatments and insecticides will kill fish. Some plants are also toxic to fish. Sun or shade: Sunlight is critical if you want to grow water plants but it will also encourage green water and algae, which may mean more maintenance. Ponds in sunny locations will need an extra piece of equipment called an Ultraviolet sterilizer to control the green water and keep the water clear. A shaded location can be more pleasant to sit and enjoy the pond, shaded ponds are less likely to have green water and algae problems. There are many ways of providing shade – Gazebos, shade sails or Palm trees provide excellent shade and drop few leaves. Wind: This will increase evaporation and can play havoc with fountains and waterfalls causing water to splash outside the pond. Flooding - siting your pond in a low-lying area makes it vulnerable to flooding. Floodwater carries pollution, mud fertilizers and pesticides into your pond. A flood prone area will mean a raised edge might be necessary.


The heart of the pond is the filtration system, which removes the toxins produced by the fish and keeps the water clear— a water pump, filter system and an air pump are the basic components of your pond’s life support system. Other equipment like underwater lighting and automatic feeders are optional. Better quality equipment is an investment in your future enjoyment of the pond. It will be more reliable, energy efficient and easy to maintain. That is not to say a homemade filter cannot work. However, for the average person they tend to be unreliable and hard work to maintain. There are a vast array of filters and pumps on the market, and there are a lot of manufacturers producing cheap equipment with slick marketing that fails to live up to the hype. This is definitely an area where you need to do your research. It is important you find a good source of professional advice. Research your options and find a local supplier you can trust. Make sure they can explain exactly how the equipment works and the pros and cons of your different choices. They should be able to help you calculate the volume of your pond and advise you on the right equipment to match your situation.

Plan and Budget

It is important that the pond is easy to maintain and provides an environment in which your fish can thrive. Consider the running costs, a pond will need a pump and filtration system which must run 24/7, so choose energy efficient models that work properly on Barbados power supplies.

The most successful and enjoyable ponds are those that are carefully planned, which in itself can be exciting and fun. When planning your pond, budget for the best filter you can afford... better a smaller pond with an adequate filter than a big pond with an inadequate one. Take your time and get as much information as you can before doing anything.

Another question we are often asked is how deep? Too shallow and the water heats up too quickly, too deep and you will have to upgrade your filter systems to cope with a larger volume of water. Two to three feet is a good compromise.

A beautiful Japanese Koi pond will provide years of enjoyment, add value to your property and provide you and your family with a relaxing environment to enjoy. A little planning will go a long way to ensuring a great result.

The functional design of the pond is often overlooked but is key to how the pond operates. Ideally there should be a


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Green Monkey of Barbados Article Provided By The Barbados Wildlife Reserve

Over the last fifty years, the focus on the island of Barbados shifted towards promoting a strong tourism sector causing sugar production to significantly decrease and plantations to almost disappear. With limited plantations, monkeys have found themselves leaving the gullies and making their way into our gardens.

A Brief History

In the mid-17th century, monkeys came from West Africa to the Caribbean on slave ships and were later sold as exotic pets. However, many were later released into the wild by their owners and quickly became seen as agricultural pests so that by 1680 a bounty of five shillings was given by the government for every head delivered to a parish church warden. Over the next hundred years, the monkey population stabilised, and monkeys lived mainly in the gullies of the island’s four most northern parishes, which at the time had a more limited population. The gullies were used for cutting firewood and as marginal lands for growing produce and fruit trees. By the 1950’s however, with the advent of kerosene and a reduced need for firewood, the abandoned gullies soon became re-forested. This offered a protected environment where monkeys flourished, as food was never a limiting factor with the nearby availability of crops such as sugar cane, (mainly on plantations).

Monkeys and Agriculture

For farmers, monkeys pose an understandable threat to their livelihoods and there are many farmers who experience moderate to severe crop losses. So, what can they do to discourage monkeys from their land? Scarecrows, noise repellants, and brightly coloured flags et al, are all good strategies but only work for a short period of time. This is because monkeys are highly intelligent and acclimate quickly, therefore making these strategies short-lived. Instead, how about planting fruit trees back in the gullies to encourage monkeys to stay closer to home or further away from your personal crops? Why not rethink the crops you plant and where? Consider planting foods less attractive to the monkey, close to their forested habitats which acts as a buffer and can help to minimize crop predation on the monkeys’ (and farmers) favourite foods. Also, in areas where the 16 | ANIMAL TALK | ISSUE 3

monkey population is most concentrated, why not try a different type of agricultural farming?

The Barbados Primate Research Center (BPRC) Over the last 35 years, the Center has been active in helping to control the monkey population. It has helped farmers and stopped the increase in the numbers of monkeys on the island. Several surveys with farmers all over the island have confirmed the amount of crop damage and estimates of the monkey population to be decreasing. This is great news, but to stop the overall increase in the number of monkeys, an average of 1,000 monkeys a year are captured humanely by the Center, using self-triggering cages which farmers are instructed to bait every day. Captured monkeys are euthanised humanely by the Center’s veterinarians so that specific organs can be harvested and sent overseas to be used by organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), for the safety testing of polio vaccines. (Since 1988, there has been a decrease of polio cases by more than 99 per cent. Since this disease is highly contagious with no cure, prevention is the only permanent solution. Without complete eradication, the WHO has calculated that the next ten years could see as many as 200,000 cases of polio per year!) *The green monkeys’ organs have also been critical for the manufacture of autoimmune diagnostic kits.


The Barbados Wildlife Reserve was created at the same time as the Primate Center, and has helped change the image of monkeys as pests into seeing them as a natural renewable wildlife resource that can be managed sustainably. The Reserve is comprised of two distinct forests and a gully. Three distinct monkey social groups are provisioned daily and allow visitors to appreciate the green monkeys of Barbados behaving in a natural way in their own habitats. Over the years, many other animals have been introduced in the Reserve especially birds, tortoises, deer and threatened Cuban iguanas. Barbadians see more monkeys than before since the animals have changed their foraging patterns from raiding plantations to attacking the crops on smaller gardens. They are still considered as agricultural pests but survey after survey has shown that the overall population size has remained largely the same. The green monkeys of Barbados, as well as those in St. Kitts and Nevis, are unique in many ways, having adapted to small islands and growing human populations. Islands all over the world are notoriously poor in fauna where extinctions happen more frequently, so it is important to protect our wildlife. We are, after all, the stewards. AT: If you are experiencing challenges with monkeys on your land or property, aggressive retaliations rarely works and can be dangerous to you, your family and pets. It has also been said that ignoring them works best as eventually they learn to take what they need and believe it or not, still leave enough for you.

FAST FACTS • The Green Monkey of Barbados can live to an average of 12 years, and up to 30 in captivity • Babies are born after 165 days gestation and appear blue. They do not have thick fur like adults but as they mature, the fur grows thicker and changes colour • Adults have brown and grey thick fur with yellow and olive-green flecks • Their hands and feet are paler than the rest of their bodies • The tail tip, back of the thighs, and cheek whiskers are a golden yellow. In certain lights the monkey can appear to be totally green • The monkeys have a black face • Males have a pale blue scrotum • Their favourite food is fruit such as the dunk, but they also eat nuts and seeds. If food is short they will eat bird eggs, lizards, mice and some insects • They generally live in groups of fifteen to twenty • Within a family group, males gain their dominance by their size, strength and their ability to fight. Females get their rank by the size of their families and generally have their first baby around the age of five • An older female sibling will care for a newborn, forming strong family bonds • Most infants are born during April and May • From June to November they travel, eat, and drink from seven until eleven in the morning, and spend their afternoons resting in trees, and grooming. Grooming removes parasites and is a form of social bonding. May to December is when food is scarcer for the monkeys • Their main defense mechanism is their loud staccato barking and quick movements • They use different sounds to communicate to each other The Barbados Wildlife Reserve continues to attract locals and visitors to the island, and has been voted as one of the most popular attractions on the island by Zagat (2008). Contact them to learn more about the conservation work they are doing and to arrange school and group visits. ISSUE 3 | ANIMAL TALK | 17


Tee Tee &

Moss Written By Gail Hunte

Martin Felix is a well-known face by Independent Square, Bridgetown, Barbados, where he has a popular stall. However, Martin doesn’t work alone. On any given day, you will see two beautiful Amazon Parrots greeting customers with a friendly chirp.

TEE TEE: Martin acquired the female in 2015 and said he was initially scared of her when they first met. “She was keeping a lot of noise.” But he still took the plunge. “I bought her from her previous owner, took her home and started to free her up.” Martin named her Tee Tee after the first part of his nickname and got into some serious bonding. He spent a lot of time talking to her and feeding her and things were going great until one day when she got away. Tee Tee was gone for three days but on the third day Martin saw her in a tree near to his home. Acting fast, Martin got a nectarine from his house and went back out and called Tee Tee. Perhaps because they’d reached a certain level of trust, she flew straight to him. Tee Tee who is 4 years-old, is now learning to talk, and Martin explains it “takes two years for them to learn to start to speak.” One early morning Tee Tee surprised him with her first words when he came home by asking him ‘what happened?’ Martin smiled and replied, “What happened like what?” From there, every morning Martin would say “Morning”, until one day she replied with a polite ‘Morning Martin.’ She has a calm personality and will perch on anyone’s shoulder, but she isn’t too keen on being handled. This is not to say she isn’t friendly, just that she has boundaries. Martin says “she has my heart.”

MOSS: Martin acquired the male parrot Moss a little later after Tee Tee. Moss who is 10, has part of Martin’s nickname just like Tee Tee, and also couldn’t resist escaping when Martin was first bonding with him. Only unlike Tee Tee, he was gone for 2 months. However, he made an appearance every day and would bring his bird friends along. When he showed up, Martin said Moss “would holler from outside,” and Tee Tee would shout “Martin, Martin” to alert him. Eventually Moss came back for good, but Martin has to watch him as he does like to roam if given the chance. Moss is friendly and has a more out-going personality than his female counterpart, and Martin says that when he perches on someone, “he’s going to want to go here and there, and he loves to be touched. You just have know he isn’t going to stay in one place on your body.” Moss has also learned to mimic the fowl cocks that come into Martins yard, so much so that unless you see Moss making the noise you’d be mistaken that it was indeed a fowl cock.



The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora treaty has made the capture of wild parrots for the pet trade illegal in an attempt to help protect wild populations. - genus Amazona

ONE HAPPY FAMILY: The three of them spend a lot of time together and the birds will even go into the yard with Martin and eat breakfast together. Martin would like them to bond and says they “kiss and groom each other. But even if they don’t mate I just love them.” AT: Amazon Parrots because of their high intelligence need lots of toys, such as swings and plenty of stimulation. They also need cages which are large enough for them to be able to fly and stretch their wings comfortably.

• Originate from South America, Mexico and the Caribbean • Predominantly green, with accenting colors that depend on the species • Can live up to 50-60 years • Can grow up to 18” in length from the beak to the ends of the tailfeathers • Feed primarily on seeds, nuts, and fruits • Remarkable ability to mimic speech and other sounds • Often called ‘the life of the party’ because of their huge personalities • Love to bathe and enjoy singing



The -

(Felis Catus) “Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea”. — Robert A. Heinlein


Written By: Gail Hunte The actual origins of the Persian cat are unclear with some stating they existed in Persia (Iran) for thousands of years. While others say these feline beauties originated from Western Europe. We do know that a famous Italian Nobleman, Pietro della Valle, journeyed through the Middle East during the 1600s and at a bazaar in Khorasan, became enraptured by the beauty of the exotic long-haired gray cats that he saw, promptly bartering for them. However, since many merchant sailors traded goods back and forth between Europe, Africa, India and the Middle East, we still cannot be certain that they came first from the Middle East. In the late 1800s they were introduced to North America where they fast became popular, and in 1905 when the American Cat Fanciers Association was formed, Persians were one of the first breeds to be Shown. While even earlier than this in 1871 they were presented at the world’s first ever cat show in Crystal Palace, England.


Persians like most cats are loving and good natured, and make wonderful companion cats once you have gained their trust, as they love attention and give back to their owners. Ideally, they prefer a quiet peaceful environment where they love to relax on their owner’s lap or sun themselves on the window ledge. They have short legs and are not the most adventurous of climbers, preferring to keep their feet on the ground. Persians coats are long and require daily grooming so that they do not become matted. These cats are most suited to indoor life or a safe back garden that they cannot escape as they are gentle in nature and probably would not do well in a fight with another cat, or in defending themselves against a dog attack. Persians are prone to conditions such as: • Breathing difficulty or noisy breathing caused by constricted nostrils • Dental malocclusions, meaning the teeth don’t mesh well together • Excessive tearing of the eyes • Heat Sensitivity • They may also experience skin conditions such as ringworm (which is easily treatable)

Distinguishable by their beautiful silky coats, Persians come in a variety of patterns known as Divisions • Solid Division – The coat is one colour and the eyes are copper, unless the cat is ‘pristine’ white, where their eyes can be brilliant copper, deep blue, or a combination of one eye copper and the other blue • Silver & Golden Division – These include the chinchilla whose coat is the brightest white with just a sprinkling of black over the tail, legs, face and body. The silver and golden varieties have an ethereal beauty and their eyes are blue green rimmed with black • Shaded and Smoked Division – This version has variations of shell and shaded cameos that have red tips. The tortoiseshells have black tipping with patches of red tipped hairs, and the shell and shaded blue-creams have blue tipping with patches of cream tipped hair • Tabby Division – Comes in classic, mackerel and patched tabby varieties • Particolour Division - Consists of tortoiseshell, blue-cream, chocolate tortoiseshell and lilac-cream • Bi-Colour Divison – These are a blend of smoke and whites, and tabby and whites. Calicos (spotted) have white coats splashed with intense patches of red and black, wand and the calico is patched with blue and cream. The chocolate and lilac calicos have white coats splashed with vibrant patches of chocolate, red, lilac and cream • Himalayan Division – These come with the following Points; chocolate, seal, lilac, blue, red, cream tortie, blue-cream, chocolate-tortie, lilac-cream

CAT FACTS A cat’s nose print is as unique as a human’s finger print • Cats can run up to 5km/hr. That’s faster than Usain Bolt • Cats can hear ultrasound • Unlike human’s, cats can drink small amounts of seawater as their kidneys filter the salt • Cats are the most popular pet in the United States, and over 80% are spayed/neutered • A cat’s brain is 90% like a human’s • Cats have longer-term memory than dogs

Used with Permission from Carissa Altschul of the Cat Fancier Association (visit their website to learn more - ISSUE 3 | ANIMAL TALK | 21


Acupuncture Alternative THE

Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM), of which acupuncture is a branch, has been used by the Chinese for thousands of years to treat animals. Originally, in China it was used to treat agriculturally important animals such as cows, pigs and horses. In Western society, we mostly use it for domesticated animals such as dogs, cats and horses. Acupuncture has been quite effective in treating Musculo skeletal conditions such as back pain, osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease, neurological issues including nerve paralysis and wobblers syndrome, gastrointestinal and internal medicine conditions as well as behavioural problems. In addition, it can also be used as a form of preventative medicine. Other forms of alternative medicine such as spinal manipulation, herbal medicines and food therapy have been quite beneficial when used in conjunction with acupuncture. In theory, your entire body is covered in nerve endings, and stimulation of the selected points causes a change in the nervous system. This change may be specific to that area of the body, as with a muscle injury, or that acupuncture point may also be stimulatory to an associated internal organ. Studies have shown that 22 | ANIMAL TALK | ISSUE 3

stimulation with needles leads to increased circulation to the affected area, and the release of hormones such as endorphins, serotonin and cortisol which are some of the body’s natural pain control chemicals. In essence acupuncture assists the body in healing itself. HOW ACUPUNCTURE WORKS: The exterior of the body is covered in a series of 12 regular and 8 extraordinary channels known as meridians. These channels all have numerous acupuncture points along the way, and are the pathway for Qi (energy) and blood to circulate. If you imagine these meridians as the roads and highway system, then an injury can be equated to an accident that blocks the roads, preventing any further traffic (Qi and blood) from passing, and a traffic jam develops. This prevents any normal flow of energy to pass which the body needs to function, resulting in a swelling or discomfort in the tissue at the “accident site”. If it’s the highway then you have to wait for the accident to clear for relief as traffic can only flow one way, or you take a side road which means healing will be slower due to the longer road to travel. Acupuncture can thus be equated to the emergency services who come along and expedite the clearing of the accident and

Veterinary Acupuncture is defined as “the insertion of special needles into specific points on the body to produce a healing response”. Written By Dr. Laura Hutchinson returning function of the tissues to normal. A typical acupuncture session lasts 45 minutes and involves a complete examination and history taking, including the colour of the tongue and characteristics of the pulse, as well as determining the animal’s constitution or personality, and the degree of pain/ discomfort experienced by them. Once the acupuncture points to be used are selected and needles are placed, they may be further stimulated with a low frequency electrical pulse or heat through a moxa stick. Most animals will display some degree of relief after the first or second treatment, and recovery is dependent not only on the nature of injury but also on its cause and whether it was due to a bad habit. Acupuncture is a very safe procedure once it is carried out by a qualified acupuncturist. There have been very few side effects to therapy and it can be used on any age animal. The only conditions requiring caution are open wounds, fractured bones, pregnancy and infectious diseases. Ask the Vet a Question. Email:



Dorin Boyce

Woodbourne Kennels

Woodbourne Kennels in Barbados, is a beautiful vacation kennel for your beloved pets. Located in a lovely rural area, it is the perfect “getaway” for your dog. They also have a few rescued dogs that are always in need of kind and loving homes. AT met with Dorin Boyce one busy afternoon at Woodbourne Kennels and we were given a grand tour that left the lasting impression, of a safe, well run and peaceful place for dogs to stay. AT: How long has Woodbourne Kennels been in operation? Around 2008, after we realised there was a need for somewhere where people could board their pets when they were away. We started with eight kennels and now have twenty-six. AT: Are you the person responsible for the smooth running of the kennels? Yes, I manage all the kennels, and I have one girl that comes in and a couple of lads. I also rely on the help of volunteers. The Boarding helps us care for the rescues. We’re fortunate to have 24 | ANIMAL TALK | ISSUE 3

loyal repeat customers who come back to us all the time. AT: So you get repeat boarders? Yes we get a lot of repeat bookings and a lot of them come in at the same time. So, after the last two or three years the dogs have gotten to know each other. Several of them will come out together to play. AT: Do you get long-term boarders, such as when their owners go overseas on long trips? Most of the time it’s 3-4 weeks, but occasionally we will have some who are boarded for 8 weeks. AT: Who is that rather boisterous dog barking over there in that kennel? (A rather handsome pitbull is trying to get our attention) That’s Ollie the pitbull. He’d been tied

at the National Oil company fence for 5 days and nobody would go near him. He’s frightened of people, but not vicious and he has his seven best friends that he runs and plays with. AT: Do the rescue dogs usually form close bonds with other dogs? Oh yes. We socialise the dogs, and first thing every morning they have time to run and play together. Socialising is a very important part of what we do at Woodbourne. AT: Have you always been into dogs? I was a greyhound trainer back in England for about 17 years. It’s a lot of hard work. I kept studs and a greyhound dog is a puppy for 15 months, and then it’s a sapling until its 18 months and then provided it can chase, it can then be trained. So, it’s a long process

Mural of Rainbows Bridge at Woodbourne Boarding Kennels

of maturing for these dogs, and temperament and care is important. AT: When did you come to Barbados? I retired from the profession and came with my husband. Now I’m working harder, then I ever did back then (much laughter). AT: So, when you came here did you know you were going to get involved with dogs again? No. My husband and I bought the house and the lady who sold us the property had all these plots. I told her when she’s ready to sell to let me know. It was initially for the space. Then along with a business associate, we decided to build an animal center on the land. AT: What’s a typical day like for you? I usually start around 7am. It takes up until 10:30am to get everybody out and clean the kennels. We do this in stages. Then we have a coffee break and feed the dogs. I had a fall, so I can’t overdo it anymore and am grateful for the people that help me. AT: What about dogs that may have been abandoned? We have two dogs Lacey and Marlo that were found in an abandoned house with a litter of puppies. Someone took the litter of puppies away and she was left with a load of milk and a massive mammary tumour. We managed to have the tumour removed, she was

spayed, and the male was neutered and their lovely dogs. Why would anyone abandon them? We also get a lot of dogs like mastiffs that are skin and bone, which have been used as a breeding machine and then abandoned. AT: How can people adopt? They can call me, and I will do a homecheck to make sure the dog is suitable for the home. AT: Is there anything else you’d like to share? When dogs are lost on the island, the public don’t know what to do or how to report it. So, all the other animal charities like the Ark, The Hope, K9 Friends and the RSPCA now put photo’s up on their facebook pages, and there is the RSPCA lost and found. I want to encourage people to put a photograph of their lost dog or cat on one of these sites. We will network and help them to find their pets. But dogs need to be tagged so it’s easier to identify them. Also, if sadly a dog has been found after being hit by a car. The sanitation section who come for the dogs should have a register, so that if the dog has a tag or collar, the owners can have closure. There’s nothing worse than not knowing. We also have a few dogs that are buried, and we have our rainbow bridge mural, and plaques for all the dogs that have passed. Visit the facebook page at: Woodbourne Boarding Kennel

Rainbows Bridge Poem Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable. All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster. You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart. Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together. ­— Author unknown ISSUE 3 | ANIMAL TALK | 25


Gracie and the Black Belly Sheep Written By: Gail Hunte Gracie and her mom were taking a late afternoon walk through a field of butterflies. Gracie loved animals and was counting all the pretty butterflies she saw, when she heard a noise.

‘Baa. Baa. Baa!’ “Mom did you hear that?” Gracie pulled her mom’s hand in the direction of the noise. “I don’t hear anything Gracie. It’s just the wind.” Gracie’s Mom turned to go back. ‘Baa Baa!’ This time the sound was unmistakable.

“Mommy, it’s crying.” Gracie was almost crying herself.

Neem tree across the road, while we wait for the RSPCA,” her mom said gently.

“Okay, let us go and investigate,” Gracie’s mom agreed.

Gracie leaned over the well again. “You will be out soon,” she told the sheep.

The bleating grew louder as they approached some bushes near a well.

As if it understood, it gave a small bleat.

“Stand back Gracie.” Gracie’s mom leaned over the well.

“It’s a sheep bleating,” Gracie cried. “Gracie sheep always bleat. Come on let’s go home. The sheep will be fine.” Again, Gracie’s mom turned to go away.

Everything went silent. “Is it their Mom? Was I right?” Gracie leaned forward, peering into the dark well. Her hand flew to her mouth when she saw the sheep.


“What will we do? We can’t leave it.” Tears formed in Gracie’s big brown eyes.

The Scientific name for Sheep is Ovis Aries. A female sheep is called a Ewe and a male sheep is called a Ram. Sheep that are under a year old are called Lambs.

“I’m going to call the RSPCA and they will come and rescue it.” Her mom smiled. ‘They will?” Gracie’s heart leapt.

A group of sheep is called a Flock.

“Yes, the RSPCA rescue lots of animals, just like this poor sheep. You’ll see.”

Sheep have excellent smell and have scent glands in their eyes and under their feet.

Gracie’s mom called the RSPCA. She explained what had happened, and gave them directions to get to the well.

Contrary to popular belief sheep are intelligent and have the same IQ as a cow.

“It’s hot Gracie, come let us stand under the


Time passed and Gracie wondered if anyone was coming. Then at last she saw a van coming up the road with RSPCA written on it in big blue letters. ‘They’re here!” she shouted excitedly waving to the van. Two men got out. “Good afternoon” they both said. One of them stepped forward. “I hear you found a sheep in a well young lady. What’s your name?” The man asked kindly. ‘Gracie, and this is my mom,” Gracie smiled. “Hello,” Gracie’s mom said to the men. Right at that moment the sheep bleated. ‘Baa, Baa.’ Everyone laughed. “He’s telling us not to forget him,” one of the men grinned. The rescue began as Gracie watched anxiously. The men lowered a ladder and a thick rope into the well,

and one of the men climbed down. It looked dangerous and Gracie gasped as the ladder toppled from side to side. At last he reached the bottom and they could hear him talking to the sheep. ‘He’s talking to the sheep so that it will not be afraid when it is lifted up.” The other man explained to Gracie. The man in the well tied the rope securely around the sheep. “Ready,” the man shouted from the well. Inch by inch the other man lifted the sheep. It was a slow process as they didn’t want the sheep to knock against the side of the wall and hurt itself. Sweat ran down the men’s face from the effort. At last the sheep reached the top, when the sheep went tumbling half-way down.


What noise does the sheep make: Baaaa, Woof, Coo Coo?

What is the plural of sheep?

What is a female sheep called?

Baby sheep are called what?

Everyone gasped. Thankfully neither the men or the sheep were hurt, and they began again. At last the sheep reached the top, and the men pulled and shoved and heaved. “Hooray!” Gracie shouted as the sheep was freed. Running their hands over the body of the sheep they checked the sheep for injuries. Next, they walked it up and down to see if it was limping. By some miracle the sheep appeared to be fine.

Word Search

Can you find all 7 of the hidden words? Well • Sheep • Farm • Pasture • Butterfly • Ladder • Rope

“What will you do about the well?” Gracie didn’t want any more sheep falling into it. “We’ll see what can be done to get it covered,” one of the men smiled. “Gracie. Have you said thank you?” Her mom asked. “Oh Yes! Thank you for rescuing the sheep.” Gracie stroked its gentle face as it bleated. “Is there a farmer around here who might be missing a sheep?” One of the men asked, as it was getting late. “Yes. There is a man that lives up the road who owns sheep, it must be his.” Gracie’s mom pointed up the road. The sheep was taken back and reunited with the other sheep. It seemed he was missed as there was a loud chorus of bleats from all the sheep. The owner of the sheep, thanked the RSPCA and especially Gracie. “Next time don’t wander off on your own,” Gracie said to the sheep. ‘Baa Baa.’ Came the reply. The End.

Did You Know? There are a group of nouns whose plurals have no surface marking at all. If you have more than one swine, you still have swine. And the same is true for sheep, deer, and folk. All these words originated, in the earliest Germanic language, in a class of what are called long-stem nouns, meaning they either had long vowels (as sheep did) or short vowels followed by two consonants (as folk did). - Oxford Dictionaries ISSUE 3 | ANIMAL TALK | 27


Carriacou is a small (13 square miles) Grenadine island in the Eastern Caribbean. Politically it belongs to Grenada and is located just to the north of Grenada. There is very little tourism on Carriacou and most people live at a subsistence level. However, it is a truly beautiful unspoiled tropical island. People collect rainwater as their main water source and the electricity supply is variable. Local farmers own livestock to provide meat and grow some vegetables.

Carriacou Animal Hospital


On a small island like Carriacou it will never be possible to maintain an animal hospital facility without grants and outside funding. Written By Karen Stiell



The trees are covered in iguanas and sea turtles use the sandy beaches for laying their eggs. Tortoises (land turtles) are often seen walking along the roadside or in more rural areas, and at night, one might come across a manicou (opossum). Birdlife in Carriacou is diverse, there are two kinds of humming birds, bananaquits, ospreys, pelicans, frigates, boobies, to just name a few. Being the island of reefs, the snorkeling and scuba diving around Carriacou is amazing. The marine protected areas make sure that the coral and the varied sea life is abundant. Swimming with turtles, barracudas and rays is nothing uncommon here, and the brightly colored reef fish always delight. Carriacou Animal Hospital (CAH) was founded in 2012 by Katherine Nowell with the assistance of Peggy Fisher Cattan and became an independent non-profit, organization that provides preventative and basic healthcare to small animals. Carriacou Animal Hospital is the only healthcare provider for small animals on the island and offers spays and neuters for dogs and cats at a nominal fee. This helps prevent dogs and cats from straying, having unwanted puppies or kittens and getting into vehicle accidents. CAH also provides routine veterinary care, health examinations, medical treatment and general surgery. Ticks and fleas and heartworms are major problems on Carriacou, which is why the team of CAH takes special care in the prevention and treatment of these diseases and provide education to the owners. CAH does not receive public funding and depends on volunteer veterinarians from all over the world, including Europe and North America. CAH is stocked through the generous donations of medicines and medical supplies that are generated from the fundraising efforts of the visiting veterinarians as well as donations from friends who have visited CAH on holiday. On a small island like Carriacou it will never be possible to maintain an animal hospital facility without grants and outside funding. CAH is always looking for different grants and sponsors. There is a small charge for services and routine flea, tick and worm treatment. There are always going to be people that cannot afford veterinary care for their

Barbados Wildlife

Reserve & Grenade Hall

Forest & Signal Station

Open daily 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Telephone 422-8826 animals, and it is these people CAH needs to help most. For those animals most in need there will always be free treatment and neutering. Carriacou Animal Hospital`s Visiting Vets program is the foundation and driving force of our efforts. CAH invites only qualified veterinarians and vet nurses with experience to come and stay with CAH for two weeks or longer. Normally the volunteers will be provided with accommodation at the clinic, which is a beachfront concrete house. The living conditions are basic, but it’s still a medium standard in island comparison and the volunteers can walk to the beach in 10 seconds! In as much as there is one, daily routine consists of checking, cleaning and feeding all clinic dogs and inpatients; answering the telephone and dealing with enquiries. Volunteers also admit operations for the day, perform surgery as required and see patients for vaccines, flea & tick prevention, health issues and emergencies. The clinic does not have x-ray or blood machines so only basic diagnostics can be carried out. There is a protocol for most surgical and anesthetic procedures that has proven to be safe for dogs that are invariably being returned into yards the same day. Various day trips are offered for volunteers during their stay, such as a BBQ on White Island, snorkeling at Sandy Island or a trip to the Tobago Cays Marine Park. The volunteers can also BBQ on the beach opposite the clinic and often join the locals cooking in big pots over open fires on the beach at weekends and holidays.

AT: If you are a veterinarian and would like to volunteer some of your time at CAH please email:



The Humane Society of Dominica (HSD) is a small organisation made up of one executive director, one director and one program manager. One is a volunteer and the other two are simply passionate animal advocates who don’t calculate the time they spend, trying to improve the welfare of animals through community outreach. The Humane Society of Dominica does not have a shelter; in a country where the idea of adopting a pet is still very slowly making its way into people’s minds. A shelter would rapidly become overpopulated without enough potential adopters, instead the Humane Society of Dominica concentrates efforts in teaching humane education.

What We Do! We bring our humane education program to schools throughout the island in the hopes of influencing new generations about the importance of caring for all beings as well as the various environments that sustain them. We also have at our heart the promoting of spaying and neutering as this is the most humane method of controlling roaming and homeless pet populations. This too is a rather new option both for pet owners as well as local authorities so we do plenty of work developing campaigns to bring awareness about spaying and neutering, to get people to embrace this solution for their pets and communities. The importance of humanely addressing pet overpopulation came at the forefront in August 2015 when tropical storm Erica deeply impacted Dominica. Due to dire emergency, evacuated communities unfortunately had to leave behind a number of their pets, and when it became obvious that unstable terrain conditions would not allow people to return to their homes, local village councils had to react to 30 | ANIMAL TALK | ISSUE 3

what threatened to become burgeoning foyers of homeless pets. With the help of various Caribbean animal welfare organizations, as well as local and international donors, we were able to raise monies and materials to set up on-site spay/neuter clinics for the newly homeless pets, while also attempting to reunite pets and their guardians. It was a trying time for many but it was rewarding to work closely with so many people who genuinely care for the welfare of animals. It is often difficult to inform people that like many Humane Societies throughout the world, we do not have a shelter and therefore can’t take in pets (as much as we would want to), so we make sure to direct them to the best resources on hand and we rely on a growing network of foster guardians to step in when a pet needs immediate attention. In keeping with our desire to help animals, we use our Facebook page to match up animals in need of re-homing with potential adopters. People who wish to adopt through us undergo a compatibility interview and have to sign a spay/neuter contract, and since we pay for those surgeries we make sure the contract is respected! A portrait of our organisation would not be complete without mentioning our Humane Youth Group. To help us reach our goals, we are lucky to have active and willing Humane Youth Group members. From writing the lyrics for our spay/neuter video to dressing up as cats and dogs, organising and taking part in

our spay/neuter clinics and fundraising activities such as our Doggie Wet Fete, the members of our Humane Youth Group come up with concepts and ideas that are sure to keep the school children we visit still interested in our message even after we leave the classroom. Our goal is to give children and young adults, who already care for animals, an organisation where they can share their passion, and we believe that our long-term commitment to humane education and community outreach will help create a caring community of individuals. This belief, and the crew of wonderful volunteers who won’t let us down, is what keeps us going on our beautiful, radiant island.

D. Marchand, the writer of this article, is the Executive Director of the Humane Society of Dominica. humanesocietyofdominica/ Email: Web:

PLEASE DONATE During the production of this issue the island of Dominica was devastated by a hurricane. If you would like to help the Humane Society please contact the Barbados RSPCA.

Out & About with RSPCA Inspector Wayne Norville

Taking your Dog to

The Beach • It is better to take your dog early in the morning or late in the evening when the sun is setting. • If you are walking your dog, remember that asphalt gets really hot during the day, and walking your dog on it for long periods can damage the pads of your dog’s feet. • It is a common practice for people to ride their bikes and let the dog run alongside. You must realise the effort the dog has to expend to keep up with you and the bicycle, which is why this practice is not something I recommend. • When travelling to the beach by foot avoid busy traffic and areas, especially if your dog is not accustomed to being on the street.


• Once you’re on the beach, give your dog time to cool down after the walk. • Give your dog a drink of water before it goes into the sea. • You should have a relatively long lead to walk the dog or for securing your dog properly, if you have to leave the dog (which is not recommended). • Remember a free dog on the beach can cause problems for you and the other beach users. For this reason, I recommend close supervision at ALL times. • Your dog will not be familiar with the people on the beach, and if you become separated, your dog will approach anyone when he is looking for you. Remember that not

Many of us enjoy time at the beach, and in the same way we like the beach so do our dogs. Here are some tips that will make sure both you and your pet enjoy the experience.

all people feel safe around dogs, so be vigilant, especially around children and the elderly. • There are many tantalising scents on the beach that can confuse your dog or cause him to wander, and if he becomes confused or lost he can become aggressive. • If your dog is at first reluctant to go into the water, don’t force or grab it by the neck as this can cause damage. Be gentle and reassure your dog, paying close attention to your dog’s body language. • Do not force your dog to do anything he is not comfortable with. • Never keep your dog in the water for long periods as you can’t tell how tired your dog is. It is better be on the safe side, especially with puppies. • If your dog is very young you should have a towel to dry the dog, especially late in the evening when it is cool. This is because it takes just as long to get warm as it does to get cool. • Remember if it is hot, that cool water should be provided all the time you’re at the beach. • Dog hair creates heat, so it will be hotter than we are and may become agitated, so stay in the shade.

After a few visits to the beach your dog will get accustomed to being there. A happy first experience will encourage him to want to be part of your next beach visit.


USEFUL NUMBERS VETS Animal Care Clinic 423-1098 Massiah Street, St John Boyce, Dr. Shelly A. 230-4222 Mullins, St. Peter Central Veterinary Clinic 436-3530 Lower Estate Complex, St George



My name is keray Hinds. I live in St. Thomas and I love animals very much. I have one mother goat and she has two kids, I call the mummy goat GOATLA. At first, she was wild but now she has become very calm and friendly. She sometimes lets me scratch between her horns. She loves to jump on top of the wall and stand on rocks when the rain falls. Now that she has had kids she has lots of milk and my granddad milks her. We boil the milk and I drink it with cornflakes. It is very delicious. When she bleats, I have fun copying the sound she makes. I like to see her hopping and skipping about when she is playful. My dog, Ali, is a Neapolitan mastiff and American Bulldog mix. Ali is just 11 months old. He is tall and strong. His jaws are powerful and they can crush bones easily. I sometimes wish I could ride him but my granddad won’t let me. He says, “Ali is no horse or donkey”. Although he is big and strong he is very playful and not aggressive. I roll in the grass with him and play in the sea with him too. He loves to fetch bottles and play with my goats and the little Jack Russell dogs that I also have. Ali loves when granddad takes him for a drive.

Clarke, Dr. Katherine 262-9838 Mt Standfast, St James Content Animal Clinic Content Plantation, St. Thomas

438 7099

Eastern Veterinary Clinic Sunbury, St Phillip


Griffith, Dr. Derek L. V. 426-4884 Ashgrove Strathclyde Cres Trinity Animal Clinic Woodbourne, St Phillip


Maitland, Dr. Rosina Carter’s Gap, Christ Church


Northern Veterinary Clinic Speightown, St Peter


Total Loving Care 427-3135 Brittons Hill Main Rd, St Michael Tull, Dr. Nicole 231-2546 Ealing Grove, Christ Church The Veterinary Clinic 437-0478 Graeme Hall Pk, Christ Church

HORSE DENTIST Emily Kinch 233-4012

ANIMAL SHELTERS Barbados Sea Turtle Project 230-0142 HORSE Charity 422-0400

All those are reasons why I love my pet.



RSPCA Emergency 426-3962 The Ark 435-4108



Woodbourne 420-1104

PET TRANSPORTATION Pet Transportation 243-0420 32 | ANIMAL TALK | ISSUE 3



Animal Talk Barbados Issue 3