What I learned from Operation Cunucu

The recent mass spaying and neutering operation in collaboration with Animal Balance USA brought together many dog advocate organizations from the island. They were all cooped up at Centro Dakota for five days, receiving the public, handling dogs, puppies, operating on about 350 males and females of all ages, getting some ready for adoption, dealing with the heartbreak of returning neutered puppies back into the street, and most disturbingly back to the dump, and the fact that they are all still talking to each other is a miracle.

What am I talking about, that is not true. Before Operation Cunucu, there was little communication between the diverse local rescue operations. Many resented each other’s beliefs and procedures, and they all did their own thing, believing their way is BEST.

With Operation Cunucu then were brought in to collaborate. And that is ARUBA’S BIG GAIN, the fact that Aruba Flight Volunteers and Animal Rights and New Life for Paws and Centro Veterinario Contrera the government, including the MinTour and MinHealth, member of Parliament Donny Rasmijn, Aimee Henriquez, of course the two who started the ball rolling, Gina Potter and Shelley Chadwick. Additional players, from the Netherlands, Mercedes De Bruyn, with her United Dog Foundation, and Dr. Juan Henao of Animal Health Clinic in Aruba, who showed up and lent an active hand.

Basically, the week started with a bunch of volunteers from all over, introducing and uniting the local resources. I hear talk about one big umbrella organization, that would learn from Animal Balance but do its own initiative next. I applaud that, that is BEST, while we appreciate all that Animal Balance has done for us we are NOT A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY, we are a first world country and we should be able to help ourselves. I will support any LOCAL umbrella organization undertaking mass neutering and spaying, because the rescue of puppies in noble and admirable, but we have to get to the core of the problem, which is reproduction control. We should clean out own messes and take care of our own challenges. We spend so much money on glitter and feathers in Carnival, we should be able to spay and neuter our pets!

BEFORE SIGNING OFF: The government HAS to introduce a dog tag program. Anyone who wants to have a dog/cat must present at the local vet for a tag, and vaccinations. You may charge Awg 45 for the government tag, then extra for the vaccinations. Then at Awg 75 for neutering, which is subsidized by the Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, you stand a chance at enjoying your pet, and saving our community from unwanted animals.

IN A PERFECT WORLD: We should have a teacher, going from school to school, a paid for Animal Right advocate, a professional, making her/his way through our educational system to teach children about proper care to cats and dogs.