Thoughts of Summer Holidays ( Spring 2007)
by Monica Hornsey

As I write this in early March there is definitely a feel of spring in the air. Thoughts will soon turn to summer holidays. When you think about choosing a destination for your holiday do you, like me, wonder if there will be lots of stray cats and dogs around? It can be a big problem in many areas and I find that it can really spoil my holiday. With the advent of the internet I now try to find out about any animal rescue centres in areas I'm planning to travel to so that I have a contact in case I come across a particularly distressing case.

In January my husband and I went on holiday to Tobago. Before our trip I discovered the Trinidad & Tobago Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (TTSPCA). Their website is www.ttspca.com. I made contact via email before our trip and as you can see from the photo was welcomed at their rescue centre by Mrs Pamela Phillips, who founded the Tobago branch and is their current chairman as well as Mary Soodeen, assistant secretary. After a tour of the centre we sat outside in the warm Caribbean evening and talked about animal rescue here and in Tobago.

Although they have special problems to deal with such as tropical diseases we don't experience here, it was noticeable how many problems were shared - a chronic lack of volunteers and funding being top of the list!

Tobago is a beautiful, quiet, rural island compared to its neighbour Trinidad which is much bigger, more heavily populated and industrialised. Tobago does, however, have a serious problem with stray dogs and, to a lesser extent, stray and feral cats. With, I believe, only two vets on the island it is difficult for many people to reach a vet, even if they could afford to pay for treatment or neutering.

The charity is run entirely by volunteers who are working in extremely difficult circumstances. If you are thinking about visiting Tobago do make contact. You can also donate or subscribe to their newsletter via their website - www.ttspca.com