“No one stops when an animal is injured.”
Sandra van der Linden, director of the animal shelter, says animal welfare in general in Suriname is variable. There is a large group of animal lovers and there is a group that barely looks after their animals, in this group the animals remain on a chain. In addition to dogs, people keep cats, but also illegal animals, such as some species of monkeys and sloths.
In principle, Dierenbescherming is available to stray animals in a medical emergency. “We exist for the streets and for stray animals that have no owner, who are injured, for example through collision or fight or because people intentionally cause animal suffering by inflicting injury on animals.”
Van der Linden notes that a new trend has also emerged recently. “We get a lot of reports from people leaving their pets behind when they move in. This leaves the animals without food and water.” Another group is the animals that are thrown. This happens in front of the animal shelter, along the road or on people’s lands where boxes with small dogs and cats are left behind.
“The main reason people leave animals behind is because animals are not welcome in the new address. The other group of people who throw away animals are doing so for financial and economic reasons, because animal feed has become very expensive. Along with other organizations, such as the Henk Abrahams Foundation, that are active In which Cynthia Ashraf has been observing animals for years, attention is drawn to the costs of animal feed.” Ashraf has long been trying to list animal feed so that he does not pay import costs for it until prices drop a bit, but the government is not cooperating, seeing that feed animals have become more Cost “.
Infected animals receive treatment at the shelter until they are healthy again. They are then vaccinated, sterilized, and put up for adoption. Then a small contribution is paid to the animals for the costs incurred, after which the animal can be taken home,” explains van der Linden. She also points out that the number of people who want to adopt an animal is decreasing. “The same for donations, we mainly rely on Donations are from individuals and companies, but you just see the donations go down.”
Street dogs often end up at the shelter. Purebred dogs are generally not found on the street and only occasionally end up in a shelter. “Information on how to handle animals is currently working at a slightly lower level, because of the Covid-19 virus, the possibilities to visit schools have been limited,” says van der Linden. Meanwhile, she notes, the thread is being picked up again because private videos are being put on the Facebook page and people are subscribing to radio shows. Dierenbescherming has an animal ambulance and crematorium. The ambulance is used to transport animals. The crematorium can be used by anyone who wants to cremate the corpse of an animal.
Van der Linden describes it as a bad thing that when animals collide, they are left helpless and then the driver drives the car. “And nobody stops when an animal is injured. Sometimes people stop putting the animal aside, but nothing else is done to it. That way, the animals suffer for a few days,” she asserts, while noting at the same time that except for a small group, no It can be said that Suriname is full of animal lovers. It appears that more education is needed. “Only there is a police mission,” says the director of the animal shelter.
Animal Welfare and Police Act
Van der Linden refers to the Animal Welfare Act that has been in place since 2017. “The disturbing thing is that officers are often not aware of this and no work protocols have been put in place within the police as a result of animal welfare being represented. Police often do not know what to do and often Don’t think it’s her job. There’s a big profit there, because we often get reports of animal abuse and that’s a job for the police. In animal protection we’re not just allowed into the yard. The police are allowed to do that,” van der Linden finally explains.
Animal Protection can be reached via WhatsApp number 8827127.