According to CEO of the Castries Constituency Council, Anselma Calderon, the issue of stray dogs roaming the streets of Castries has been a long-standing problem. The public and residents of the area pressure the CEO’s office to do something about getting the stray animals off the streets, and sometimes offer suggestions and help for what can feasibly be done.
At a press conference on Wednesday 12, April 2017, members from Global Strays, an international, philanthropic organisation which attends to the care of homeless animals, discussed options for cleaner streets and better homes for dogs in Castries. Jean Shafiroff, of Global Strays and American Ambassador of Animal Rights, mentioned her delight in learning that the people of Saint Lucia are kind-hearted and good-willed. Her introduction to the Saint Lucia Animal Protection Society (SLAPS) and other animal protection organisations gives her and Global Strays hope that the situation can be resolved. “We are here to help some of the animal protection groups here in Saint Lucia. Not only to support them financially but perhaps bring a few rescued dogs back to the United States,” she said.
Pamela Devaux, President of SLAPS, expressed thanks to Global Strays when she highlighted that SLAPS needs all the help it can get because of the expense of the work it carries out coupled with the lack of volunteers. “We do have a programme in Saint Lucia to try to help get the stray dogs off the streets. We have taken eight dogs from Castries; a couple have already been rehomed. It’s not that easy because some of them are not in the best shape so we’re very appreciative of this help.”
Some of the dogs are adopted in Saint Lucia, some in Canada, and now possibly in the U.S. According to Devaux, many visitors to the island have contacted SLAPS about adopting or otherwise providing assistance to animals. Shafiroff encouraged tourists like herself to continue to help. SLAPS and Global Strays expressed their need for more help from the government. Officials including Dawn French, Deputy Permanent Secretary of Local Government, and Deepa Girdari, Senior Tourism Officer in the Department of Tourism, were also at the press conference held at Auberge Seraphine.