Stephanie Koathes

A Day in the Life: Montego Bay Animal Haven

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Tammy Browne has a passion for animals. Seeing the often distressing consequences that come with the country’s large number of stray animals, she decided to do something to help, and in 2009 the Montego Bay’s Animal Haven was born.

Walk us through what you do on a day-to-day basis?
Wake up and feed all the youngest puppies and kittens first, then deal with medications. With the number of animals we have, it’s usually quite a lot to administer. Let out the inside dogs, fill all the water containers, start preparing breakfast for all the dogs, cats, birds, rabbits and fish. Start cleaning! Alternate the different dogs so that everyone gets outside. Check fencing and kennels. Get those who need to go to the vet into the car. Pack the truck with food to go out and feed the strays. Check on everyone; soak puppy food for next day. Re do meds if needed. Late night feeds for some young pups.

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What kinds of people do you meet?

All sorts. A lot of tourists who find animals and want to help, we go into schools and meet the children – they’re great. Vets, people in the community, some positive but some negative; usually its people who love animals.

How did the Haven get started?
The Haven started because I couldn’t drive past all these injured and starving animals and not do anything. Something had to be started. Even just to spay and neuter the street animals, then it grew!

What motivates you?
Motivation is also passion, and doing something you feel so strongly about, just keeps you going. The fact that the suffering is seen daily just drives me to continue. When there’s a good outcome it’s an amazing feeling.

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What’s the best part of your work?
Gaining the trust of a feral animal, feeling the love they have to share.

What’s the worst part?
When I see the results of human cruelty that’s the very worst for me. Things like car accidents happen, but when someone has been intentionality cruel and caused pain or death, it sickens me. I deal with it by trying to help another animal and remember that one; learn from it and try to educate.

How can people help?
Try and save newspapers and bleach for us. Encourage and educate others around you. Travel with food in your car and feed the strays! Organise fund raisers for us, spay and neuter your pets!

For more information on the Haven and the hooligans please see their website or follow on Instagram (@montegobayanimalhaven) and Facebook.