I was recently invited to attend the Belize Humane Symposium hosted by Saga Humane Society at CocoBlanca, the Coco Beach restaurant. Since my mom is here on a one week visit and is willing to do what ever was on my schedule that she was interested in, she was happy to join me.
After Pilates class we got cleaned up and headed north to Coco Beach Resort. There were many new and also many familiar faces at the event.
Among the attendees there were 5 groups represented:
- Belize Hopkins Humane Society
- CAWS Cayo Animal Welfare Society
- Caye Caulker Humane Society
- Saga Humane Society
- Judy Yablonski – No formal organization yet, but has been saving animals for years with the help of Vivien Patterson.
The groups came together to brainstorm, and share best practices on how they can all work smarter not harder. Importing and sharing of medication came up, as sometimes one group may be out of a particular medication and a different one has a surplus. Another interesting comment shared by the Cayo Humane Society is that they use high tech pet ID tags to help track dogs and get their info out to the public.
The event went really well and everyone was very grateful for the opportunity to come together and learn new things. As a result a new animal welfare group was formed and duly named the Humane Societies of Belize Coalition.
Dawn Locasio, Saga volunteer and board member gave the following comment and on behalf of Saga would like to thank to Mike Barnett and Sandy Point Resorts for hosting the event.
“The 2016 Belize Humane Symposium was a huge success for all who attended and participated in identifying needs and goals. Saga Humane Society may have played host to the first ever round table discussion of Humane Societies in Belize, but we are just a facilitator of communication and conversation. Each organization brought knowledge, compassion and resources. The day was meant to open the door to collaborative efforts in the future and that is exactly what was achieved. It is our dream that one day there will be one unified voice for all companion animals in Belize, and this is the first step towards that goal.”
On our way home we had to do a road side stop because we saw my friend Walter doing a construction job. My mom had met him the last time she was here. That was 7 years ago when he was still cooking at Pedro’s Pizza. They enjoyed chatting and of course we snapped a few pictures – Walter is still my most photographed person to date.
It is amazing how fast a week passes – she leaves tomorrow morning. The next 7 pictures are different places we have end up. We had fun eating out lots and she met a bunch more of my friends. She even got to experience our radical weather changes. Last night when Chef Bruce and Jane were delivering our dinner the wind picked up within seconds as a cold front started rolling in. We literally saw dust flying south and this morning it was “sweater weather” at a mere 70°F or 21°C.