Jonge Ekta helpt dieren op Aruba (16-11-2010)

Ekta fotoNiet alleen volwassenen maar ook steeds meer kinderen zetten zich in voor het welzijn van dieren. Onlangs ontvingen wij het verhaal van Ekta, een 13-jarig meisje dat op Aruba als vrijwilligster in een asiel werkt.

Ekta foto grootLees hieronder haar verhaal (in het Engels):

Hello, my name is Ekta, I am thirteen years old, and I work at the Aruba Animal Shelter. I have been working at the shelter since I was ten, and I love to be able to help and play with the abandonedan d stray animals there.

The Aruba Animal Shelter first opened in 1987, and has been a beautiful home to the animals ever since. The shelter can hold up to 16 adult dogs, 15 adult cats, 15 puppies, and 5 kittens. At the Veterinary Clinic Wayaca the animals are dewormed, vaccinated, neutered or castrated, and treated for any illnesses. Dogs are checked for blood parasites and heart worms as well. The clinic is adjacent to the shelter to make the veterinarians easily accessible to the animals who need immediate attention.

Not only does the shelter shower the animals with love, attention, and medical assistance, they also tirelessly try to reduce the number of animals being put to sleep.

Next to the shelter, there are holding areas where people can leave unwanted animals, instead of on the street. Before, when there was no shelter, all the unwanted animals were put to sleep. Now, however, all the healthy and friendly animals are being kept in the shelter, but many animals are still put to sleep. In 2004 a total of 8,218 animals were put to sleep. 5,047 of them were dogs.

The shelter promotes dogs and cats to be neutered or spayed to reduce the population, and hopefully, the number of killings. If an animal over six months is adopted from the shelter, the owners can spay them for free. If an animal younger than six months is adopted, the shelter provides paperwork for the new owner to return for the procedure at a later date.

Probably, the most difficult task that the shelter attempts is to educate the owners on the proper care of their pets. Teaching them about common or incurable diseases, and when to seek for professional help can decrease the number of animals with fatal diseases. Therefore, reducing the number of animals being put to sleep.

The shelter is not dependent on the government. They rely entirely on gifts and donations.

Working at the Animal Shelter has really taught me many things about that animals and about myself. When I am with the animals, I feel more whole. The animals complete me, and I open up towards them. Many people say that the animals at the shelter are really lucky to have me and other volunteers to play with, but I think it is the other way around. We are lucky to have the animals.

The animals help us reveal our true self, and being around them has taught me many life skills.

I would like to share with you some examples. Initially, at the age of ten, when I first begun working at the shelter, the larger dogs always intimidated me. I never wanted to be part of any task that involved helping the “scary” dogs. This fear of mine was preventing me from helping the animals to my fullest. I felt ridiculous that I was visiting a shelter, and not even helping my level best. Slowly, my desire to be closer to the animals overpowered my fear, and I forced myself to attend to the larger dogs. In doing so, I realized that what I perceived to be the dog’s attacks, was actually their way of showing affection, and their desperate plead for attention.

Overcoming this fear at the shelter made me realize that if I put my mind and heart into it, I could overcome many fears that existed in me. This new courage and self-confidence has enabled me to achieve many of my personal goals in the past few years. To this success, I have my drooling, furry little friends to thank.

Another sweet message that the animals have taught me is forgiveness and loyalty. Sometimes, working at the shelter can be hectic and there is often less time for play as I get absorbed in my chores. I find it amazing that although I may neglect some of the animals, they never hold it against me. Next visit, they will still love me, and will still be waiting for a chance to play. If only we could all be like that; with no anger, no hatred, and no resentment. The animals inspire me to be more like them. In the meantime, I am happy to announce that I have mastered the art of cuddling the animals as I do my chores.

The Aruba Animal Shelter has just one goal; to improve the life of Aruba's pets. They do this by taking in as many unwanted animals as they can and giving them all the care, love, affection, and medical attention that they need.

Working at the Animal Shelter is a real joy for me. I have always loved animals, and I always will. Seeing animals suffer and being put to sleep really breaks my heart. The Animal Shelter can only continue to do good work with the proper financial support. Without this support there will not even be an Animal Shelter.

Please, if you love the animals… do it for the animals.

vriend worden
Het verhaal van Tibbs