July 6, 2006
Abaco Animals Require Friends & Spay/Neuter Incentive Program
In 1999, two couples devoted to animals forged a partnership between their newly established groups—Spay/Neuter Incentive Program of Berwick, Maine, and Abaco Animals Require Friends of the Bahamas. Seven years later, the partnership has developed one of the most successful spay/neuter programs in the Caribbean.
The organizations' goal was to aid the canines, known as "potcakes," on Abaco Island in the Bahamas. Their methods were intensive sterilization and public education. At first, it took a cash incentive—roughly US $10 per dog—but the groups eventually convinced the local people to bring "potcakes" in for spaying or neutering. And it worked.
The first clinic saw 180 "potcakes" sterilized, and it put the groups on the road to spaying and neutering more than 1,300 animals, including 300 cats. Though initially concentrated in lower-income communities on the island, Project Potcake, as it came to be known, has grown into a successful island-wide program.
Humane Society International strongly endorses Project Potcake and similar spay/neuter clinics. Abaco Animals Require Friends became an HSI Animal Advocate in 2002, and the Spay/Neuter Incentive Program followed in 2003.
Having reduced the population of the island's "potcakes" by 75 percent in just four years, the two groups continue to be recognized for their tireless dedication and determination on behalf of Bahamian companion animals. They still work together closely, and ongoing projects include Project Potcake, the Potcake Adoption League, The Last Resort and Project Cat.
Abaco Animals Require Friends
Molly & Chris Roberts, Founders
P.O. Box AB-20856, Marsh Harbour