(Above) The white one with the black face has to get special food. He lost most of his teeth and has only 2 left in the front that stick out! Poor fellow. He loves bones but can't chew them anymore so he gets things he can better manage. Most of these dogs don't belong to anyone, they roam about the area and do their best to survive on whatever they can find. A lot of them lose their teeth trying to eat tough soup bones they find in garbage and other hard inedible morsels that damage their mouths and teeth.
AKI’s Partnership with Kingston Community Animal Welfare (KCAW)
With some love and care, this skinny and scared little puppy (above) turned into the happy, carefree puppy in Deborah’s arms (below).
For over 20 years, a Jamaican woman named Deborah Binns has been helping low/no income people in Jamaica feed their pets, get them sterilized, and get vet care for them when needed. She also feeds and cares for many of Kingston's street dogs. Although Deborah has a full-time job as an economist, she finds time, every day to check on the dogs and cats she's looking after (at last count, over 500 dogs and 50 cats).
If it wasn’t for Deborah, so many dogs and cats in Kingston would go hungry, and would die of starvation, injuries, or disease without knowing any kindness.
Deborah works in the poorest neighborhoods, she is trusted by the people there, and she knows everyone in “her” communities—the people, dogs, and cats.
Deborah has a network of people in these communities who watch out for the animals, let her know if something is wrong with one of them, and who provide food on the days that Deborah doesn’t stop by.
Deborah also has a small shelter at her house, where she can keep puppies or dogs that need to get off the streets. She finds homes for some of these dogs—but only after they have been sterilized, and she will only adopt to homes where she knows that they will have a lifetime of love.
We at AKI value our partnership with Deborah and Kingston Community Animal Welfare. AKI has sent funds to Deborah to buy food and medicines for Kingston’s street dogs and cats, and has helped cover costs to get them treated by a vet.
A Few Words from Deborah Binns:
Thank you so much for the donation! Just this morning I was driving to work Karen, and lamenting (to myself of course) that I just can't keep up with the cost of dog food anymore—the price has increased by 3 fold in the last year). Now I have taken on some cute cute cute little pups that live in a big drum lying on its side by my bank. I was going to take them home but they seem so comfortable and happy I decided to feed them and care for them right there, until I can get them into a real home. I see the mama dog too she is always close by but they are almost 7 weeks now so she is starting to leave them. Soon she will leave for good. But they are fine. The money you sent will help me feed these pups and all the other beautiful doggies on the streets!
More in Deborah's Words:
My favourite favourite homeless dog, and a testimony that 'street'
dogs can live as long and well as dogs being cared for in a proper home. 13 years old! With 4 teeth left!Sweet sweet sweet! I know I will be a mess when she goes to doggies heaven!!! Love you Granny dog!!!
A tribute to BOYSIE
This is one of the few men downtown who help Deborah with the dogs. Deborah tells AKI, “Boysie is a really, really nice man.
He lives in an abandoned car and takes in any strays that come to his area and he also scolds the children who he sees being cruel to animals. Every Saturday, I leave food for him to feed his dogs. Boysie loves fruit juice, so I stick a bottle or 2 in the bag of dog food for him.
He also takes up the dogs from the road when the cars run them over (NOBODY else does this). If they are still alive he will call me on my cell and I will go get them!” This is certainly a man with a big heart!
How often do we hear, “how can we expect people who are poor to worry about animals?” Boysie’s story should put that question to rest. Thank you from AKI to Boysie for helping Jamaica’s dogs!
How You Can Help Deborah
Deborah uses PANACUR and TRIATIX (Amitraz) very often and always requests donations of these. Triatix, an anti-parasitic, is very helpful with Deborah’s mange cases. Anyone who can donate PANACUR and/or AMITRAZ/TRIATIX, please send to AKI, and we will send it on to Deborah for Kingston’s street dogs.
Spay-Neuter Fund: Deborah always welcomes funds to help in her spay-neuter efforts. She works with one vet on the island who has agreed to give her discounted prices; others have refused to discount their prices, and charge the full cost. Deborah's discounted prices are as follows for:
Spaying a dog.......US $45 [Full cost is US $ 100]
Neutering a dog.......US $ 35 [Full cost is US $ 75]
Spaying a cat.........US $ 35 [Full cost is US $ 50]
Neutering a cat......US $ 30 [Full cost is US $ 40]
As an independent community animal welfare volunteer, most of the costs for Deborah’s work have been covered by Deborah herself and from donations she’s received from friends (and of course, AKI support; also see below, the play that Deborah wrote and sponsored as a fundraiser). The Jamaica Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals operates a shelter, but has no consistent or effective community outreach program (as needed, Deborah sometimes collaborates with the JSPCA, but for example, for euthanasia and spay/neuter, she pays full price to the JSPCA.) For more information or to contribute to Deborah's efforts contact us.
Note from Karen, Animal-Kind International
I lived in Jamaica for ten months, and spent every Saturday with Deborah, taking food to people to supplement their dogs' diets, explaining to people that dogs need to eat more than once a week (a misconception that seemed fairly common among dog owners), convincing people that their dogs need water just as humans do, taking care of their ill and injured dogs and cats, getting their pets spayed and neutered, and visiting and feeding street dogs, who would have received no other care if it wasn't for Deborah. I went with Deborah only on Saturdays, but Deborah has different routes she takes every single day of the week, where she drops off food, checks on dogs and cats, and talks to neighborhood people about their pets. The people-as well as the animals-on her rounds expect her, and if she doesn't show up, her phone starts ringing: "Ms. Binns, are you ok? We didn't see you today and we're worried about you." Deborah is responsible for getting hundreds of dogs and cats sterilized, and for currently helping care for about 300 animals. [As of 2014, the total is now about 550.]
Find out more about Deborah’s work to help dogs & cats of Kingston.
View one of Deborah's rescues - Click here to see the full rescue!
Deborah receives support from a British Airways flight attendant - Click here, September 2009
Update on How Donations Were Spent - March 2008
Boy January - 2008
Read the Hurricane Dean Report - December 2007
Deborah Binns feeding dogs with a Jamaican man that she has helped educate about dog care.
A typical tenement yard in a depressed area of downtown Kingston. This dog had a very bad case of mange and was also suffering from starvation.
Deborah not only is a savior for Kingston’s street dogs and cats, she recently wrote a play to raise money for her community animal welfare work! Click here.
What is it like to be a dog or cat in Kingston?
Kingston's street dogs blanket the roadways, and street dogs may suffer even more than dogs in homes. They get hit by cars, and are left to slowly die by the side of the road, they may starve to death, they suffer from many illnesses, and people throw rocks at them to chase them away. But if Deborah has anything to do with it, any injured, scared, or starving dog and cat, gets cared for, fed, and loved.
In Deborah's view, the main animal welfare problems in Jamaica are a general lack of knowledge about dogs and cats and their needs; the indifference of many pet owners towards their animals; and overt cruelty just for the sake of it-cruel actions such as deliberately running over dogs and cats in the street, throwing boiling water on dogs, hanging dogs, and drowning cats.
Most dogs in Jamaica are kept for guarding the household and family, and cruel methods are used to "train" them, including beatings, starving them and then feeding hot chili, and chaining them for the entire day, until they are set free at night to guard.
Some cats are tolerated because they are mousers. But even if they are tolerated by some, there’s always someone who will throw rocks at the cat. You’ll rarely find people who keep cats as pets and provide adequate food and vet care.