AKI Partner Organization-Kingston Community Animal Welfare (KCAW)
After a strict quarantine and curfew, Jamaica reopened its borders on June 15. The country has seen a spike in positive covid-19 cases, but they haven't re-instituted restrictions and Kingston Community Animal Welfare is back to businesses as usual. KCAW is in catch-up mode, checking on all their groups of street cats and dogs and responding to the significantly higher number of requests from people in need of cat and dog food, de-worming meds, and flea and tick control. With increased prices due to the covid-19 situation, KCAW is finding it harder than ever to make ends meet and to respond to the many requests for their services.
AKI's Partnership with Kingston Community Animal Welfare
For over 30 years, Deborah Binns (picture right, pulling a dog out of a canal) has been feeding and caring for some of the neediest cats and dogs in Kingston, Jamaica--the dogs and cats that roam the streets and pets that belong to no/low income families.
If it wasn’t for Deborah and her network of helpers, many cats and dogs in Kingston would go hungry, and would die of starvation, injuries, or disease without knowing any kindness.
KCAW is the only organization that is fully committed to helping Kingston's thousands of dogs and cats that live on the streets and pets that belong to poor families. Except for very few donations received locally, AKI donors are the only source of funds for KCAW's activities!
KCAW feeds over 500 street dogs and 50 cats each week, and provides pet food to about 100 low/no income families who take good care of their pets, but sometimes just can't afford to buy food or provide needed vet care.
KCAW works hard to control the population of unwanted animals in Kingston by sterilizing cats and dogs, as funds allow. And KCAW works with communities to encourage them to accept the street cats and dogs, watch out for them, and treat them kindly.
Deborah works in the poorest neighborhoods, she's trusted by the people there, and she knows everyone in “her” communities—the people, dogs, and cats.
Deborah has built a network of people all over Kingston, who watch out for the animals, they let her know if something is wrong with one of them, and they provide food on the days that Deborah doesn’t stop by.
Deborah also has a small shelter at her house (renovated and expanded with AKI funds), where she takes puppies, dogs, cats, and kittens that need to get off the streets.
She then finds homes for them—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.
KCAW has been an AKI Partner Organization since 2007, when AKI was formed.
Pictures to the right show some of Kingston's street cats and dogs that KCAW feeds and cares for (click on a picture to learn more). The white dog in the bottom-middle picture has only 2 teeth left; the brown dog in the bottom picture, Grannie, was 13 years old when this picture was taken, had only 4 teeth left, but she was a happy, healthy street dog and one of Deborah's favorites.
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Note from AKI Founder Karen Menczer
I lived in Jamaica for ten months, and spent every Saturday with Deborah, taking food to people to supplement their dogs' and cats' diets, explaining to people that dogs need to eat more than once a week (a misconception that seemed fairly common among pet owners), convincing people that their cats and 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 and cats, who would have received no other care if it wasn't for Deborah/KCAW.
I went with Deborah only on Saturdays, but Deborah takes different routes every single day of the week, where she drops off food, checks on dogs and cats, and talks to neighborhood people about their pets and the street cats and dogs.
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 helping care for over 500 animals on a regular basis-and tens of thousands of animals over her animal welfare career.