AKI Partner Organization-Kingston Community Animal Welfare (KCAW)
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 who roam the streets and pets belonging to no/low income families. Deborah and her network of helpers care for about 1000 cats and dogs in Kingston.
KCAW spays/neuters, feeds, provides vet care when needed, and monitors street animals to make sure they stay safe and healthy. KCAW is the only organization that is fully committed to helping the animals living on the streets.
KCAW also helps 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's network of community members watch over the street animals, helping to make sure that no harm comes to them and that they're treated kindly by neighbors. They let her know if something is wrong with a cat or dog, and they provide food on the days that Deborah doesn’t stop by. KCAW works in the poorest neighborhoods, and Deborah's trusted by the people there; she knows everyone in “her” communities—the people, dogs, and cats.
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've been sterilized, and she will only adopt to homes where she knows that they'll have a lifetime of love.
KCAW has been an AKI Partner Organization since 2007, the year AKI started. AKI donors provide about 90% of KCAW's budget.
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.