Expats tend to get very involved in their new communities, wherever that may be. In Roatan, there are several organizations and causes that garner a great deal of interest and investment from expats. One very popular one is the Roatan Humane Society.
It is often observed that throughout the Caribbean, as well as Central and South America, stray dogs and cats are a major issue. You cannot possibly visit without noticing them wandering the streets. Of course, without leash laws it’s also difficult to differentiate the strays from the pets to be honest – except that most of the pets have collars at least.
The Roatan Humane Society is the organization I have to personally thank for introducing us to Lina, our island doggie. She is from French Harbour, was living at the gas station, and scrounged for scraps in the trash cans of the Bojangles next door. When our friend Jhonan, who worked with the Humane Society, found her, he took care of her as best he could but had to find her a permanent home. That’s where we came in. He told us about her, we went to see her, and she adopted us…as simple as that! She became part of our family before we even knew we were a family.
Last weekend, the Roatan Humane Society partnered with Infinity Bay Resort to host the 1st Annual Fur Ball. Tickets were $50 per person ($60 day of the event) with a full buffet included, as well as over 35 door prizes donated by various businesses around the island.
Because of the generosity of Infinity Bay Resort, the ballroom in their main building was used free of charge. And let me tell you: the buffet at this event was phenomenal. Lobster tails, mussels, grilled sea bass, chicken cordon bleu, shrimp stuffed pasta shells…the list goes on. It was amazing.
The event netted over $4,200 for the Roatan Humane Society – with more donations still coming in – to use for the following three goals:
- Funding for the Veterinarian Scholarship Fund. A Roatan native, Kevin Antunez just left for veterinary school in Brazil on a scholarship combined with other funds previously raised. His living expenses while at school are being partially funded by proceeds from this particular event.
- Eventually building a permanent location for a veterinary clinic in Sandy Bay. Currently we have one vet on-island who can make house calls, and one vet who comes to the island for a weekly clinic on Wednesdays. An actual physical location for a clinic (and maybe a full rescue center!) will be such a welcome addition to this community!
- Animal welfare education. An ongoing need everywhere, but especially here where the stray population continues to be an issue.
Thank you to the Roatan Humane Society and to Infinity Bay Resort for putting on such a wonderful event for a great cause. If you are an animal lover and would like to contribute in some way, contact the Humane Society for current needs and advice.