All animal lovers in Bocas del Toro will be happy to hear about the newest start-up in town, Bocas Barks. It is a non-profit organisation that focuses on finding foster and adoptive homes for stray dogs and cats on the islands. Its founders, a small group of people brought together by their shared love of animals, met via social media pages as well as on dog-walks on the beach. Bocas Barks’ representative, Jeanine Bornand, shares with us that it was the large number of animals in need of help, that made them take action and establish this wonderful organisation. Miss Bornand states that the primary goal for Bocas Barks is direct help to street animals, including setting up feeding stations in Bocas town, finding homes for our furry friends and education for the community on proper animal care.
Fostering is the first step to finding permanent homes for animals in need, meant for animals who are not quite ready for adoption due to injury or malnutrition. Interested foster parents can get involved by liking the Facebook page “Bocas Barks Fosters only”, where urgent cases will be posted. They will be helped every step of the way by Bocas Barks’ members by means of moral and monetary support going towards transportation, veterinary and vaccine bills. Once the animal is healthy, they will start looking for its permanent home. The target group for adoption are people who love animals and have extra time and space in their homes. Bocas Barks’ members first wish to meet the family interested in adopting an animal ensuring a good fit, and every adoption will be followed by a check up a few weeks later to make certain both parents and animal are happy.
Bocas Barks also cooperates with Spray and Neuter Panama, a Panama City-based, non-profit organisation that works to get local cats and dogs sprayed, neutered, dewormed and vaccinated. For editor of the Bocas Breeze Casie Dean was passionate about this very cause and headed successful Spay and Neuter clinics in years past. Last year the community banded together to raise money for an April visit by Spay Panama to Bocas del Toro and they were able to spray and neuter 150 dogs and 150 cats in Bastimentos, Carenero and Bocas Town. Bornand stresses the importance of repeating this initiative in 2017 and invites all animal lovers in Bocas to the Big Raffle Party on Sunday 17th December at the Bookstore Bar to help raise money for the groups’ activities. More information and further donations are also accepted via the Bocas Barks’ general Facebook page.