On August 18, Animal Shelter Bonaire will have a special open day to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the founding of the shelter.
It all began in August 1983, when three animal lovers formed the foundation and it has grown exponentially over those 35 years.
The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Animal Shelter Bonaire, Kaminda Lagun 26. The special day will feature live music by Gibi Bomba, a $1.00 per ticket raffle (with prizes including a new Kindle Fire, grooming session, handmade gifts and more). There will be information on animal care and grooming, an Adoption Fair with special anniversary prices, cold soft drinks…..and of course birthday cupcakes! The celebration will also include a small book market, craft market, and a pet toys and accessories shop.
Thanks to the sponsorship of UTS the day will also feature “CHIPPIE CHIPS”. The Animal Shelter will be giving away 100 gift certificates valid for a free microchip for your dog or cat. With your certificate you can make an appointment with the veterinarian and have your animal chipped for free. When you register the “Chippie Chips” microchip number with the island veterinarians and the shelter, the microchip will help pet owners reunite with their animals if the animal is lost. The shelter, other animal care organizations and veterinarians are all equipped with scanners to “read” the chip number.
Special recognition will also be given to the initial founders, early managers, board members and volunteers who kept the shelter alive during some tough times. Individuals and companies who have given unwavering support over all these years will also be recognized. The “official remarks” will take place at 11:00 a.m.
The celebration will be a fun day for the entire family. Please mark your calendar and join Animal Shelter Bonaire in celebration of 35 years of caring for the island’s unwanted dogs and cats, promoting free sterilization and community education.
A Piece of History
Animal Shelter Bonaire (Stichting Dierenasiel Bonaire) was founded on August 3, 1983, by three volunteers who saw a need to help the homeless dogs on Bonaire. For several years they did what they could with no physical location. In 1989, four kennels were erected on the grounds of Captain Don’s Habitat and the shelter finally had a “home” and continued its mission with just volunteers. In 2000, the shelter moved to its current location and began operating with a part time staff and volunteers.
Animal Shelter Bonaire Today
Fast forward to 2018, and the shelter continues to grow, still using only part time staff and loyal volunteers, some who have been with the shelter since the early days.
Currently housing 70 dogs and 40 cats, Animal Shelter Bonaire remains committed to its original goal: providing care, food and accommodation to unwanted animals; ending animal overpopulation through free sterilization; and educating the population of Bonaire about animal care through school programs and media.
The Animal Shelter Bonaire team, including 7 volunteers at present, is also looking for some animal lovers willing to sacrifice some of their time to provide our hairy friends with some extra care and attention.
On December 6, 2017, Luvinia Rodriguez became the new manager of the animal shelter.
Born on Bonaire, Luvinia grew up with her grandmother who owned a variety of animals and pets and knew that she would want to work with animals when she was older.
At age 14, Luvinia joined her mother and other family members in the Netherlands where she studied animal care and learned all about detecting disease and taking proper care of all kinds of animals.
After successfully completing her studies, it was hard to find work in her field. When her mother left to return to Bonaire, Luvinia struggled for another year working all kind of odd jobs, but finally decided that her options might be better on Bonaire.
On Bonaire she started working different jobs until she was approached by the animal shelter to apply for a job as they had heard she was a certified animal care taker.
She soon started working as a part time staff member and cat lady at the shelter and enjoyed finally working in her field. She was very active in the Dog Control program where she talked with pet owners in the different neighborhoods, motivating them to sterilize their pets and also advising them on care of their pets.
When the previous manager became ill, Luvinia took over some of her duties. After the manager and the foundation decided to not renew her contract, they asked Luvinia to take over her responsibilities.
As an involved mother of a daughter, she wanted to spend enough quality time with her and requested to have her daughter on the job with her. The girl now spends time with her mother and is surrounded by plenty of animals to love, while her mother dedicates her time to her passion, caring for animals.
In the next year, the Animals Shelter is planning to expand the dog kennel, as the current big 5 dog kennel is in high demand and constantly occupied.
There are also plans to expand the quarantine area to provide more space for new arrivals.
The cats will also have a kennel in the future.
In the future, the shelter also hopes to build a classroom for educational purposes.
Mark your calendars to come and help celebrate 35 years of Animal Shelter Bonaire on
Saturday, August 18th,
9 a.m.-12 p.m.,
Kaminda Lagun 26.