Thursday, March 3, 2011

International Spay Day 2011 - SAGA Supports the San Pedro Community by Spaying Pets and Preventing Suffering

Press Release – SAGA – March 1st, 2011– International Spay Day was on the 22nd of February? You may be perplexed by this. What on earth is International Spay Day? Why would there be an international day devoted to spaying? What is spaying anyway? What does it have to do with San Pedro? What does it have to do with SAGA? What does it have to do with me?
Every day, across the world, thousands of unwanted dogs and cats are killed simply because there are too many of them - and, tragically, those are the lucky ones. Many others are left to die of disease, are poisoned or to starve to death in the streets because they are allowed to reproduce without any control. Dogs and cats are domestic animals. This means that we have created them to serve a purpose and they are dependent on us for their care and welfare. So, it is up to us to prevent their suffering.
Miss Brownie was a female dog left to roam around town by very uncaring and irresponsible owners. She had TVT, a sexually transmitted cancer virus that was one of the worse that had ever been seen by SAGA. Her owners were allowing her to breed irresponsibly and this is why she became infected. Unfortunately for Miss Brownie and the devoted team of SAGA staff and volunteers who spent weeks trying to catch her, she was so sick that they couldn’t save her. She also had tick fever, which is easily and inexpensively treatable, but her owners didn’t bother trying to get help for her. It would have been cruel to keep her alive any longer so she was painlessly put out of her misery.
This is why spaying and neutering is so important and why all responsible owners in San Pedro should have their pets spayed and neutered. International Spay Day gives groups like SAGA, all over the world, a chance to promote spaying and neutering and to inform and educate pet owners about the importance of these very simple procedures that can save thousands of lives.
For SAGA, even though Miss Brownie brought them great sadness, the day turned out to be a huge success and they were able to perform 10 free spays and neuters for the loving and responsible pet owners of the San Pedro community.
Spaying and neutering makes dogs want to stay at home instead of wandering and looking for mates. It makes them better pets, better watch dogs and safer with children. It reduces the chance of injury and disease, which can cost owners a great deal of money and heartbreak and eliminates the risk of unwanted puppies or kittens, which are a great burden on an already overpopulated island.
Many people complain about the strays that chase people on the beach, bark at night, turn over the garbage and give visitors to San Pedro the impression that people don’t care. But there is an easy solution – be an upstanding member of the San Pedro community, like the wonderful owners who brought their pets in on International Spay Day – have your pet spayed or neutered. The great news is that because of the huge success on International Spay Day, SAGA is continuing throughout the month of March to offer a great deal to responsible pet owners. Any owner who has their pet spayed or neutered at SAGA in March will receive a FREE heartworm test, worth $90, for their pet. Heartworm is another easily preventable disease, so having your pet tested and finding out what to do to prevent heartworm or treat it is a great way to save money, your pet’s health and contribute to making San Pedro a better place for people and animals.
It is the right thing to do for you, for your pet and your community. There is nothing natural or kind about leaving your dog to catch and spread deadly disease and letting it have puppies & kittens when there are not enough good homes.
If you’d like to find out more about having your pet spayed or neutered, please contact SAGA on 226-3266.

Women and Politics: Inclusion at the Highest Level

Press Release - Belize - March 2, 2011) Thirty years after independence, the majority of women in Belize continue to face significant challenges in moving towards parity with men at almost every level of political leadership and decision-making. There is no female participation in the House of Representatives and no female minister. This places Belize in joint last position (131st) on the Global Gender Gap Index in the area of political empowerment of women, along with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei (Ref. The Global Gender Gap Report 2010). With the proportion of seats held by women in national parliament being a critical indicator of Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 3, Belize is not on course to achieve this MDG.
The exclusion of women at the highest level of decision-making is attributable to a myriad of factors: socio-economic, cultural, and political, all of which coalesce to prevent the inclusion of women in politics. The participation of women in political leadership and decision-making is therefore a requirement as a matter of justice – women represent half of the world's population and are an essential component to any government, which claims to be legitimate, representative, responsive and democratic.
In an effort to support improvements in women's political participation in Belize, UNDP Belize and the National Women's Commission have launched a collaborative initiative to: analyze the political and policy context of Belize with special emphasis on developments and issues related to gender; update previous research on the situation of women in Belize; expand the analysis of socio-economic, cultural and political obstacles to political participation; and foster a national dialogue on the issue.
The initiative will be guided by an Advisory Committee comprised of representatives from national and international organizations including: the National Women’s Commission, UNDP, UNFPA, the Organization of American States, Embassies of the United States of America, Brazil, Costa Rica and Mexico, the British High Commission, United Democratic Party, People's United Party, Vision Inspired by the People, Women's Issues Network Belize, RSV Media, University of Belize, and the Women’s Department.
To launch this partnership officially, UNDP Belize Assistant Resident Representative Francisco Roquette and Ann-Marie Williams, Executive Director of the National Women's Commission will be publicly signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The signing ceremony will take place at Chateau Caribbean on March 8, 2011 at 3 PM coinciding with the commemoration of International Women's Day.
For more information, please contact the National Women's Commission at 223-4284 or UNDP at 822-2688.