One of the dogs treated at last year's Operation Potcake.
As they did last year, foreign volunteers should be allowed to operate for free.
Local vets should undertake the project at a cost of $50 per surgery.
727 total votes.
THE internet exploded with anger yesterday over the cancellation of Operation Potcake following objections from the local veterinary association.
When The Tribune broke the story – the most read story on www.tribune242.com yesterday – members of the public took to Facebook, Twitter and other social media to vent their exasperation.
The highly successful five-day dog spay and neuter project, lauded by Prime Minister Perry Christie in its inaugural instalment last year, was sunk because the Veterinary Medical Association of the Bahamas (VMAB) blocked the entry of foreign volunteers set to donate their time and skills free of charge.
Instead, the local vets said they would undertake the project themselves, but could only do so over three days and for $50 per surgery – a price the non-profit organisers say the cannot afford. At that rate, the first project would have cost more than $100,000.
“Franklin Burrows” said: “This is absolutely absurd. The local vets do not have the time nor the resources to carry out such a huge task. Very, very selfish of them to take this stance.
“So now the animals will continue to suffer, and these same local vets will be no better off, because the people who this programme helps cannot afford the fee.”
“Shae Shae” said: “Why stop the people from helping the dogs? Especially for free – so many dogs are suffering on the streets. Not everybody that cares will be able to shell out $50 per dog for two, three, four dogs.
“Anthony Hughes” said: “This is very sad. The VMAB needs to offer their services free of charge for this event, or allow the foreign volunteers to do the charity work they’ve so graciously offered.”
“Pauline Malone” asked the vets to “please put the animals FIRST and not your pockets,” while “SMT” blamed “pride and egos blinding rational decision making, AGAIN.”
“Indi InParadise” exclaimed: “My God! Shocking and disappointing!” while Michael Knowles warned local vets to “keep it classy... Don’t let that greed come back to bite you in the a.”
“ADubbs” said: “I see a lot of ridiculous things in the news, but this... Why would they stop volunteers from coming in to help take care of this problem? They suddenly want to do it themselves? And want to be PAID?! Get the h*ll out of here!”
“RUKiddingMe” said: “This activity does not cost the Bahamian people one red cent! It is done out of care and concern and in fact, actually saves in the long run. This ridiculous proposal from the VMAB will do absolutely to alleviate the (stray) potcake situation. The people who bring their dogs to these clinics would not otherwise do so. So the VMAB is not out a penny! Furthermore, those volunteers who come from away pay their own way, pay for accommodations, pay for meals and other things – in other words they also contribute to the local economy!”
“Bahamianpride” said: “The volunteer system was working and more importantly the animals were being helped by people who genuinely cared about them. We have a terrible potcake problem, its unsafe, unsanitary, and cruel to the animals.”
Meanwhile, “UserOne” warned that: “This news has gone international. What a sad situation for our country when we tell foreigners they are not welcome even when they are trying to help us solve a problem.”
“TERRI” said: “How sad that not only are they unwilling or unable to donate their time and service in the same manner as the ‘foreign’ volunteers, but they are so ‘blind’ they are willing to stand in the way of those that are. It would have sent a much better message to Bahamians if they had simply embraced the help and contributed whatever time and services they could.”
“Outislandermirror” wandered: “Why are we so good at shooting ourselves in the foot? Where are we going to get the money to pay our vets $50/dog? We like our animals but very few of us are willing to shell out that kind of money for animals that we hardly know.
“We don’t want them hurt but we can’t pay to have them fixed. Having volunteer vets come in to spay/neuter these animals that our vets won’t do without pay is a perfect solution. Are our vets really that insecure?”
And Stephen B Aranha took to Twitter to declare: “What am I grateful for on this Thanksgiving day? That I am not a Nassau vet!”