AGM 2002




 The President opened the meeting at 5.45pm

 There were 18 members in attendance. 

Judith Bardfield                         Disa Billington

Jackie Cestero                            Christine Carty

Ralph Cestero                              Jacquie Connor

Joanne Davies                              Patricia Harris

Kathy Haskins                              Joan Hill

Lindsay Lawrence                         Barbara Owen

Michelle Owen-Vasilis                  Joseph Norris Payne

Shelagh Richardson                      Patrick Vanterpool

Amy Williams                              Lynn Wise-Bartlett

Apologies were received from Suzan Donahue, Mimi Gratton, Anita Richardson and Muriel Richardson.

No minutes were read, as this was the first Annual General Meeting

The President•s• Report :

Dr. Vanterpool presented a summary of the achievements of the Society since September 14, 2000 when a small group of 15 people had met to discuss the possibilities of forming an animal welfare organization to the present date.  He stated that the Society had been legally registered in March 2001, and today•s• memberships numbered sixty-three.  Commending the achievements of the various sub-committees, the President noted that perseverance had definitely been the answer.  Decisions had been made and crossroads met, but progress was represented in the numbers of homeless animals that had been saved through adoption. 

After that first meeting in September 2000, 6 animals were rescued in the remaining months of that year and all were adopted. 

In 2001: 106 were rescued, 43 adopted and 63 euthanized. 

To date for 2002: 62 have been rescued, 17 adopted, and 40 euthanized. 

Dr. Vanterpool stated that it was important to recognize that even the animals humanly euthanized, rather than brutally treated or destroyed, represent a progress, and it was important to notice too that changes are beginning to be seen in human/animal relationships within the community.  The recently held dog training classes, which had been run by Lynn Coffin from the St. Martin animal shelter, whilst not well attended, had attracted much comment and drawn many people to stop and watch, thereby advertising AARF on the island.  He went on to praise the accomplishments made in the fields of Education under the guidance of Michelle Owen-Vasilis, Communications where Jackie Cestero had worked to develop the web newsletter and publish photographs of animals up for adoption.  Dr. Cestero was complimented for making and maintaining the collection boxes, which had been distributed in various business places throughout the island, and Mrs. Barbara Owen for looking after these and other funds collected.  The policies and procedures sub-committee, was praised for their ongoing work. He thanked both members and non-members of AARF who had volunteered their time and resources to work at various projects throughout the year.  Mentioned were:  Kathy Haskins, Wini Scarbrough, Joan Hill, Pat Harris, Suzan Donahue, Disa Billington, Jacquie Connor, Mimi Gratton, Lindsay Lawrence, Monica Trimble, Lynn Wise-Bartlett, Claire Devener from the Anguilla Life Magazine, Joanne Davies, Jaxson Arnold, the Anguillian newspaper, and also Mr. Payne who had served as AARF•s• representative at the Constitutional Reform meetings.

He also thanked AARF•s• American friends:  Sherry and John Morrall who have taken homeless puppies back to the United States and found wonderful new homes for them and also Jacquelyn Wavrunek a graphic designer from Chicago, IL. who donated both her time and talent to produce the beautiful AARF logo. 

Dr. Vanterpool explained that this meeting represented a changing of the guard, and went on to advise all those who chose to continue with the journey embarked upon in September of 2000, to focus on the present; to be flexible enough to accommodate the future; to embrace new ideas; and to remember that every decision made, would help the poor homeless creatures acquire a social and political voice.

 He gave those animals a voice in a specially written poem:

           Sometime ago I opened my eyes          

Under an old abandoned building         

The horrible scents, the dust, the painful cries    

I thought, ‘What a sad state of living’.   


A furry figure, frail and thin       

Laid helpless before me trembling         

My other four siblings cuddled tight      

As if they knew my Mom was dying.


Just then a hooked stick grabbed my Mom       

I heard a painful cry     

Then silence suddenly filled the air        

I knew my Mom had died.       


In that lost breath a human face

Appeared beneath the floor      

His two hands grabbed all he could hold           

Thank God he could hold no more.      


For one lonely year I survived on my own        

Living on the occasional mouse, I roam

In sun, in rain, in drizzle, in dew

I longed for a loving home


One day that familiar face I saw           

Those familiar hands extended  

Overcome with fear I froze in place      

Wondering if my life had ended

But a softened voice said ‘Don’t cry my dear’  

His arms gave a warm embrace

          ‘I am now a member of AARF’ he said

        My home is now your place.


Dr. Vanterpool was given a round of applause for his very touching poem. 

Mrs. Barbara Owen was introduced and she presented the treasurer•s• report, which had been approved by the accounting firm of KPMG.  Completing the financial report Mrs. Owen mentioned that KPMG had given their services free of charge, as a donation to AARF.

A Tee-shirt brought to the meeting by Mrs. Joan Hill was displayed by Mrs. Owen, who explained that the proceeds from the sale of the shirts would assist a young lady student to go abroad for corrective facial surgery.

In closing, Dr. Vanterpool stated that he had left the most important part until last, he gave special thanks, and acknowledged that all of this would have been impossible to accomplish without the hard work and dedication of Amy Williams, who took on the every day, and often heartbreaking task of caring for these homeless animals.

The floor was then handed over to Dr. Cestero who with the help of Mrs. Kathy Haskins, conducted the ballot to elect the Officers for the year 2002-03.

The results were as follows:

Mr. Joseph Norris Payne         President

Ms. Disa Billington                  Vice President

Mrs. Barbara Owen                 Treasurer

Mrs. Christine Carty               Secretary

Mrs. Suzan Donahue                Elected member to serve on Executive Committee

Mrs. Jacquie Connor                Elected member to serve on Executive Committee


As Immediate Past President, Dr. Vanterpool handed over to Mr. Payne, who took the chair. 

Mr. Payne introduced himself, and asked all those present to do likewise.  He thanked the members for electing him to be President, also extending thanks on behalf of the other Officers. He praised the work that had been done by the former President, Dr. Vanterpool, as well as the other members of the Executive Committee. He made a promise to the members present that he and the Committee would shoulder their responsibilities, and continue to try to make the organization a success.  He mentioned that education, in his opinion, was the answer, and the work started by Mrs. Michelle Owen-Vasilis over the past year is proving this to be true.  In order for the organization to move on from strength to strength, education has to be continued and developed, so that all residents of Anguilla know about the humane treatment and welfare of animals. 

Mr. Payne asked if there were any questions or other business.

 Various concerns and questions were put forward, and discussions took place on the following:-

 The importation and breeding of vicious dogs (i.e. Pit Bulls).

The exportation of an adopted dog to another country, if adopted by a foreign national.

The AARF program in the schools.

Overseas vets who are willing to volunteer their services to organizations such as AARF.

The neutering and spaying of the animals adopted.

The future purchase of land to build an animal shelter.

Mrs. Kathy Haskins extended ‘good-luck’ to the Executive Committee in their endeavors, and Dr Cestero moved to adjourn the meeting.


2002 Officers Disa Billington, Barbara Owen, Joseph Payne, Chris Carty and Jacquie Connor

The meeting closed at 6.45pm