AARF  Newsletter

Volume 6, Issue 3                                                                                   September  2006                                                                                                                               

Dear AARF Members and Friends - the goal of our newsletter is to keep you up to date on events and plans of the foundation. If you missed our June Bingo event or our AGM then take a moment to read about it in this newsletter. Not to be missed is the heartwarming adoption story in our Happy Tails section. This issue's education corner focuses on Heartworm. Please don't hesitate to send an email to aarfinfo@aarf.ai if there is any topic you would like to see addressed in this section or any other part of our newsletter. 

Thank you, 
Suzie Donahue














Althea Turner, AARF•s• fundraising chairman, reported another success for AARF at our 2nd Bingo Night of 2006 which was held at Roy•s• on Saturday June 24th. Although we had fewer people attending, we still made a little over $4000 which included the profits from a raffle with great prizes: first prize two roundtrip tickets to San Juan from Anguilla on American Eagle, second prize a Digicel phone package valued at over $600 EC and a 3rd prize of $100 US cash.  

In 2007 the first of our two bingo events will be held on January 13th at Roy's with the second Bingo night sometime in mid May. So mark those calendars and plan to join us for a fun evening with proceeds going to help meet our spay and neuter budget for 2007.   

This year, through her fundraising expertise, Althea has chaired a wonderful group of volunteers in 2 bingo events and our very popular yard sale and is responsible for a profit from these 3 events of almost $15,000 US dollars. We are all grateful to Althea for her dedication and commitment to AARF! 


Joanne Davies Wins!                                     Happy Winner Shadale!                               Lucky Raffle Winners! 



                                        Lou another winner!                                        AARF Supporters enjoy the evening!




On Monday, June 19th at Road School's morning assembly AARF Education Chairman, Lynn Bartlett, announced the winners of the 2006 Kathy Melby Memorial Education Project of the Year.  

This competition is sponsored by family and friends in memory of Kathy Melby, a long time resident of Anguilla, who passed away unexpectedly in November of 2003. The memorial competition was established as a way to honor Kathy•s• kindness and love for the animals here in Anguilla. The Anguilla Animal Rescue Foundation (AARF) in partnership with Teacher Shelagh Richardson conducts the competition each year at Road School. This year the theme was ”Preventing Cruelty to Animals” and the students were asked to draw a poster and write a short description of what cruel treatment is and how to prevent it.  There were 7 winners this year with each child receiving prizes from the memorial fund and AARF. The winning posters will be displayed on the AARF bulletin board at the Library in the Valley.

 The winners were:

Overall Winner: Carolina Richardson – Grade 1 

Winners from participating classes were:

Allysa Richardson – Kindergarten         Issa Carty  - Grade 1               Ea-Rhon Rogers  - Grade 2

Ameka Richardson - Grade 3                Gineece Gumbs – Grade 4         Chrishauna Hughes - Grade 6

Grade 5 had no completed entries.

 Teacher Shelagh Richardson again assisted Mrs. Bartlett  with the presentations. AARF would like to thank all of the participants and congratulate the winners for 2006!

   Overall Winner: Carolina Richardson – Grade 1 


Winners from participating classes were:

Allysa Richardson – Kindergarten, Issa Carty  - Grade 1, Ea-Rhon Rogers  - Grade 2, Ameka Richardson - Grade 3

Gineece Gumbs – Grade 4 and Chrishauna Hughes - Grade 6  




In June, the World Society for the Protection of Animals hosted a Global Animal Welfare Symposium to celebrate their 25th anniversary. As a Member Society AARF was invited to send one representative to the symposium and President Chris Carty traveled to London to attend what became the largest international animal welfare conference ever held. 

Over 370 delegates from 110 countries came together at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, at Hyde Park to hear presentations given by many inspirational and motivating speakers promoting humane animal welfare.  The two-day conference was split into four sessions and discussion groups, Animals and People First; Global Action for Wildlife; World Farm-watch and Companion Animals.  Chris reported that the added bonus was the camaraderie of the conference and being given the opportunity to meet and talk with so many contemporaries from around the world.

 The ‘ANIMALS MATTER TO ME‘ petition calling for a United Nations Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare was officially launched at the symposium.  The aim of the petition is to obtain 10 million signatures, appealing to the United Nations to recognize animals as sentient beings, capable of experiencing pain and suffering, and to recognize that animal welfare is an issue of importance as part of the social development of nations worldwide. 

To sign this petition, please go to:




The Fifth AGM of the Anguilla Animal Rescue Foundation was held on Wednesday August 30th at Roy•s• Bayside.

President, Chris Carty, welcomed everyone to the meeting at which

Suzie Donahue, AARF•s• secretary, read the minutes of the previous AGM held on July 29, 2005 and Jimmy Carter gave the Treasurer•s• report. 

In her President•s• Report, Chris Carty, noted that AARF is fast becoming a household word in Anguilla and stated that we had also gained recognition regionally and globally by our attendance this past spring at animal welfare conferences in Antigua and London. 

President Carty reported that AARF continued this past year to focus on the spay/neuter program that is aimed toward those who have adopted from AARF, as well as some need-based cases. She recognized Dr. Patrick Vanterpool and Amy Williams for their continued support for AARF not only through the spay/neuter surgeries, but also for providing boarding and care for the unwanted animals here in Anguilla. Since the last AGM, AARF had found homes for 155 animals – most to Anguillian homes - by adoptions from Morlens Veterinary Hospital or AARF adoption days.  

AARF•s• other focus is Education and Chris thanked all those involved in the AARF Fun Page and recognized Mr. Nat Hodge of The Anguillian for his continuing contribution in printing this animal information page that is enjoyed by both children and adults.  

Chris also thanked the members, volunteers and public for their attendance and support of our bingo and yard sale fundraising projects chaired by Althea Turner. Mrs. Carty reported that without any outside funding or grants, AARF has raised almost $15,000 US in 2006, and noted that over $10,000 had been spent caring for animals since last year.

President Carty also made the presentation of the Volunteer of the Year Award to Lynn Bartlett for her work on the Education committee in which she visited 7 schools and interacted with the children to teach them about positive animal care. Lynn also continues to support AARF at her business, Bartlett•s• Collections, where she sell AARF T-shirts and other AARF items and tells the many visitors to the island about AARF.  

The Executive Board elected for the 2006 –07 year is:

President – Chris Carty

Vice President – Suzie Donahue

Secretary – Diane Sheehan

Treasurer – Jackie Pascher

Members at Large – Althea Turner & Gayle Gurvey 

In closing President Carty asked the group to take a minute to step back and recognize the work being done, the progress being made, the challenges being met, and rejoice that so many of us are willing to stand up and give animals a voice.”

Executive Board 2006 -07 

Fm Left to Right 

Gayle Gurvey, Chris Carty, Jackie Pascher, Suzie Donahue & Amy Williams


Volunteer of the Year & Education Chairman for 2006 -2007


Lynn Bartlett

We are pleased to spotlight Lynn Bartlett in this issue of our newsletter. Lynn's selection as AARF Volunteer of the Year for 2006 was announced in the Annual General Meeting in the presentation below given by President Chris Carty. We salute you Lynn for all that you have done in the past for AARF and congratulate you on your award and are pleased that you have agreed to be Education Chairman for the coming year.  


The Volunteer of the Year 2006

 AARF’s volunteers come in many forms.  
Some are able to offer their time to assist us with specific projects.
Many don’t have much spare time and instead are able to give us much needed financial support.
Most of our volunteers have careers and family obligations.
Some of our volunteers live here, some are tourists, some are businesses, some are hotels, some are individuals, and some are families.
We are grateful to all of our volunteers.
The Volunteer of the Year for 2006 is an individual who lives here, who works here, and is busy helping with other community projects apart from AARF, but still gives up many of those precious spare time hours to work for us. 
This person has been a supporter since the very beginning and is a pet owner of
two precious animals, Sarah (also an AARF volunteer), and Angel.
Yes Lynn. 
We are grateful for everything you do.  In the field of education your AARF school projects demonstrate your patience and devotion to both children and animals. 
The support you give by supervising, selling and promoting our merchandize is so very much appreciated, especially when you remind our visitor’s to leave their spare change in the AARF collection box before they leave.      
It is my privilege to present our Volunteer of the Year Award for 2006 to 
  we are grateful for all you have done and will continue to do in the future for AARF. 




The "Oscar" Experience 

By Juliet Sigmann

My husband Michael and I got married on Meads Bay in June 29, 2005.  We absolutely loved Anguilla and decided to go back for our 1st anniversary.  We brought back quite a “souvenir” from our trip and our 1st anniversary!

We read an article about pet adoption and AARF in a magazine that was provided in our hotel room. On the Saturday of our stay, I was reading the article and mentioned it to my husband.  We had been batting around the idea of getting a third dog, but it was just something we talked about. We looked at each other and decided we would give the clinic a call.  We were unable to reach anyone so our excitement got a bit deflated, but we decided that we would call back on Monday.

Monday came around and my husband came in from the other room and said, “We are getting a puppy”.  He had called the clinic and apparently a litter of pups had just come in that morning.  So, we were off in our rental jeep and away we went to the clinic.  We were excited and wondering if we were completely nuts – we were leaving the next day and we had two dogs at home!

We got to the clinic and in one big crate there were a bunch of adorable little puppies.  Which one to choose?  I could have taken two, but I knew three dogs total at home would be the limit!  One puppy in particular was scuttling about – he was the biggest pup (all of 3 lbs!) and had beautiful coloring.  Oscar it was!

While at the clinic, I called American Airlines to see whether I could take the puppy – especially since we were leaving the next morning!  I was able to secure a spot for an in-cabin ticket for the dog.  The clinic had a carrier that they loaned us for the trip home and Oscar was outfitted with a leash and collar. Next, we filled out the adoption paperwork and received a health certificate for the flight – POOF – we were new dog owners! My goodness!!

We got back into our jeep and stopped off at the grocery store to buy some puppy food, and then we snuck back to our hotel with our new family member.  Later we took him to the beach to enjoy our last evening on Meads Bay.

We then went to Bananas for our last meal (love that place).  Bob, the owner of Bananas and an animal lover, was gracious enough to let us eat our meal at the bar – with Oscar curled up at our feet.  That night, I was afraid he would cry and be scared to be away from his littermates, but he took everything in stride and was such a good boy. 

The next morning we were off early to the airport.  I lined Oscars crate with a few layers of a torn up beach towel I had brought with me.  I figured I could peel out the layers if he had an accident on the long flight back to Boston .

At check in, I think I paid $40 cash (make sure to have cash!) for Oscar•s• ticket.  It was as simple as that.  Our first flight was from Anguilla to San Juan .  Oscar did not make a peep.  We went through customs in Puerto Rico with exceptional ease.  We had our health certificate with us, but no one gave it a second glance.  Everyone was very sympathetic that we were rescuing a puppy and we just sailed on through.

Since we had a 3 hour layover, we decided to go outside to give Oscar the opportunity to go to the bathroom and stretch his little legs.  It was easy to go through security again and get to our gate.

On the flight to Boston , Oscar was once again, a perfect puppy.  We really lucked out - not a peep.  Our flight attendant was an animal lover, and surprising, asked us if she could take him to the back for a little bit for a puppy fix!

And, the rest is history!  Wilson, our Welsh Terrier, and Loki, our Yellow Lab, were a bit surprised to find a new puppy when we got home.  They took to him right away and now we are one big happy family.  

Oscar, Wilson & Loki

Oscar is a great dog.  Our friends want to know how they can adopt an Anguillian puppy too – since he has such a great temperament!  I wouldn’t be surprised if we adopted another one the next time we are there!

Oscar weighed about 3 lbs when we got him.  Yesterday, he weighed in at 18 lbs and we think he•s• about 14-15 weeks old.  Guesses are that he’ll get to be about 40 lbs and be a leggy and thin dog.


Oscar in Massachusetts August 2006




 Almost a year ago in November 2005, AARF initiated a new adoption policy that included a fee of $20 US to adopt an animal from AARF. This small fee includes a free spay or neuter when the puppy/kitten is old enough for the surgery (between 4 & 6 months), worming, flea/tick bath and the animals first set of vaccinations. Cats are also tested for feline aids/leukemia, which is an incurable disease transmitted from cat to cat and is common here on Anguilla.  Dogs are tested for heartworm, a parasite transmitted by mosquitoes (See more about this disease in our section Education Corner below) and erlichosis,a blood parasite transmitted by ticks. Both of these diseases are also common on Anguilla and life threatening.  

New owners are provided with information on the proper care of their pet and encouraged to call AARF is they need any other assistance.  

In addition, AARF has also developed a surrender form that allows the owner of an unwanted dog or cat to leave the animal at Morlens at no charge. This permits the animal to then be put up for adoption. These animals will be accepted free, but need to be eating on their own which is usually at 6 weeks of age or older. It is hoped that unwanted dogs and cats will be taken to Morlens instead of being left to fend for themselves and causing a nuisance in the areas where they are abandoned.   

AARF founded in 2000, is a non-profit organization solely funded by donations from caring animal lovers. Since 2003 when AARF initiated their free spay/neuter program more than 500 dogs and cats here on Anguilla have been sterilized. This program now focuses on animals adopted through AARF.  

We are pleased to report that since January of this year AARF has found homes for 92 puppies/dogs and kittens/cats on Anguilla. Thank you to all of you that have welcomed these unfortunate animals into your hearts and homes and given them a second chance! 


In August and again in September AARF sponsored adoption days at Albert's Grocery store. 

We were able to place 5 puppies and 4 kittens in forever homes at these two events. Most adoptions occur at Morlens Veterinary Hospital where the AARF animals are boarded.  



Craig Charles adopts a puppy.                   Joan Hill  - AARF volunteer helps out!

Bethany's new kitten


All about Heartworm in Dogs

Heartworms are a parasitic worm (about the diameter of thin spaghetti) that normally live free floating in the right ventricle of the heart and nearby blood vessels.
*  The parasites are transmitted from one individual to another by mosquitoes.

*  Heartworm can be diagnosed with a blood test.
*  Heartworms are not detectable with the commonly used antigen blood test until they are sexually mature (about 6 months after entering the patient). Female worms must be present for accurate test results.
*  Heartworm has been diagnosed worldwide and is an important pet health care issue here in Anguilla.  
 *  Dr. Patrick Vanterpool of Morlens Veterinary Hospital in Sandy Hill stresses the importance of Heartworm prevention for dogs.  
*  Dogs should be tested FIRST… before starting heartworm preventatives unless they are less than 7 months old.  

*  Dog•s• over 7 months of age that are started on preventative without first testing for Heartworm are at an increased risk of developing severe reactions.
*  Puppies should be started on Heartworm preventative by 8 weeks of age and then blood tested at 7 months of age.
*  Dogs should be tested on a regular basis, yearly if any doses of preventative have been missed and once every 2-3 years even if no doses were missed. 

It is extremely important to protect your dog each and ever month with heartworm preventative in Anguilla. If a monthly dose is missed your dog should be tested before starting over the monthly medication again.  


Two major mechanisms result in the signs of Heartworm disease seen in dogs.  The first is due to the damage the worms cause to the arteries in the lungs (called the Pulmonary arteries).  The second is the mechanical obstruction of blood flow that results from the inflammation and the number of worms present.

When a dog is first infested with Heartworm there are no visible or detectable signs.  The infection cannot be detected even with a blood test.  The changes in the victim start to occur when the final molt of the Heartworm larvae occurs and the immature L5 larvae  arrive in the right ventricle and neighboring blood vessels. The arteries do not do well with worms living inside them.  The artery lining is damaged within days, the body responds by inducing inflammation of the artery, called endarteritis, and other inflammation in the area to try to heal the damage.  Unfortunately, the worms cause damage at a rate faster than the body can heal.  The arteries over time develop certain characteristics that are typical of Heartworm disease, often these changes can be seen on x-rays.  The vessels become tortuous and dilated. Blood clots and aneurysms are a common side effect, and complete blockage of small blood vessels can occur.  The blood re-routes to non-worm burdened arteries.  The result is complete and partial blockage of blood vessels and fluid begins to accumulate around these blood vessels in the lungs.  This results in a loss of useful lung tissue and reduces the effective area of the lungs to oxygenate the blood for the body•s• needs.   As a result of the inflammation, blood vessel obstruction, and fluid accumulation, coughing results.  The dog displays exercise intolerance, nosebleeds, shortness of breath and a type of pneumonia may occur secondary to the increase in lung inflammation (called pulmonary eosinophilic granulomatosis).

As immature  worms continue to arrive and mature in the heart and lungs, the total number of worms at various stages of maturity increase and as they grow in size and number the above conditions take their toll. The host•s• reactions become more significant and the signs worsen.  More and more blood vessels and the surrounding lung tissue are damaged and not useful to the dog and this results in an increased resistance to blood flow through the lungs. This “backup” increases the blood pressure (hypertension) in the right side of the heart and Vena Cava  due to the obstruction of blood flow.  With accumulation of even more fluid in the lungs, the end result is the signs of actual heart failure.  The severity depends on the number of worms present and the dog•s• reaction to the worms.  The failing, weakened, stretched heart muscle results in rhythm abnormalities, fluid accumulation in the lungs (called pulmonary edema) and exercise intolerance.

Over time, the immune system becomes “turned on” at a rate higher than normal.  This puts extra proteins (in the form of antibodies) into circulation and they can settle out in the various organs of the body that are delicate in nature such as the eye, kidney, blood vessels, and joints.  This causes inflammation, more tissue damage, and pain.

One of the most severe signs of heartworm is called Caval Syndrome or Vena Cava Syndrome.  This is seen when there are large numbers of adult worms (usually around 100 or more) in the heart.  There is almost complete blockage of all blood flow.  Many times there will be no signs of heart disease prior to the animal•s• collapse.  When fainting and collapse does occurred it is accompanied by severe shock, red blood cell destruction, and often death within 1-2 days.   


The bottom line:  Heartworm is a significant disease in dogs.  The treatment involves managing the heart, vascular and systemic disease present as well as eliminating the parasites.  The goal of treatment is to eliminate the worms one way or another so the animal•s• body can rebuild itself and return to the best possible post-infection health.  This sounds simple but it can be very complicated depending upon the number of worms present, the dog•s• reaction to their presence, the patient•s• general state of health, handling the side effects from the medication and the effects on the patient of the dead worms within the circulatory system.

The specific treatment protocol for your pet will be left up to your veterinarian since there is no way to predict how each animal will react to Heartworm treatment.

Elimination of the Heartworm Parasite

This is a two-step process.  The adult worms and the microfilaria are eliminated separately.  No one medication kills both.  The adults are treated first then a different treatment is used to kill the microfilaria and migrating larvae. 

The most serious side effects usually occur with the treatment of the adult worms.  As the worms die they lodge in the lung arteries and block even more blood vessels than before treatment.  Besides the usual inflammation caused by the presence of the worms, the inflammation is amplified due to the decomposing worms within the blood vessels.  This worm destruction releases foreign substances in to the dog•s• circulation as the worms break down and are eliminated from the dog by the immune systems.  A large amount of inflammation and swelling generally occurs during this period.

Side effects from the medication can be immediate or take up to 2 weeks to appear.  One aspect of the side effects are due to the destruction of the adult worms and the resulting blood vessel blockage and inflammation.   No matter what medication is used, it is very important to keep your dog very quiet and follow all of your Doctor•s• instructions.  If you have any doubt about what to do or what is going on, do not hesitate to call your veterinarian ASAP. The medication alone can be toxic, and every animal reacts differently. 

After the treatment and its side effects are resolved (usually at about 1 month post treatment), the microfilaria are then eliminated with one or another of two common Heartworm preventatives, Ivermectin (HeartGard) or Mibemycin oxime (Interceptor).  This will be done approximately one month after the treatment, depending on your veterinarian•s• final decision.  

Approximately four months after therapy, the dogs are retested for the presence of Heartworm.  This will determine if a second treatment will be needed.

Preventing Heartworm Disease is definitely easier on the dog and is now much simpler than it used to be.  The most common preventatives are given once a month by the pet•s• caretaker.  Preventatives kill the immature Heartworm larvae before they molt to the L5 stage.  As long as they are given every month, they are very effective in preventing Heartworm infection and subsequent development of Heartworm Disease. 

Information above from www.thepetcenter.com 


The Anguilla Animal Rescue Foundation (AARF) always needs members and joining us isn't expensive and very rewarding!  Memberships are vital to the life of the organization and all fees go directly to support AARF programs including animal care, free spay/neuter clinics and education.  

Membership dues are:

Student (Under age 18) $13.00 EC / $5.00 US

 Regular $53.00 EC /$20.00US

 Senior (65 and over) $13.00EC/ $5.00US

 Family $ 80.00 EC/$30.00 US

 Corporate $300.00 EC /$112.00US. 

  Lifetime memberships (one time fee) $500.00EC / $186.00US.

We are always looking for new members to support AARF fundraising events, assist at Morlens Veterinary Clinic or to help us with our on-going spay and neuter project. If you would like more information on AARF please visit our website at www.aarf.ai, send us an email at aarfinfo@aarf.ai or contact our Membership Chairman Gayle at 497-5445 or US toll free 877-471-2733  or Amy at 497- 4600 or Suzie at 497-8177.

If you are interested in becoming a member you can obtain a membership form via our Membership page. Or you can get one at

Morlens Veterinary Hospital in Sandy Hill, Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.  

Completed membership forms may be sent to: 


PO Box RI 4228



Our "Spare Change Drive" is on-going so don't forget to drop those "heavy" coins and that extra cash at one of our locations! We really appreciate your donations!  Bob Turner has used his superb carpentry skills to create permanent donation boxes for AARF. Althea, Bob's  wife, is our fundraising chairman and you might see her running here and there placing these new eye - catching boxes in our supporting businesses. The donation  boxes are located at the following establishments - Vinissimo, Straw Hat, Caribbean Cable Communications, Bartlett•s• Collections, Wallblake Airport, Christine Fleming's Mini-Mart, Ashley's Pet Shop, Best Buy, Anguilla Post Office - Retail Store, Lake's Grocery, Sophie's Hair Design, Morlens Veterinary Clinic, Tropical Flower,  Fat Cat, Anguilla Techni Sales, Ace Hardware, Roy's Bayside Restaurant, Rendezvous Bay Hotel, Smokey's at the Cove, Irie Life and Foods 95. 

Thank you to all the business's that have agreed to support our cause.

Closing Thoughts



 If A Dog Was A Teacher: 

If a dog was the teacher you would learn stuff like:
When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
When it's in your best interest, practice obedience.
Let others know when they've invaded your territory.
Take naps.
Stretch before rising.
Run, romp, and play daily.
Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout...run right back and make friends.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.  Stop when you have had enough.
Be loyal. Never pretend to be something you're not.
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.