The Curaçao Tourist Board (CTB) and Stichting Dierenbescherming Curaçao have signed a cooperation agreement to address the issue of stray dogs on the island’s streets. This is a situation that Curaçao has been facing for many years, in our residential neighborhoods as well as downtown and in tourism areas. A study carried out in 2016 put the number of stray dogs on the island at 6000. Both for the welfare of our local animal population and in view of the unsightliness resulting from strays walking around on the streets, especially in view of our visitors, action was required. The Ministry of Economic Development has made funds available for the implementation of the cooperation agreement between the CTB and the local foundation for the protection of animals, Stichting Dierenbescherming Curaçao. The agreement was signed by CTB’s CEO, Paul Pennicook and Gregory Berry, chairman of the Stichting Dierenbescherming Curaçao, in the presence of the Minister of Economic Development, Dr. Steven Martina, Minister of Public Health, the Environment and Nature, Zita Jesus-Leito, MBA, Secretary of the Stichting Dierenbescherming Curaçao, Syreeta Wansing and CTB Deputy Director, Hugo Clarinda.
The 1-year agreement covers financial support to Stichting Dierenbescherming Curaçao, provided in the first place for the construction of a shelter that will be housing the dogs that are taken from the street. The shelter will be built on a lot made available to Stichting Dierenbescherming Curaçao in accordance with a management agreement signed with the Department for Land Management (Domeinbeheer). Furthermore, Stichting Dierenbescherming Curaçao will also sterilize and care for the dogs taken from the street. Another responsibility of the foundation is that of carrying out an adoption campaign to find new homes for these animals. Additionally, the CTB will provide Stichting Dierenbescherming Curaçao with support in carrying out awareness campaigns emphasizing the importance of sterilizing dogs.
The ministries involved, together with the CTB and Stichting Dierenbescherming Curaçao, depend on the cooperation of the local community so that, together, we may solve the issue of strays on our streets.