Ministry of Agriculture Animal Care Unit Acting Warden, Lisa Lockhart on Thursday, August 30 served as the guest speaker at the Rotary Club of Freeport weekly meeting at Ruby Swiss Restaurant, detailing responsibilities of the Unit.
Known throughout the local community for her passion for animals, Lockhart has held various positions at the Humane Society of Grand Bahama where she worked for the past eight years before joining the Ministry of Agriculture Canine Unit.
Working feverishly to ensure all animals receive the help necessary, the Acting Warden detailed the responsibilities of the Unit stating, “The Canine Unit officially opened on March 1, 2017 and focuses mainly on the Government areas located in Grand Bahama but also able to deal with calls coming from Freeport.
“We currently have a small staff that work hard to ensure the laws are being followed when it comes to animals.
“Since opening its doors, we have acquired two vehicles to assist us with Trapping and Picking-up strays and roaming animals.
“Individuals are able to call us with complaints about stray animals, which includes strays chasing and attacking children, and neighbors, roaming and owned dogs being a nuisance.”
Rotarians and guests learned in the event of the aforementioned scenario, the matter is reported to the Royal Bahamas Police Force and investigations carried out to bring about a resolution.
Animal abuse, cruelty and neglect are also reported to the Animal Care Unit revealed Lockhart, who noted that once the animal is captured we take it to the Humane Society where the animal is held for four days in case an owner shows up.
“We assist pet owners especially senior citizens with transportation for medical purposes where we encourage all pet owners to get them spayed or neutered.
“By doing this, it helps with cutting down on the number of unwanted animals, strays and also keeps the pet healthy.
“We provide the public with Dog License Tags for a fee of $6.72 so that each pet is registered to a home in case of being lost and also pet permits ($10.00) that allow animals in and out of the country.
“Our future goals are to obtain a building that we may be able to hold all animals in that we pick up and to make sure fines are enforced for citizens that go against the Animal Act,” declared Lockhart, who is respected for being a long-time animal activist and enthusiast looking to expand the Canine Unit located Downtown next door to the Fruit Market by establishing an Animal Clinic as well as a Housing Building for animals.
All Rotarians, guests and RCF President-elect Lorrine Miller thanked Lockhart for providing valuable insight into the Animal Care Unit and noted that they look forward to the improvement and strengthening of the agency.