Island Gems supports AWF spay/neuter campaign

From left: Island Gems Ludmilla de Weever, and Jody Rosen, Niasha John, Anu Amarnaney, and Asha Stevens with Heather Caputo of AWF (second right) and an AWF volunteer in the background. 


POINTE BLANCHE, Sint Maarten — A few more dogs and cats have been sterilized thanks to support given to Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) by Island Gems Charity Foundation.

As Island Gems does not give funds to any group, a total of US $750 was paid for the sterilization operations by the vet. These funds will supplement AWF’s ongoing spay/neuter campaign aimed at curtailing the stray and unwanted dog and cat population on the island.

Since its founding in 1992, AWF has facilitated 3,363 adoptions, 14,794 sterilizations, 947 mange treatments, and 18356 taxi rides to the vet. “Island Gems is proud to be part of the work of AWF for as many years as AWF has been in existence,” according to Island Gems.

Heather Caputo of AWF shared: “As a grassroots, completely volunteer-run organization, we rely on donations to continue the work of offering free and low-cost sterilizations to the community.  We will continue for as long as we can to promote humane animal ownership and treatment, and specifically to promote pet sterilization to stop the cycle of unwanted puppies and kittens being born.”

Visiting AWF’s Mutt Hut at Dock Maarten recently were Island Gems Ludmilla de Weever, and Jody Rosen, Niasha John, Anu Amarnaney, and Asha Stevens. The Mutt Hut offers numerous AWF-themed items for sales including T-shirts. Old St. Maarten licence plates are also sold to raise funds for AWF activities.

Island Gems, the island’s oldest charity organization, is a non-profit foundation. It funds projects like this one from monies raised at its annual costume gala dinner. All funds raised at the event are returned to the community in the form of support for equipment and services in the areas of health, education, arts, and social projects among others. Island Gems is the only organization that funds projects on both sides of the island.

The foundation was unable to host its gala, its only annual fundraising event, for the past two years due to the pandemic. The gala is back for 2022. The costume gala theme is “Circus Circus” and will be held on Saturday, April 2, 2022, at Emilio’s restaurant starting at 7:00pm.

All gala tickets purchased for the 2020 gala will be honoured by the foundation. Island Gems supporters who may have misplaced their tickets are urged to contact the Island Gems member from whom you made your purchase.