I’ve been trying to write a coherent blog post for too long this morning, but it’s not happening. The reason is that I’m thrown off today by what I witnessed early this morning. I was returning from a workout (under the moon and stars at Jamaica College) with a running group. We received a plyometrics training workout from a strength and conditioning coach from London, who is in town training some Jamaican athletes.
In any case, I was almost at home, running on Hope Road, when a black and white dog darted out in front of me. It came from a side street out of nowhere, and unfortunately, a Jamaica Defence Force truck slammed into it. The sound was a loud, sickening bang and then I saw the dog trying to get up from under the front right tire. It eventually bounced back up and sprinted away, back into traffic. It seemed ok, but I don’t think it is. Adrenaline was probably numbing the pain, enabling it to run away. I am still deeply disturbed even though this happens countless times every day in Kingston.
There are thousands of stray dogs, skinny and listless, in Jamaica. It is heartbreaking. They lie around on the sidewalks, scavenge for food and generally leave people alone because they are too malnourished and starving to interact with people. The Jamaica Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals tries to do its part, but it just can’t keep up.
The JSPCA has been around for more than 100 years and helps over 300 animals per week, according to its web site. The shelter is located right near Half Way Tree (near my apartment actually, in fact, sometimes I hear the dogs barking) and is equipped with a maternity ward, an isolation unit, a laboratory and surgical suites. There are also four vet techs and three veterinarians on staff. They do some good work. If you want to donate or volunteer, click here.