Coordination and Support

Approximately 60 people attended the second meeting representing 17 of the 28 known Puerto Rico based animal welfare groups. Another two called to say they would be unable to attend but expressed their support. Unfortunately, the "point persons" who volunteered in Miami and the organizations to which they belong did not attend. Also attending were several veterinarians, the Director of Planning for the Puerto Rico Civil Defense and a representative from the Puerto Rico Department of Environmental Health. Each representative signed a certificate stating that he/she was authorized to vote on behalf of the organization he/she represented.

(From left to right) Karen Fehrenbach of Save-A-Sato, Martha Lopez of Animal Rescue, Celeste Arzuaga of the Basta Ya Movement, Guigui Freire and Natalie Loubriel of Grupo en Defensa de los Animales

Animated discussion took place regarding the Plan and the various committees proposed. In the end, both the Plan and the Committees were approved unanimously. In addition, a resolution was passed to inform the US based groups of the results of the Meeting and to request their assistance and cooperation. Most of those present volunteerd for one of the Committees established.

Nearly everyone present spoke of the need for cooperation and once again they urged that the few groups not present reconsider and join with the majority in working as a team to improve animal welfare in Puerto Rico. Mr. Loiz of the Civil Defense spoke of his support for the group's efforts and outlined some of the ways the Civil Defense could help.

Mr. Loiz, Director of the Puerto Rico Civil Defense Office of Planning, addressing the Forum

The assembled groups agreed that to begin, it was necessary to inform the US organizations as to what specific needs existed. Accordingly, they agreed that until specific projects could be fully identified, the following assistance should be requested:

Development of a fund raising campaign to establish a general assistance fund
Technical assistance in preparation of budgets and start-up of regional shelters
Training of Civil Defense in Emergency Response to animal issues in time of disaster

(From left to right) Gladys Penchi and Mayra Santiago of the Asociacion Protectora de Animales de San German receive donated food from Mr. Loiz of the Puerto Rico Civil Defense.

The meeting ended with the distribution of dog and cat food that had been donated by Master Foods (KalKan) and the New York Branch of the ASPCA.