The Pegasus Foundation, along with Humane Society International, is supporting Monitor Caribbean, Inc., a nonprofit corporation, which has recently established the Caribbean Animal Welfare Alliance (CAWA). In June 2015, the bi-annual Caribbean Animal Welfare Conference, also sponsored by Pegasus, was held in Costa Rica. At the request of the sponsors of that conference, Monitor Caribbean launched this new initiative to provide a follow-up mechanism to track action needed and taken on important issues arising from these conferences to keep the conversation alive between the bi-annual meetings.
There are currently 20 shelters, sanctuaries and humane societies participating in this program from the Caribbean Region and Central America. Key issues include equine (especially feral donkeys), dog and cat overpopulation and the electrocution of Howler monkeys when they touch electric power transformers. Monitor Caribbean is currently planning and coordinating a CAWA meeting to take place in Southern Florida in early 2016 with special emphasis on what has turned out to be a major issue throughout the Caribbean islands — feral (or wild) donkeys. Bonaire, Saint Eustatius, Nevis, Antigua, Saint Martin, Saint Kitts and Barbuda all have known overpopulation issues. We are continuing to explore the extent of this problem on other islands. Monitor Caribbean hopes to bring together people from the affected areas along with a panel of experts to work toward mitigating this problem.