Laura Kimble, President of Baark! discusses Operation Potcake 2024 which was held at 5 clinics across Nassau, January 18th-27th.
“Operation Potcake 2024 was an invaluable learning experience as an organizer and local clinic coordinator. For me, this project began in May 2023 and slowly ramped up the closer we got to January 2024. We started the month canvassing the communities and spreading the word. Clinic set up for the 5 locations began on January 15th and our breakdown was completed on January 30th. Carefully planning out logistics and communications were key. We still have a lot of follow-up work left so its far from complete for the main committee.
As a clinic coordinator our days began at 7am and finished at 7.30pm. Approximately only 10% of our dogs and cats were brought in by their owners, which made it very labour intensive as most of the dogs needed to be collected and then returned by our collection team. We strategically focused on a specific area which we canvassed ahead of time. We went up and down the streets one at a time, collecting any dog the owners would allow us to spay/neuter and that we could trap or collect.
Most of the community was really grateful for our efforts. We had great volunteers, a mixture of local people and those who had flown in all working together as a team which is very important. We had a great flow going, worked very hard – along the way sharing good laughs and some hard moments. It truly is such a deep bonding experience and these relationships built in the trenches of a MASH clinic will last a lifetime. Every volunteer from those cleaning cages to those carrying out surgeries, are vitally important to the success and flow of a MASH clinic. We dealt with litters of puppies who were abandoned and could not be returned. Several dogs we collected were not doing well health wise and we were glad to be able to bring them off the streets.
All I can say is I am so grateful to have been a part of such a huge project. It builds serious grit and pushes us to our limits yet its beyond rewarding. We have made long lasting relationships with people who are eager to come back and volunteer with Baark! in the future so I am very excited about Baark’s programs evolving going forward”.
Laura Kimble, President