Union Island, a small island located in the grenadines, houses around 3000 people and a myriad of animals. On Union many animals, like dogs and cats, are malnourished and struggling out on the streets. The Salty Girl, a popular restaurant and local non-profit organization, runs a small shelter called Salty Paws. They take in over “30 animals” that are found in rough shape, nurse them back to health, spay and neuter, then find a safe and loving home for them. Zoe, owner of the Salty Girl, also runs Salty Paws which has caretakers that supports the animals while they are looking for homes. There are no veterinarians on Union Island so when veterinarians are flown out, the shelter holds the spay and neuter clinics.
Link to Salty Paws webpage: https://www.saltypawsrescue.com/
The authors of this blog are students enrolled in Tropical Marine Ecology and Conservation, field courses run in the Caribbean by the University of South Florida. During these courses, students learn scientific diving techniques over a 10-14 day period and carry out research and monitoring of coral reefs at various sites. Many of these courses are done in partnership with local environmental organizations, like the Union Island Environmental Alliance and the Soufriere Marine Management Association. In this blog, students will document their activities and how they relate to course material.