FRIDAY, MAY 4: Family pets are increasingly being surrendered to the SPCA because expatriates are leaving the island.
The animal charity says it has noticed a significant rise in the number of dogs and cats being brought into the shelter by departing families over the last six months.
Shelby Rodrigues told the Sun it was difficult for the SPCA to keep up with the rate of surrenders.
She added: “We are getting calls most days from people who say they are leaving Bermuda.
“They say they are leaving the island and can not take their pets with them.
“And they are asking if the can hand over their cats and dogs to us to find them new homes.
“We have definitely noticed an increase in the number of surrenders of family pets and it is a difficult to find enough people who want to adopt the animals.”
At present there are just over 30 cats and half a dozen dogs at the shelter in Paget.
But since the beginning of the year the SPCA has seen 17 dogs surrendered to them, which is an unusually high figure.
They have managed to find new homes for two thirds of the dogs.
Ms Rodrigues added: “We have seen quite a high number of dogs being brought in this year and we have managed to find a lot of them new homes.
“But we are still looking for people who want family pets.
“Some of the dogs here now have lived a hard life and deserve somewhere nice to see out their last years.
“We have a extensive vetting process for our dogs, which includes a home visit, to ensure they go to good homes.”
• To find out more about adopting an animal from the SPCA call Ms Rodrigues on 236-7333 ext 201.
Ninja the pit bull cross was surrendered to the SPCA in January because his owner could not care for him any more.
But the one-year-old puppy did not have to wait long before the charity found him a new home.
Nick Lewis knew from the moment he first set eyes on Ninja in his shelter cage that he would be taking the friendly hound home with him and his wife Kathy.
He said: “As soon as he jumped up and started licking my wife’s face we knew this was the one.
“He was just so excited to see us. We filled out the application and the SPCA visited our home to make sure we had a fenced yard and enough space.
“It was quite a straightforward process really.
“We got him licensed and we took him home in February.”
Ninja has already made himself quite at home with Mr and Mrs Lewis at their home in Warwick.
He has his own kennel in the yard and loves going for walks with Mr Lewis along the beach.
Mr Lewis said: “He has really changed our lives.
“He is the best dog. He is smart and playful.
“He is just like a child.
“I try and take him with me wherever I go but if I can’t he is always so excited to see me when I get in from work in the evening.”