What does it take to care for the unwanted? You can get all the degrees for such an occupation, but where can you get a degree for caring, commitment or, compassion, which are the main ingredients in dealing with the unwanted. These are the characteristics that best describes Vijay Bissoondutt, General Manager at the BVI Humane Society. You can add to those, gentle. He can dubbed the reigning hero for stray and abandon animals.
Vijay has so far dedicated 19 years of his life to the care of puppies, adult dogs, kittens, red foot turtles, a Quaker parrot named Jigger, a hamster, rabbits, iguanas, a Muscovy duck, donkeys, horses, ponies and even a monkey who up till recently died of old age.
Originally from the “Land of Many Waters”-Guyana, Vijay moved to the Virgin Islands over 25 years ago has always been an animal lover. So, it was no surprise that he joined the team at Humane Society and today manages its affairs after the death of the founder Ruth Theresia Olsson more affectionately known as Tessa, who passed away two and a half years ago. “That was her dream, her legacy to see this center move on and I followed in her footsteps. I have always liked animals,” he said.
For Vijay, the task is a great one, particularly, when every animal has to be fed, cleaned, their stations disinfected, their health up to date, salaries, land rental and other bills paid, since the society functions as a nonprofit entity with no help from the government, but he shows no sign of pitching in the towel just yet. If anything, he is anxiously awaiting work to commence on their newly purchased one acre of land for a brand new and modern facility in Josiah’s Bay.
Meantime, the work continues, and he is busy inventing ways of bringing in revenue to cover operational costs. Some of the ways this is done is through a series of fundraising activities, such as a monthly yard sale from items they receive through donations (clothing, books, and household items), dog shows, auctions and a gaming night. In addition, the center provides a private boarding service, vaccination for puppies and kittens, worming, bathing, grooming, an adoption fee for any animals that the public is interested in taking home are some of the services they provide. Collars, leads, and shampoos are available for sale every day.