Blog Archives

February is Spay/Neuter awareness month, and February 26th is World Spay Day!

Help Saga celebrate by making your appointment to have your animals spay/neuter for FREE!

Call 226-3266 Tues-Friday to make your appointment. If you would like to help Saga in our efforts to SNIP  75% of Ambergris Caye animal population, make a donation today.



Please join us for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at Fido’s on Thursday, November 22 from 6-9pm.  They’ll be serving turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, candied plantains (YUM), and dessert for just $40 bzd.  Plus…the best part? $10bzd goes directly to Saga Humane Society!  And the other best part? Kelly McGuire Band will be performing LIVE — and raffling off some amazing stuff. His merchandise, chocolates from Kakaw Belizean Chocolate, a fishing lesson with GoFish Belize…and much much more. I hope to see you all there!


Help Saga celebrate Happy “NO” Father’s Day” by donating
to our spay/neuter fund. Donations can be made through
by visiting our website
It only costs $100 for us to be able to spay/neuter each animal.
Can you help us Fix San Pedro?



Everyone dislikes parasites.  They are unpleasant, unwelcome, they suck our blood and they spread disease.  What many people don’t know is that those annoying pests, ticks, spread a deadly disease to our furry best friends, known as tick fever.

There are several diseases, commonly called ‘tick fever’, spread by ticks, but the two most common in Belize are Canine Erlichiosis and Canine Anaplasmosis.  Big words for serious diseases that come from something as tiny as at tick.

Pit Boss was the name given to a very sad and sick young pit bull, who like many of his breed had been bought by irresponsible owners who cared little for him.  When a local businesswoman found Pit Boss, he was a walking skeleton – every bone showing through his skin, his dark eyes bulging from his head, pleading for help.  When he was taken to SAGA his life hung by a fragile thread.  He had no energy left and was bleeding heavily from the nose.  The SAGA staff team worked tirelessly for three weeks, giving him top notch veterinary care, special medication and plenty of love.

Sadly, that thread finally snapped and Pit Boss’s life came to a tragic end.  Not only did he have two types of tick fever, but he also had heartworms – another disease spread by parasites (mosquitoes) that is easily preventable.  Pit Boss’s owners had neglected him for so long that his kidneys were too badly affected and he was never able to recover the strength he needed to survive.  Another heartbreak for SAGA  – but of course, for every sad ending, there are more happy endings.

Rex was found abandoned, wandering the streets of San Pedro and picked up by the SAGA animal welfare team.  These are dedicated volunteers who collect stray, abandoned, neglected and abused dogs for SAGA Humane Society to make sure that they get a second chance.   Rex also had tick fever and heartworm, but the good news is that SAGA got him before he lost his fight with the diseases.

Rex wasn’t a big strong looking dog – in fact he was the total opposite, but looks can be deceiving.  After 6 weeks of intensive treatment he was improving, beating the sickness a day at a time.  A lovely family came into SAGA and fell in love with Rex’s sweet personality and gentle nature.  They were more than happy to agree to continue with his treatment and while it will still be a few more months before he is fit and healthy, there is no better place for him to recover than in the care of a permanent and loving home with people who love him dearly.

Tick fever can be treated easily and inexpensively if it is caught early, but the symptoms can be confusing.  They can include a lack of appetite, fever, nosebleeds, runny eyes and nose, weight loss, depression, eye problems, bleeding through the skin and bruising, vomiting, diarrhea, joint pain and lameness, stiffness of the neck and seizures.  Any of these symptoms can be a sign that your dog has tick fever.  Some dogs have tick fever and show no symptoms at all and then can suddenly become very sick.  The only way to know for sure if your pet has tick fever is with a special test.

Dogs cannot catch tick fever from other dogs and people cannot catch tick fever from dogs either.  But – people can catch the human type of tick fever from ticks.  So, remember that ticks are not only ‘ick’ but they are dangerous too.

Ticks live in long grass so keep your grass cut and keep your pets away from areas with long grass.  Use good quality tick prevention treatments such as Preventic collars, Frontline and Promeris –available from SAGA or Pampered Paws.  Check your pets every day for ticks and parasites.  If you find that your dog has even one tick it is better to be safe than sorry.   Talk to the SAGA vet.  Don’t let your best friend end up like Pit Boss.

If you’d like to find out more about protecting your pet from tick fever or if you are worried that your pet is showing any of the symptoms of tick fever, even if you haven’t seen a tick, please contact SAGA on 226 3266 – before it’s too late!


SAGA Humane Society in its ongoing effort to help control the pet population in San Pedro is collaborating with World Vets to offer a FREE Spay & Neuter for pets in low income household’s, March 13-15, 2012.  There will be an international team of Veterinarians, Vet Techs, Assistants and Veterinarian Students to offer FREE services to the community of San Pedro.  This NGO states on their website “Our mission is to provide veterinary aid in developing countries and veterinary disaster relief worldwide.”  This is the second year this wonderful organization has brought it’s much needed services to La Isla Bonita.  In 2011 the team was able to Spay/Neuter over 50 animals.  This year the goal is to more than double these numbers.  Please give these exceptional volunteers a warm island welcome if you see them about town.

San Pedro is on an island, so it would be very easy, if everyone did their bit, to solve our dog problems.  The simplest, kindest and easiest way to do this is to neuter male dogs and spay female dogs before they have the chance to have babies, or catch one of the deadly sexually transmitted diseases so common among dogs in San Pedro.

Neutered and spayed dogs are better pets, better guards, healthier, less at risk of disease and, more importantly, by having your dog neutered or spayed you are helping to make San Pedro a better, healthier and happier place for everyone.  Do the right thing, get your dog neutered or spayed.

During this campaign March 13-15 SAGA HS will be in the community capturing stray animals to be brought in for Spay/Neuter surgeries.  SAGA HS is now making appointments for FREE Spay & Neuter 226-3266.

If you can assist SAGA HS and World Vets during this time, let us know.  We will need these volunteers and services to help: Patient check in, Bi-lingual interrupter, transportation of both animals and the Vet team to and from clinic, discount of lunches, stray animal capture and general assistance at clinic.  Please contact SAGA HS at 226-3266 or email for details on how you can help. Fix your dog to fix up San Pedro!


VOLUNTEER to take a dog for a leisurely walk on the sun kissed beach…Or maybe you’d rather spend some time inside with our cats and kittens?   What a purrrfect way to spend an afternoon or just stop in and say hello to the Saga staff.



The San Pedro Town Council and SAGA Humane Society receive many complaints about stray and nuisance dogs.   Now that they have teamed up to find a solution to the problems caused by irresponsible dog ownership, it is up to the dog owners of San Pedro to do their bit and help to make our community a more beautiful and safer place for residents and visitors.

Most of the complaints are caused by too many dogs and not enough good homes to care for them.  You won’t see responsibly owned dogs wandering in the street, barking, fighting and emptying garbage cans, but the more dogs we have in San Pedro, the easier it is for irresponsible dog owners to cause problems for everyone else.

Did you know that many dogs in San Pedro have to be humanely euthanased because there are not enough good homes to care for them?  Every time someone allows their dog to have puppies, this just adds to the problem.  San Pedro is an island, so it would be very easy, if everyone did their bit, to solve our dog problems.  The simplest, kindest and easiest way to do this is to neuter male dogs and spay female dogs before they have the chance to have babies, or catch one of the deadly sexually transmitted diseases so common among dogs in San Pedro.

Neutering and spaying are very simple surgeries.  Normally your dog can come in for the operation in the morning and come home with you in the afternoon.  There are many myths about spaying and neutering dogs.  For example, some people think that female dogs must have a litter to be healthy and happy.  This is not correct.  In fact, spaying a female dog will help to reduce her risk of catching breast cancer and many other serious illnesses.

Some people think that male dogs will lose their strength or personality if they are neutered.  Some even try to compare their dogs to human men.  Horses and bulls are neutered because they are domestic animals, just like dogs.  If you wouldn’t want a stallion or bull to play with your children, why would you want an un neutered male dog in your home?  In fact, neutering makes male dogs more loyal, less likely to wander and less aggressive towards children and family members.  It does not affect their ability to guard your home and actually makes them better at it because they stay home rather than wandering, looking for fights with other male dogs and mates.

Neutered and spayed dogs are better pets, better guards, healthier, less at risk of disease and, more importantly, by having your dog neutered or spayed you are helping to make San Pedro a better, healthier and happier place for everyone.  Do the right thing, get your dog neutered or spayed.

To find out how you can get your dog neutered or spayed, please call SAGA Humane Society on 226 3266.  Fix your dog to fix up San Pedro!


 It was big news that SAGA Humane Society will be working with the San Pedro Town Council to encourage responsible dog ownership and fine irresponsible owners.  It is with this in mind that SAGA is producing a series of articles about dog ownership and how to do it successfully and responsibly so that you can stay on the right side of the law, be a good member of the community and have a long and happy relationship with your dog.

As responsible dog ownership starts the minute you get a dog, this article will look at the way to find a healthy dog with a good temperament and how to choose the right dog for your family.  As a healthy dog can live up to 14 years or older, it is important to understand that dog ownership is a long and very rewarding commitment.  Puppies are cute, playful and they make wonderful companions for children.  But all puppies grow up to be adult dogs and so it is important that you get the right puppy or dog for your household – so that once the cute puppy phase wears off, you have the dog you really wanted and dreamed of.

Before even looking at puppies or dogs, you need to think about exactly the sort of dog that will suit your lifestyle.  Here are some important issues you should consider:

What size dog do you want?   Big dogs mean big dog food bills, big poops to clean up and often more exercise and training.  They can do a lot more damage to a garden or yard and may require additional fencing to contain them.  Small dogs often have special grooming or dietary requirements and often need to be kept more protected.

What sort of coat would you like your dog to have?  All dogs should be groomed daily, whatever their coat type, but dogs with very long coats may need regular professional grooming.  The longer the coat, the more time grooming is required.  How much time do you want to set aside each day for grooming?

What breed or type of dog do you want?  All dogs need training.   Smart dogs from working breed backgrounds such a German Shepherds and Rottweilers require a great deal of time and training as they grow up.  Terriers, including pit bulls, need a lot of additional socialization with other animals as well as training.  A rescued dog may need a lot of time and confidence building if it was abused or neglected.  You should really think about how much time you can commit to your new pet.  An untrained pet can become a problem in the home and a lack of training or socialization are common reasons for people giving up their pets to SAGA Humane Society.  If you don’t have the time, dog ownership may not be for you.

Can I afford a dog?  The costs involved in raising a dog can vary, but it will never be cheap if you are being responsible and doing it right.  All responsible dog owners will need to be able to afford: suitable nutritional food, vaccinations, neutering or spaying, veterinary care in case of illness, boarding or care costs when going away, in some cases professional grooming but certainly appropriate grooming tools, collar, leash, shelter, toys/chews, monthly heartworm pills, intestinal worm prevention and tick and flea prevention.  If these costs seem like too much, dog ownership may not be for you.

How do I find the right dog?  The first place to look for the right dog is the local humane society. In San Pedro, this would be SAGA.  Make sure you take your whole family so that the staff can meet them.  Explain to the SAGA team the sort of dog you would like and they will help you to make the right choice and give you good advice and support.  Of course all SAGA dogs will be neutered or spayed and vaccinated as well as health checked.  If you cannot find the dog you want at the humane society, you may wish to consider getting one privately, from a breeder.

So, how do I make sure to get the right dog from a breeder?  First, make sure that you are buying from the breeder, not a dealer or pet shop.  To do this, insist on seeing the mother dog with her puppies.  That way you can also make sure that she has a good temperament.  If she is aggressive, it’s likely her puppies will be too.  Second, make sure that the breeder is doing it on a small scale because they care about the dogs. The last thing you want is a commercially bred puppy that has been produced as if in a factory.  Puppies bought from those environments often have terrible health and behaviour problems.  Check that the environment that the puppies live in is clean and that the puppies look healthy with no weepy eyes or distended bellies.  A good breeder will have started socializing the puppies, started vaccination and worming and will have had the puppies health checked.  Finally, if the breeder seems responsible, pick the puppy you want carefully.  Many are tempted to choose the nervous and shy puppy, but in a household with boisterous children, this can be a disaster.  Others choose the puppy that seems the friendliest, but again, sometimes those puppies can require a lot of extra training or they can become overwhelming and demanding.  Please remember that all good breeders will offer to take back your puppy at any age should things go wrong.  If they don’t offer that guarantee, they aren’t responsible breeders.

Getting a puppy or a dog is a big commitment.  Make sure you put in the time and energy to find the right one for your family so that you and your dog can be responsible members of the San Pedro community.  Please remember that most of the dogs that are handed in to SAGA, end up homeless because their owners did not think about what it takes to be a responsible owner.  So, make sure that when you get a puppy or dog, you can provide it with a forever home.

If you want advice on choosing the right dog or puppy for you, talk to the SAGA team and they will be happy to share their expertise and experience.  Call them on 226 3266.