1. Tell me a little bit about yourself by way of introduction.
My name is Dawn Haynes, I am from Los Angeles, California. I have worked in the TV, Film and Music industry most of my Life. My clientele included Halle Berry, Usher,Quincy Jones, Dr. Dre, Eddie Murphy, Common, Ludacris, Jamie Foxx, Kanye West, and the list goes on…
In 2012, I had an epiphany that I should sell my home, car and start my life anew, in St. Maarten. My new life would consist of promoting vacation travel, and inviting Super Stars to perform huge concerts in St. Maarten. I met with the SXM government hoping to promote this idea and increase tourism throughout the entire year, not just the Christmas Season. I quickly learned that the Government has its hands full and I must seek private investors to get the job done. My dream is to donate part of the proceeds from the concerts towards the health and well-being of island animals.
2. How long have you been coming to the island?
I have traveled my entire life, I've been to Italy, France, Russia, Spain, Egypt, Japan, and Canada, however, in my travels, I discovered that the Caribbean islands are the most beautiful. In the early 90's, I was invited to Anguilla during that era Cap Jaluca was the place to be. Someone in my group suggested that we island hop, so of course we stopped in St. Barths and St. Maarten. I later visited St. Maarten again in 2011 and at that moment I made up my mind that St. Maarten would soon become my "New Home". I shipped my Gucci Fiat and soon opened a Luxury Vacation Villa Rental business here on the island named "Dawn To Dusk".
3. How long have you been supporting the stray dogs?
I I Love all animals, but I especially love dogs. I have a way in which I communicate with them. From the moment we meet, I am able to gain their trust. I have been feeding the island strays since the day I moved to St. Maarten. I was disgusted to learn that people take unwanted dogs and drop them off at the "DUMP". It is a sad and pitiful situation to see the puppies and dogs, starving, dehydrated and confused as to why their owners would leave them to fend for themselves. They are so sweet and scared. It hurts my heart to see them, but yet, they are excited to see people pull up to feed them or rescue them. As of today, I have rescued 3 dogs and found them wonderful homes. This has been my reward.
4. What other volunteer things are you involved in?
My philosophy is; if there is a cause that touches me, I will volunteer my time and money, in order to heighten the awareness and bring about change. I am an advocate of Domestic Violence, Children with Autism and Animal Abuse. These are just a few causes that touch my heart, we must take the initiative to help those in need. I ask that you do your part, Donate food or lend a hand to the organizations on island that feed, adopt, foster, rescue, and ultimately save the lives of so many animals every day.
5. Why do you feel so strongly about helping out with the stray animals?
I am committed to helping stray animals for several reasons, first and foremost, dogs have no means to survive without human assistance. It is imperative that we begin to control the breeding of island dogs, by spaying and neutering. Without the implementation of this practical measure the island will have severe problems with starving, sickly animals. This is not a god look - many tourist take note as to how we treat each other and how we treat animals.
6. Tell us some of the experiences you have had in assisting St Maarten stray animals.
For my 50th Birthday in June, I set up a Go Fund Me, page. I asked my friends to donate to Dawn's Island Dogs, several friends with huge hearts reached into their pockets and I raised $1,400.00. With the funds raised, I purchased more than 50 bags of dog food and donated it to two of the island organizations that volunteer to feed and care for stray animals. Knowing that my efforts have an immediate, tangible result is an awesome feeling. I can only wish that everyone is able to experience this joy, by giving of their time and resources.
7. What are your plans, dreams, or hopes for the situation here to become?
I wish more citizens would report individuals that are committing crimes against animals. I would like to see Legislation passed to hold abusive and negligent owners accountable for their cruel and criminal conduct towards animals. The police department must have policies and procedures to to Investigate allegation of animal abuse and negligence, and prosecute when appropriate. A strong coalition must be formed to put pressure on the government and police department to take the crime of animal cruelty more seriously.
WE ARE PRESENTLY IS HOUSTON, VOLUNTEERING AT THE HOUSTON SPCA. IT HAS BEEN VERY EMOTIONAL BUT WE ARE HAPPY TO SAY THAT WE ARE DONATING FOOD AND SPENDING TIME WITH THE PETS.
PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD.
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