Sweet Belsey crossed the Rainbow Bridge January 25, 2017.
This beautiful young dog by rights should be blossoming and have had many years ahead of her. She was only about two years old. We don’t know who she belonged to, or where she came from. We do know that someone had her “spayed”. The quotation marks are significant, because the surgery that was performed on her was brutal.
Belsey ended up on the street, fending for herself. She was rescued by Danielle Krootjes, who fed her and cared for her and who asked for help with this pretty dog. From the beginning she seemed to be very “picky”about food, showing interest in what was offered and then turning her nose up at it. She urinated very frequently and in small amounts. Once she has put a little weight on, we sent her to be spayed and asked for blood work to see if we could determine the cause of this. Dr. Calderon found that she had already been operated on by someone. This practitioner left uterine horns inside, forgot to take an ovary, tied part of a horn to her bladder, and partially tied off one of her kidneys to her rectum. How she survived this butchery is a mystery. The internal damage to her was appalling.
Dr. Calderon corrected what he could, removed as many adhesions as possible, and Belsey came home to heal.
She did fairly well for a while, but continued to eat very little, vomiting frequently. Volunteers Neil and Jon took her home to live with them so that they could make special, delicious food- chicken and rice stews, scrambled eggs, liver, and anything that we could tempt her with and they made sure she was well hydrated, and just generally spoiled her. They got up with her multiple times each night to let her out and monitor what she was eliminating, and to monitor and clean up after her each time she vomited up food or water.
Through all of this, Belsey was happy, frisky and very affectionate. She loved being a house dog, and figured out the comfort of a sofa very quickly. Getting enough food into her was a struggle. She wanted to eat, but could only hold down tiny amounts. Neil and Jon gave her extra hydration subcutaneously. For a while she seemed to rally, and then went downhill. Danielle came to visit, bringing poached chicken to tempt her. Belsey tried to eat, but simply couldn’t.
Last week, we took her in for another surgery. Her lab results and x-rays showed nothing alarming, but she was literally starving to death, and an exploratory surgery to try to determine what was going on. Dr. Calderon re-opened her, this time examining her bladder, pancreas, and other organs. He found so much damage and multiple adhesions, constrictions and vast areas of scar tissue. The damage was so extensive that he couldn’t repair it. So he euthanized this sweet dog to end her struggle.
We are heartbroken at this outcome for a beautiful dog who was consigned to death months ago by some poorly trained, unethical, “surgeon” or student at low-cost clinic who opened her up and damaged her so badly. Too many groups and individuals are using surgeons of questionable skill, who use poor quality surgical materials, and who are not marking the animals they sterilize with tattoos or ear clips. These animals have no voice. They should not be “practised on” but unskilled hacks. Belsey should not have died.
We are extremely grateful to Danielle for bringing Belsey in, and for her generous assistance with her medical bills. We don’t want to think of how she would have suffered and died has she been left on the street. We are grateful to Dr. Calderon of Vet Pro for his brilliant surgical skills and for working so hard to try to save this dog. And we cannot express our gratitude to Neil and Jon for loving Belsey so much and for giving her a wonderful home in her last weeks. She had many good moments and some lovely adventures with you both. She was very loved and is missed by us all. RIP sweet girl.


Belsey is a young female dog, probably about 2 years of age. She was picked up by a Dutch woman after she followed her home over several days. The woman contacted us to ask for help in getting the dog spayed and hopefully re-homed.

Belsey was operated on by Dr. Calderon at the end of November. Upon opening her up, he found that not only was she already spayed, but that whoever did the surgery had done an unbelievably terrible job. An ovary had been left in, and had developed a fist sized mass of tissue over it. One of her kidneys had been partially tied off, and part of her bladder had been stitched to her rectum. This wasn’t a recent surgery as there was no spay scar to tip him off. We have no explanation how Belsey survived this horrific surgery, but she is clearly a survivor.

We brought her in to the rescue after she had recovered from her spay. Belsey is very sweet and gentle and gets along well with all the other dogs. She had no obedience and is somewhat shy of hands reaching for her, so we are working with her slowly to build her confidence. She rides well in the car, and walks well on leash. She is not reactive and is starting to relax with gentle petting.

Belsey is still learning her basic behaviours and needs to put on weight, as she is very thin. We hope that she will be ready for adoption soon.

We are a small organization dedicated to helping dogs and cats in Antigua. We sterilize, rehabilite and find homes, and work with other rescue groups.