St. John ACC shelter is open Monday through Friday from 10am until 4pm. We are located in Cruz Bay next to the library. Enter at your first right after Tamarind Inn. You can also visit us each Tuesday at the Marketplace from 11:30am to 2:30pm and meet some of our dogs and kitties who are looking for their forever families.
The Shelter is dedicated to the alleviation of pain and suffering as well as the provision of temporary shelter to the homeless and stray animals on St. John. We make every attempt to reunite lost animals to their rightful owners and find good homes for animals presently un-owned. The ACC has a close working relationship with island veterinarians to assure that all the animals receive excellent care and up-to-date vaccinations.
The staff is happy to conduct tours at the facility and welcomes island visitors to take part in our "VolunTourism" Program. This is an opportunity for island visitors to walk dogs and visit with the kitties. Although the numbers vary from time to time, it is not unusual for the Shelter to house 18 to 20 dogs and 35 or more cats and kittens. That is pretty much filled to capacity.
The Trap/Spay/Neuter/Release Program was given a big boost last year when we received a two-year grant from PetSmart. It is our goal to alter at least 700 cats during this period of time. Many of these cats are found around the approximately 30 feeding stations located throughout the island. Food and water is provided at these feeding stations daily by dedicated voluteers.
Many of our island residents open their hearts and homes to our Shelter residents by either adopting or fostering them. Even off-island adoption has been made easy. Island vets can provide shots and health certificates, and small animals are permitted to ride in the airplane cabin at a low cost. The ACC staff members are available for advice, encouragement, and help.
The shelter staff is made up of Kate Webster, Shelter Manager, who hails from a job at the Buffalo Zoo; Ryan Moore, Animal Care Specialist, from Mystic, Connecticut; our California girl Mackenzie Wallenberg, Animal Care Specialist; and Kade Parent, Project Coordinator, who is responsible for meeting our Trap/Spay/Neuter/Release requirements for our PetSmart grant.
A normal day at the Shelter usually means not much is normal. There, of course, is the routine of cleaning and feeding all of our furry guests; and, greeting volunteers who arrive twice a day to walk all of the dogs. Each Wednesday morning all of the cats that have been trapped on Tuesday night, must be taken to the vet for a health check and subsequent spay or neuter. Later in the day, the same cats must be picked up at the clinic and returned to the areas where they were trapped.
Shelter days an be quiet with just phone calls and reports, or tense and focused as a team is put together to rescue an injured animal or remove an abused or neglected animal from a dangerous situation. There are many dedicated animal advocates willing to assist the Shelter staff when called into action.