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Charity Showcase | Where it all began – Montego Bay Animal Haven

For some time now I have been promising the next blog. I promised myself and you all this would be a blog to share the journey of a first-time marathon runner. That is, I will not just share my mileage, how to avoid falling into branding what to buy black holes, and just the good times, but also the why. With no further a due I would like to share how I became so deeply engrossed with wanting to help animals have their second chance. I would like to introduce you to Montego Bay Animal Haven (MBAH) and the incredible woman who co-founded this charity that is changing the way Jamaica’s perception of how animals should be treated and cared for.

This is Tammy Browne. Co-founder of Montego Bay Animal Haven. Proving on a daily basis that it costs nothing to be kind.

I first met Tammy at the turn of a new millennia. Tammy came into our lives like seeing all the colours of the rainbow at once, spectacularly. We met Tammy through a family friend at the time, and immediately it was clear just how much kindness and compassion she had for animals great and small. From her own animals her Parrot, Gordon, and the two mad boxers she soon came to own, to other peoples, and animals who did not have a family.  After a change in personal circumstance and due to her heritage being Cornish-Jamaican, Tammy decided to head home and see what awaited in Jamaica. A trip would soon turn into a life changing decision which would skyrocket Tammy into the next chapter of her life, dedicating every waking moment to rescuing animals in need.

Tammy’s passion turned into a full-time job and in 2009 Montego Bay Animal Haven was founded.

As Tammy said;

something had to be done to address the suffering and massive over population within the stray, feral and poverty stricken areas.

Tammy and her team of amazing volunteers, have a full-time job on their hands. Their days tend to encompass; rescuing strays in squalid conditions, spaying and neutering to prevent over population, and probably the most pivotal piece of their work to help both future human and animal generations alike; education. Education has offered a tremendous opportunity to set up spay and neuter clinics in areas some people won’t even go to. These places suffer the most, both animals and people alike.

I think Tammy and the team will tell you if you were to ask, whilst the work they do is amazing it is also heart wrenching, full of sadness, hurt  and a continual desire to just want to give up as the battle seems ongoing. Not every animal makes it, not every animal even has a chance. And some that come through the door, their wounds, injuries or upbringings are so graphic it is too hard to write about. Some animals have a happy ending, they are rehabilitated and find their forever home. Others see pure kindness, love and affection from the MBAH Team for only moments before they slip over the rainbow bridge into their next life. But still the team carry on.

 I would like Tammy to remember how far MBAH has come. 11 years on, the charity is known across the globe, the animals have found second chances in homes on multiple continents, the team have educated hundreds and also given people in need of animal connection the opportunity to do so. I have not yet had the privilege to meet the wider team but thank you for all you have done and continue to do.

Tammy, I am 26 but what I said when I was 10 remains true now. One day when I am all grown up I want to be just like you. I would feel honoured if I had an ounce of your strength, your resiliency and your compassion. Thank you for being inspiring, for being a role model, and for being the reason I understand just how important it is to not give up when it comes to speaking for those [animals] who cannot speak for themselves. This woman is the reason that I decided to do something I thought I could never do, run a marathon. Because everyday rain or shine, good day or bad Tammy gets up and puts others ahead of herself to continue to improve Jamaica’s relationships with its animals presently, and for the future.

If you ever wonder what goes through the head of a first time marathon runner when training aside from thinking KEEP BREATHING, it is the WHY. Why am I doing this, what is it for – it is for all of the amazing people who give animals a second chance. Pictures speak a thousand words so have a look at the below.

Tiny, a dog I never met, never spoke to, never touched, changed my life and when her poor little body could take no more, I felt the weight of her passing as greatly as if she were my own. She was given such a wonderful opportunity to feel something that we all crave, to feel love. And I just know with Tammy as her guardian she felt it.
Pollyanna and Arbie, showing animals feel compassion towards one another just as we say we do as humans (check out this video if you want to see what I mean: Terrified to be Touched )
Flip, the dog on two legs, the embodiment of NOTHING CAN STOP ME, perhaps the most spritely and optimistic animal I have ever seen.
Angela, the speaker of the house. The narrator of MBAH’s story, the foundation and personification of all the good MBAH do.

I am raising money for 3 charities with a goal of raising a minimum of £1,000 for each one. Having asked Tammy how this money could help their team she has said: “this will be a massive step forward with our spay program, especially with some of the projects we have coming up in the pipeline. We ae now hiring tourist areas and hotels, reducing the stray cats and dogs, but also offering a service just to keep them healthy.”

Charities like MBAH only survive due to the kind donations of people from around the world please consider donating and help the team continue to make a difference. Sometimes the sadness in the world can make me feel overwhelmed and helpless, but seeing what this Team continue to do, I feel empowered, and motivated to strive to make this world a better place for animals, please consider helping when you can.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

  • You can donate to my Just Giving page: Click here to donate
  • You can donate to MBAH whenever you can (paypal or card); https://www.montegobayanimalhaven.com/
  • You can meet the team if you are heading to Jamaica and take a once in a lifetime walk; Hiking with 100 hooligans: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/experiences/154933
  • You can buy something to donate from the Amazon wish list the team provide which helps them care for all of the animals (keep an eye on the facebook page for the next one)
  • You can follow them on Instagram: @Montegobayanimalhaven and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MontegoBayAnimalHaven/
  • You can rescue and give a dog, cat, horse a forever home (I promise you will fall in love with one, maybe two or three of them!)
  • You can spread the word about this amazing charity. Like, share, comment, support, educate.
  • You can stay alert when you are in Jamaica and notify the team if you see a stray animal in need.

Thank you for your continued support of myself through this journey, I promise you all your kind words of support never fall on deaf ears, your donations never forgotten.

Natalie x

Unofficial (self elected) Super Fan, Super Supporter and Ambassador for this amazing charity ❤

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