Turks and Caicos Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals - TCSPCA - animal welfare
Free in the sea is the only way to be... don't you agree? Please help the Turks and Caicos Islands stop the construction of a dolphinarium, and the dissolution of our laws that prevent the wild capture, abuse, forced performance and imprisonment of marine and land mammals.
fight turks caicos dolphinarium

A different kind of TBT for me. You are looking at a defining moment in my life. PLEASE read what I have to say in its entirety. Thank you. Sandy McElhaney.

My name is Sandy McElhaney. I hold a Master’s Degree in Counseling from the University of Maryland. For over a decade I served as Director of Prevention for the National Mental Health Association. In this capacity I helped communities across the United States adopt researched and validated programs for the prevention of mental disorders. I advised federal agencies and congressional staff, served on the planning consortium for Healthy People 2010, the Nation’s Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives and also as a member of President Clinton’s White House Conference on School Safety. I have authored numerous publications in my field.

In January 2008, my world was rocked with the diagnosis of breast cancer. There was a kiwi-sized tumor in my left breast. What followed was a hellish year...five surgeries....eight rounds of chemo...28 days of radiation. During treatment I was stripped of most of my choices and much of my dignity. I can’t tell you how many medical personnel had their hands on what was left of my breasts or how many times they attempted to draw blood from veins that had been nearly pumped dry. The worst was the crowded chemo suite where I would sit, hollow-eyed and bald, alongside the other cancer patients, tethered to IV’s for hours on end. That room was the definition of despair. How on Earth did I end up there? All I wanted was my life back. I lived in constant fear that I wouldn’t see my sons grow up. I wondered if there would ever be a time that I would feel normal - much less - joyous again.

After a grueling year, I was pronounced cancer-free! Now it was time to walk shakily away from the nightmare. Our family planned a Caribbean vacation. Along with much needed beach time, a friend recommended a place called Dolphin Cay. We were going to swim with dolphins!

It was expensive: $130.00 per person for 30 minutes. We donned wetsuits and waded into the shallow water. “Our” dolphin was a calf named Bimini. Bimini’s job was to slap her tail and pose for pictures. She wanted NOTHING to do with it. She just wanted to do what kids do: She wanted to play. After a while, the trainer sent her off. In her place, came Cherie. One by one we lined up to kiss her. My turn finally came...I was eye to eye with her...then I saw the look...the same look that I had seen so many times in 2008...at the oncologist’s office...in the chemo suite...and in the mirror. The look of complete despair...of hopelessness...of a soul trying to find a life she once had.

I came home and absorbed everything I could about marine mammals in captivity. I watched The Cove, A Fall from Freedom and the 2010 Congressional Hearings. I have followed Sea Shepherd’s Cove Guardians, who have been are on the ground in Taiji to shine a light on the cruel dolphin drive hunt, since September 2010. I have viewed almost every available piece of footage on dolphins and whales taken into captivity. I can tell you with great certainty that none go willingly. There is NOTHING humane about the process of being netted and hoisted from the sea, from one’s home, from one’s family, from one’s life. There is no humanity in this process and there is certainly no dignity afforded to those souls who will spend the rest of their lives in captivity.

The captive experience is equivalent to jail, except the dolphins committed no crime and have no hope of parole. In the wild, they go wherever they want, swimming for miles on end in whatever direction they please and with their extended families. In captivity, they are torn from their families and forced into a finite (and often chlorinated) space. Wild dolphins catch and eat live fish. Captive dolphins eat dead fish that is typically stuffed with anti-depressants, antacids and other drugs to address the numerous health issues that plague them. Ultimately, the lifespan of a captive dolphin is significantly shorter than its wild counterparts.

I am here to say emphatically that the capture, transport, display and captive breeding of dolphins is the very definition of inhumane! Wild dolphins belong in the wild. Dolphins, beluga whales and orcas are not here to entertain us. They aren't "smiling" because they are happy - they are smiling because that is the way their faces are built. They aren't kissing you and posing for dumb photos because they love you, they are doing so because they won't be fed otherwise. Dolphins are wild animals; they belong to the oceans. They do not belong to humanity.

If I still haven't convinced you, I ask you to go to this link and to do some reading: http://www.seashepherd.org/cove-guardians/facts.html & to follow Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians Page (official). I hope you will watch the LIVESTREAM coverage http://www.seashepherd.org/cove-guardians/livestream.html of the Taiji dolphin slaughter and captive trade.

Once you know better, you have a moral obligation to do better.

Help locally by visiting the Turks & Caicos Conservation Society

Add YOUR voice!


Currently our volunteers go into the communities on Providenciales, Grand Turk and Middle Caicos to pick up animals for surgery and return them to their owners. Through the support of the community the TCSPCA has performed over 2500 spay/neuter surgeries. Each animal receives rabies & distemper vaccination, a vaccination certificate, and an id tag. Responsible pet ownership is discussed with the family and they are left with our pet care brochure.


Projects include the annual Christmas Fair, TCSPCA Dog Show, and our yearly calendar showcasing all the animals we have helped.

Other sources of revenue come from membership fees, private donations of money and pet related products including veterinary supplies and grants from the Potcake Foundation and the government Conservation Fund.

Animal Rescue

All animals in distress are rescued and placed with volunteers to recuperate. We work in conjunction with the Turks and Caicos Islands Fire and Rescue Service and individuals with specialized rescue skills.

Our “Red Bag” project is dedicated to picking up dead animals from roadways & private homes for the Turks and Caicos Islands Environmental Health Dept. to collect.


Fostering is done in private homes by our volunteers. The program is limited to 10 animals at any one time. Our preference is to adopt on island since it gives us an opportunity to involve families in pet care and to promote spay/neuter of other animals they might own.

A small number are adopted off-island and the donations of monies and pet products we receive from these adoptions go to support our other programs. Each animal is checked by a veterinarian and receives its vaccinations and an adoption certificate.


At least once a year we visit every Turks and Caicos Islands school to talk about responsible pet ownership. Our costumed mascot “Lucky, the Potcake” accompanies us to show children how to handle and care for dogs. We are working on getting the schools to incorporate our educational package into the school curriculum.

We visit communities to demonstrate how to bath animals to rid them of ticks, fleas and mange. In the near future we will be have a column in the weekly newspapers dedicated to animal issues. We also give guest lectures about animal issues to various organizations such as Rotary, Kiwanis and the Hotel Association.

Animal Control

We are working closely with the Turks and Caicos Islands government to develop a comprehensive Animal Control & Welfare plan for the country.

This plan includes the hiring of staff and setting up policies and procedures to deal with such issues as stray animals, dog registration, cruelty and the enforcement of the newly passed Dog Control Ordinance.

We are also lobbying government to put the proper procedures and policies in place to qualify the country for the Pet Passport Scheme.

We assist residents & hotels in how to deal with problems of stray or feral dogs on their property.

Special Projects

The TCSPCA, in conjunction with the Pegasus Foundation and WSPA, is working to improve the conditions at the horse and donkey pound in Grand Turk and to come up with long term solutions for these animals.

We are also working with residents on Pine Cay and the DECR to help with the control of feral cats in an effort to save the endangered Turks and Caicos Islands Rock Iguana.

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Help Support TCSPCA by calling and finding out more!!!

How to say
NO to Dolphin Abuse in the TCI
Thank you for all your support

JoJo Says No to Dolphin Swim Parks

dolphin parksGovernment Moves To Suspend New Approvals Of Aquariums For Dolphins

Sept 2014 - The Government has recommended the suspension of new approvals for dolphin aquariums in Jamaica until a market and ecosystems survey is undertaken.
The recommendation is contained in a new policy aimed at regulating the use of dolphins.
According to the proposed policy, before new approvals may be granted for the establishment of dolphin aquariums surveys first have to be done to determine how many be sustainably created in the country.
The Government says the policy will address dolphins in Jamaican waters, the trading of dolphins and the use of the mammals for attractions.
According to the Environment and Climate Change Ministry, the policy is based on a precautionary approach because of the lack of data on dolphin populations.
It says decisions on further development of dolphin attractions will now be based on research and scientific data.
To date approval has been given for three dolphin aquariums in Jamaica. In the meantime, the Government intends to develop a management plan that will explore the possibility of dolphin watching as an alternative to having the mammals in aquariums.
Dolphin importers and exporters will also face more stringent requirements.
The policy proposes that dolphins for breeding programmes cannot be obtained by lease but must be acquired outright from sources which have conducted proper population surveys.
It also proposes that at least two local veterinarians be trained to monitor dolphin facilities and stranded marine mammals.
The Bottlenose is the most popular species found in the Caribbean and according to the policy document, there is increasing demand for tourism purposes.
Starting this week, the Government is to hold consultations with stakeholders on the proposed policy.
It believes the document will strengthen Jamaica's local preservation laws while bringing the country in line with international regulations.

Help support the TCSCPA ~ contact the office to volunteer! 231.3052

The TCSPCA is the oldest and most established Animal Welfare Organization in the Turks & Caicos Islands. It was established by Belongers in 1998. We are a non profit, registered charity and we are dependant on donations. Please consider this worthwhile cause, thankyou.

If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men. ~St. Francis of Assisi

ban dolphin parks

Fearing cruelty, environment ministry says no to dolphin parks

May 2013- A number of countries such as United Kingdom, Brazil and Chile have banned Dolphins in captivity. Puja Mitra, FIAPO’s campaign manager said, “This move of the AWBI’s is a big step forward to ensure that India never has captive dolphins – a barbaric practice that is fast being phased out internationally. Few people understand that Dolphins are highly intelligent mammals t suffer tremendously in captivity. Additionally, dolphinariums have absolutely no conservation or educational value."

"It is of interest to note that while some dolphins are reported to have learned English -- up to 50 words used in correct context -- no human being has been reported to have learned dolphinese." - Carl Sagan

"Man has always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much ... the wheel, New York, wars, and so on ... while all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man ... for precisely the same reason." – Douglas Adams

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