Dog Care in Belize

dogs in belize

Belize is very devoted to its dogs, and animal care is a priority for the SAGA Humane Society. Katia Marin and Heather Beck are the directors of the SAGA HS and bring a wealth of training and experience to their positions.

Katia Marin owns Pampered Paws, a leading pet grooming facility in Belize. She trained as a groomer in Texas. But in 2003, after getting her Masters in Dog Training in New York, Katia and Pampered Paws was able to offer overnight care, daycare, and dog training.

Katia has gone to several conferences on animal welfare and this year came to the US to workshop with some of the country’s leading dog experts. She trained at the Cesar Millan’s Dog Psychology Center where she was a workshop volunteer and learned about things such as E collar training, animal behavior, dog herding, and pack walks.

Heather Beck is owner of Utah’s K-9 Lifeline, and gave a workshop on coping with difficult dogs, which was both lecture and hands on training.  With Heather, Katia learned many techniques including dealing with socializing dogs, difficult dogs, collar and leash training.

Katia and Heather have a great concern for the dogs on Ambergris Caye. This year they will offer to train an officer to be Ambergris Cay’s official dog catcher. They will also continue to attend seminars, lectures and workshops to increase their skills and knowledge, and improve their awareness. It is their great desire to be good advocates for the dogs on Ambergris Caye, to improve care and medical services, and to work to find “furever” homes for the homeless dogs on the island.

Check out the original Ambergris Today article here.

Local Man Works to Save Belize’s Manatees


Even at a young age, Jamal knew that he wanted his life’s work to involve manatees. Now known as “the manatee man” Jamal Galves is the Belize Manatee Project Program Coordinator in his home village of Gales Point but in his own words he says that he is “just a kid trying to save manatees.” However now he has a lot more influence now than he did when he was a teenager.

There were many different threats that combined in order to make the manatees one of the most threatened marine mammals. At one point the people of the land hunted them, but now people have figured out other ways in order to harm them. One of the most common ways to harm a manatee comes from striking them with a boat. Many times they are able to hear the boat coming, but they are not able to swim away fast enough. This happens when people ignore the wake bans where there are manatee habitats.

The identification of the no-wake zones is poorly marked however, and people often don’tslow down, even if the areas are marked clear as day.

“A lot of it has to do with the peoples’ lack of understanding or appreciation for manatees,” Galves says. “They have no respect for wake zones or no reason to comply. To me, it seems like a small, easy thing for them to comply and just slow down.”

This issue along with the issues of pollution, loss of valuable coastal habitat (such as mangroves), and the continued threat of poaching, have been a cocktail for disaster in more recent years.

Unfortunately, it seems to affect the youngest the most. “If a mother and her calf are feeding and a boat comes, the mother’s first instinct is to run. They communicate using chirps at a low volume, and it’s very difficult for them to get back together [after they’ve been separated].”

This is when Galves comes in to help out. When they see an abandoned manatee calf or hear of such an incidence, then they spring into action. They collect the baby manatee that by then is generally in poor health.

This is when they rehabilitate the animal back to health with bottled milk and they help to reintroduce the manatee into the wild. However the costs get to be so high (one milk bottle costs from $14 to $17 American dollars, and they need to be fed a bottle every two hours), so Galves uses fundraising to fund his passions.

Go here to see the original article, and check out this link to donate to their cause.


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The Amazing Wildlife of Belize

Belize WildlifeIn Belize, we’re fortunate enough to have the most pristine forest of any country in South America. Over half of the land in Belize is covered by a breathtaking tropical forest, home to thousands of species of plants and animals. According to the BBC, a third of the land in Belize falls under protected status. It’s no surprise that eco-tourism has grown to become one of the most successful industries in the country.

One of the things we love most about being in Belize is the opportunity to witness all kinds of magnificent exotic creatures thriving in their natural habitat. Ground squirrels and white-tailed deer might be all the wildlife some of us can hope to encounter in our day-to-day lives, but in Belize you can expect way more diversity.

Imagine waking up to the call of the black howler monkey, an endangered species found only in Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico. On any given day, you might be lucky enough to spot a squat, pig-like character with a shy demeanor and a voracious appetite for leaves. Meet the tapir, one of Belize’s most curious mammals.

Every year around September, sea turtles come ashore to nest and lay eggs on the beach. Nesting season is a very special time in Belize, a time when we get to see fresh new life emerge from the sands and boldly set out into the deep ocean. It is a venerated event that annually reminds us how truly precious these ecosystems are.

Keep your species identification guides close at hand! Each time you step out your door in Belize you’ll have the opportunity to see animals you might never have even heard of. We’d love to see you invest in this remarkable global tourism hotspot. For more information on investment opportunities in Belize, contact Belize Shores Realty today.

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