Paws for a Moment by Bonny Corbeil

Our ACC Annual Report

The ACC Board of Directors held its Annual Meeting on Wednesday, January 24 at the Gifft Hill School. President John Fuller gave a review of the work accomplished in 2006 as follows:

In January, new directors were welcomed, including Dean Baldwin, owner of Frames of Mind; Nancy Louis, owner of Garden by the Sea; Bonita (Bonny) Corbeil, social worker; and Delrise Varlack, of Varlack Ventures.

A “Paws and Claws” fund raiser was planned for March 2006, however, because of a conflict with another community fund raiser as well as a loss of a key event planner, this event was dropped. Corbeil as Media and Educational Chair began the bi-monthly “Paws for a Moment” column in the St. John Tradewinds.

In April, the St. John Board of Realtors donated $3,000 for t-shirts for Wagapalooza. We held a contest for the shirt logo, and the winning logo will be used in next year’s event. The gross money raised from Wagapalooza was $30,181.50.

Our new 20-year ACC lease from the V.I. Government, with options to extend, passed the Finance Committee unanimously and was signed by Governor Charles Turnbull. Our rent is now $5,700 per year (up from $60/year) with a reduction for the 18-month construction period. Our ACC received a grant of $3,500 from Pegasus for our Spay and Neuter Program; and thanks to Bill Dove, “Help Us Care” bumper stickers were purchased to sell for $3 each or two for $5 to promote more community involvement and support.

In May, new dog run construction was planned because of the limited space available for the number of dogs in our care. Board members with construction backgrounds oversaw this project. Dove volunteered to form and finish the concrete.
The capital fund raising goal for this project is $70,000.

Dr. Elaine Campbell, board member, made great efforts to follow up on a challenge from Peter Max, who is now painting portraits at $35,000 each. This famous artist, who has a home on St. John, has agreed to donate $31,000 of this fee to our ACC. We are still hoping to find someone who is up to this challenge to help our ACC!

In August, we received $15,000 from our Department of Agriculture. The ACC was also deeply troubled by the reports of a dog being beaten to death in Coral Bay as well as incidents of the shooting of others. There was also a serious incident of a companion dog tied up in a resident’s yard that was brutally killed by a roaming pit bull. These ongoing, troubling and serious incidents led to discussions of the Animal Cruelty Bill with the St. Thomas Humane Society and the Police Department. Education and enforcement of this law is sorely lacking. This will be a major focus for our ACC in 2007.

In October the new shelter dog runs were started. Although, we hope to raise the funds through a capital campaign, we are starting with current funds.

In December, we were offered a lovely villa in Chocolate Hole by William Neill for Christmas for the Animals on December 9. One hundred tickets were purchased for this important yearly event which netted $11,000. Thanks to the efforts of Board Member Oriel Smith and Caneel Bay Resort, poinsettias were also sold.

The Executive Committee voted to replace Director Varlack with Alfredo Alejo, and to replace Director Elizabeth Barot with Kristen Cox. Dale and Cox were also welcomed to the ACC Board.

2006 was a year of challenge for the shelter operations committee chair, Diana Ripley, as we lost employees, went many months before finding replacements, and with the usual long dry spell for volunteers over the summer and fall. Both Diana Ripley, shelter chair and Connie Joseph, shelter manager, were commended and thanked for their deep commitment to our shelter’s operation. John Fuller was commended for his leadership as 2006 President.


Directors (from the left): Holly Hardy, Bill Dove, Suzanne Kirk, Bonny Corbeil, Dean Baldwin, B.J.Harris, Oriel Smith, John Fuller, Diana Ripley, and Alfredo Alejo. Not present were Elaine Campbell, Kristen Cox, Jen Dale, Sheila Karcher and Nancy Louis.

Our new ACC 2007 executive was elected. President: BJ Harris; VP: Diana Ripley; Secretary: Kristin Cox; Treasurer: John Fuller.