St. Martin - Dog Friendly?

Old Aug 7th, 2010, 11:36 AM
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St. Martin - Dog Friendly?

Hi everyone!

My girls and I were thinking of going to a South Pacific island. We are really into snorkel/snuba and beautiful beaches and water. However, we are also animal lovers. While checking into most of the South Pacific Islands we heard some horror stories about their treatment of animals (dogs in particular). There are a lot of homeless strays who roam the streets starving and they just get run over without the people even blinking an eye. We decided not to patronize places where the people are cruel and heartless. We wouldn't have a good time.

Having been to Bahamas and St. Thomas, the attitudes there seem to be more humane. But we wanted to try a different island with more nightlife and great snorkeling. Does anyone know if St. Martin is okay regarding animals as opposed to how they are in the South Pacific? We are planning this trip for the end of September. Would love some advice. Thank you!
ledhead is offline  
Old Aug 7th, 2010, 03:04 PM
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I live on S Maarten and have traveled through french Polynesia. While we do have a problem on st maarten with strays and homeless dogs, we have several volunteer animal groups ( the governments do nothing) on both sides of the island that are trying to make a difference. as a result the amount of strays you see is much less than it used to be, although you will see them.
Personally i was appalled at how bad it was in french Polynesia. according to the information I received whenever I asked, there was no one who cared and no government or even volunteer intervention.
so, it's a problem here, yes, but getting better and IMHO nowhere near as bad as French Polynesia.
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Old Aug 7th, 2010, 06:15 PM
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Hi Barbara,

Thank you for the interesting information. It is so nice that St. Martin has the volunteer groups. Agreed - most governments do nothing! I think maybe we will come visit St. Martin. We are planning for the third week in September. My daughter is actually thinking of applying to the American University medical school in St. Martin. She loves dogs and maybe this will not be a problem for her if she gets accepted to the medical school there. Thanks again!
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Old Aug 29th, 2010, 03:15 PM
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i have a duplex in st martin and when i visit i always bring my dog and heloves it there!
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Old Aug 31st, 2010, 02:43 PM
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Like Barbara, I live on the island - but on the French side.

4 years ago I adopted a stray puppy - about a month old, living in an empty container in Galisbay. She is without doubt the nicest and most loving animal I have ever had - totally unlike the two legged bitch I left in England !

There are now at least two very active dog/animal welfare organizations on the island, and they make their presence well known.

There ARE stray dogs around, many of which are 'adopted' - usually as puppies - by people who come here to work for the season, and then depart leaving the animal to fend for itself. My general view is that the local people are not intentionally unkind to strays - rather the opposite.

I notice, stmartinguy, that you visit with your dog (I presume that you live in the US ?). My dog has travelled with me to the US and back on a number of occasions but, from now on, I think it may well be more difficult, if not impossible.

American Airlines is the only carrier that will accept animals in pet carriers travelling to and from SXM / US (some others will permit small dogs as 'cabin luggage') but I am worried that even AA will refuse to carry non-cabin canines at all soon.

You may have noticed in the press recently that AA permitted 7 puppies to die in transit - probably due to excessive heat prior to take off of the plane from - I think - Oklahoma City.

Even up until now,(in theory) they should refuse to carry pets in pet carriers if the temperature at point of departure, intercahange airport, or destination is below 45 degrees, or above 85 degrees.

As the temperature on this island is 85 to 87 degrees EVERY DAY, this makes SXM very borderline, and I reckon that as the bosses of AA, will not wish to risk another potential law suit, therefore the facility will be quietly withdrawn.

I have been in contact with 'Pet Airways' - a company, based in Florida, that does nothing but carry animals - and they "SAID" that they were considering extending their service to St Martin.

The more people that request them to do so, the greater the likelihood that they will, so please contact them - ALL OF YOU out there !
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Old Aug 31st, 2010, 05:36 PM
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David, very interesting post. (And I also laughed about the one you left behind in England!)
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Old Jan 8th, 2011, 04:27 AM
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Hi, I realise that you've probably seen for yourself by now, but for anyone else who reads this I stayed on the French side (Orient Bay area) in 2009 and I would agree with previous posts from locals especially about them being left to fend for themselves. I would add that the strays we saw there were quite simply the best behaved, well mannered and well fed strays we had ever seen, presumably combining their early training, natural guile and 'too large for the average human' sized portions at the local restaurants to good effect!
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