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HEATHER-LYNN’S HABITAT: 50 years on call

Heather-Lynn Evanson

HEATHER-LYNN’S HABITAT: 50 years on call

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There are times in our habitat when one person stands out – a person who has dedicated the majority of his or her life to a cause.

Veterinarian Dr William Huey is one such man.

He has spent the last 50 years of his life saving a variety of the island’s animals.

Based at the Royal Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and clad in what could be considered his trademark shorts and short-sleeved shirt, he has become a fixture of the Cheltenham Lodge charity.

This week, Heather-Lynn’s Habitat salutes this former rugby player turned saviour of animal lives.

William Huey has seen Barbados go from an island where packs of wild dogs roamed the streets to one where some dog lovers treat their canine friends like children.

He has treated every manner of animal – the circus elephant with its velvety touch stands out in his mind – and filed the teeth of mules so tall he had to stand on a truck to reach their mouths.

And he has watched the Barbados Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – itself no young organisation having been established in 1905 – go from strength to strength.

But as he quips: “I don’t know if anybody celebrates 50 years or do we apologise.”

The man who has treated cats, dogs, horses, sows and yes, the circus elephant, has found his calling anything but dull.

It is the memory of being introduced to the elephant he quickly calls to mind.

“It was like being touched with the softest, most delicate piece of velvet and it [the elephant’s trunk] went all across my forehead and right around my face, and held it underneath my nose for a little. And when it had done, it just reached around and put the trunk around me and pulled me in against it and by then I had stopped breathing,” Huey said, bursting out laughing.

Very few people know that the Irish vet was one of those who sat on the committee that established the Animal Control Centre.

The birth of that entity was a response to the numbers of stray dogs roaming the streets – or as Dr Huey put it “there were stray dogs left, right and centre”.

Please read the full story in today’s Daily Nation, or in the eNATION edition.