(San Pedro Animal Hospital) “Please Don’t Go” from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye,Belize.

Hi Ziggy here. Managed to grab hold of the iPad while John’s taking a shower so I thought I’d let you know how things have been for me lately.

Those of you that have been reading John’s blog for a while will probably recall that last October I was diagnosed as having an infection in my left ear and medication was prescribed to cure the problem.

John applied the drops religiously (well actually John isn’t that religious but you probably understand what I mean) and we thought the problem had been eradicated.

Much to my chagrin though we were wrong. We (( Rose (have I mentioned that I really like her), John (he’s OK) and me)) went to the San Pedro Animal Hospital (‘S.P.A.H.’) a few weeks ago for me to get a shampoo, pedicure and a general ‘once-over’.

All was going swimmingly until Doctor Patricia (Tricia to her friends like me) took a look at my left ear. Uh, oh – a problem. There were still traces of bacteria. So it was back on the medication for me.

We went back to the surgery last week and … problem solved. Goodbye nasty bacteria!

I thought that was it as far as visits to the ‘S.P.A.H.’ was concerned until it’s time for my next bit of beauty treatment (I know, I know – I don’t need it). But boy did I get that wrong.

I sensed something was wrong yesterday morning when I got out on to the veranda (the western, lagoon facing, one) with John around 04.30 hours. Him to chill out with his first mug of coffee (instant, black and unsweetened if you must know) of the day and me for a good slurp of water and some chow.

Well he had his mug of coffee but where was my stuff? An empty water bowl and no food dish.


“Not happy”.

All became clear not long later when Rose appeared with my lead. We were going out . Great. Or so I thought.

I was quite happy when I got on to the ‘cart


and my happy mood prevailed all the way in to ‘Town. Until


we stopped in front of the ‘S.P.A.H’!

And then John (by this time I was starting to think that he’s not so OK) grabbed hold of my lead and we went to the ‘Hospital’s Reception and he handed me over -without a second thought – to Xiomara and Abdy (they assist Doctor Tricia) and just left me there!

I don’t remember a lot after that. I know that my front left leg was shaved


and I was given an injection. What happened after that is just a blur.

Some time later (sorry but I haven’t a clue how much later) Rose and John appeared and I very quickly (well as quickly as my drowsiness would allow) positioned myself right next to Rose (I trust her).


John handed over some money and then we headed home. I was pleased. I still felt a little queasy but I was hungry and thirsty. I hadn’t eaten or drank since the previous night.

I now know that the reason for the visit was to have my teeth cleaned. I’d like to show you just how clean they are but I still don’t feel like smiling.

Now as much as I don’t like going to the ‘Hospital there is a really serious side to this little story. Unless the Belize Veterinary Association, Veterinary Surgeons Board and Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) relent and renew Doctor Laurie Droke’s (she started the ‘Hospital in 2009) licence and permits to operate in Belize then the facility will close.

This would be a catastrophe (apologies to my feline friends). I mean where would I and my four legged furry friends on the island go when we are not feeling well?

I’m far from being an expert but the ‘Hospital seems very well equipped to me





That’s me trying out the weighing scales. A svelte 57lbs if you must know

and the staff are fantastic.


From left to right: Xiomara, Doctor Patricia and Abdy.

What can be done you want to know. You do, don’t you! Well send emails to the people that hold the future of this much needed island facility in their hands. It will only take you a few minutes but it could mean so much to my friends and I:

Dr. DePaz: depaz_miguel2004@yahoo.com
Dr. Gongora: victor@gmail.com
Dr. Chimilio: bchimilio@yahoo.com
Dr. Crawford: janecrwfrd@yahoo.co.uk
Dr. Paquet-Durand: ipaquet@gmx.net
Dr. Myers: joe_my2003@yahoo.com

Let the above people know just how important the Hospital is. Please.

I may not always welcome my visits to the San Pedro Animal Hospital but … please don’t go.

The headline for today’s edition is based on the single released in 1979 by KC and the Sunshine Band which reached number three on the UK Singles Chart and number one on the US Billboard Hot 100.


  1. Susan Watts says:

    Good morning John! Would you say it’s less costly over all to own your on house (yearly upkeep security etc. etc.) or pay the monthly fees and live in a condo? This is a question the hubby and I keep tossing around and since you are the only person we sort of know there, figured you’d be the best (and only) person to ask. Thanks for any insights. Feel free to e-mail me privately if you’d rather. tlg8bxr@msn.com

    1. Hi Susan. I think whether you rent or buy depends upon so many things. Number one consideration is how confident you are that this is the place you.
      We were confident (and still are) so having our own place was a no brainer for us. Obviously there is the initial outlay (but it would only have sat in the bank) but I have never liked a rental property ie you wave goodbye to the money every month.

      There are some good condo bargains to be had where the purchase prices are reasonable and so are the HOA fees. Bermuda Beach (unashamed plug here) offers just this.

      And if you subsequently found that the island isn’t for you full time the rental income on them is pretty good if you didn’t want to sell.

      Having built our own home our monthly utilities – electricity, cable and Internet (we have a rainwater collection system) runs to about BZ$ 350 -375.

      1. Susan Watts says:

        Hi John, thanks for the info…we don’t plan or renting….buying all the way, just not sure if we should buy land and build or buy a condo and pay the monthly condo fees. So much to consider…and love the plugs! We are exclusively looking in the South as we do not want the burden of the bridge. We did find a condo we like, but I keep thinking we should consider a private house…but as we age it would be nice not to have any real upkeep either…ahhh decisions, decisions….thanks again for your keen insights! Give Ziggy a pat for me and I hope all the letters have made an impression on “the powers that be” and that SPAH will not close!

  2. Susan Watts says:

    Hi John, any news on the Hospital situation there? Seems like this a hot potato issue for the Government with no one wanting to back down. I sure hope they come to their senses and grant the permits etc. to keep SPAH open and operational!

    1. Hi Susan. Sorry for the delay in acknowledging and responding to your question. I’ve been a bit lax with the blog of late.

      Sorry to ‘report’ that there is no news on SPAH (good or bad) yet but I think this matter us likely to drag on for a while.

      When a decision is taken and released I will let you know the outcome.

  3. Susan Watts says:

    John, None of the e-mail are going through! I copied and pasted them just as you have them written…and not going through…then I thought don’t put the Dr name and even that isn’t working! any suggestions…I just read with a ton of dismay that the clinic is planning to close the end of this year. Honestly, with all the crime, garbage, the devalue of the Belize Bank Stock and now this I’m afraid we’ll have to start looking elsewhere to retire. Breaks my heart.

    1. Susan Watts says:

      Never mind…I figured it out and all letters sent!

  4. Susan Watts says:

    Will be contacting the list you gave us first thing in the morning…have been away for a week at the Boxer Nationals (as in dogs). AC simply cannot loose this facility…I can tell you for certain, if there is no vet facility then we will not purchase property there and we will not retire there…the whole island seems to be in a death spiral these days!

  5. kristina nadreau says:

    Even if the woman who complained is a “difficult” client, her complaint is valid. A business claiming to prvide professional services must have a lisc, trained professional on staff, who is available to supervise the the staff.

    1. Kristina hadn’t seen your follow up email when I responded to your first email.
      At all times the ‘Hospital has a qualified vet in charge.
      It is this person that also attends to all ‘out of office hours’ emergencies.
      Oh, and Tricia wasn’t the vet at the time of the reported incident. It was her predecessor.

  6. kristina nadreau says:

    going by what I have seen online, the woman complaining about her dogs treatment at the hospital was primarily concerned about the owner of the building who was drunk and threatened to withhold care from her seriously injured dog. This is very unprofessional and should result in discipline to the guy doing the swearing and threatening. Tricia was providing treatment but allowed Lawrence to make threats etc. Lawrence being the owner of the building. Does Tricia have a degree in Veterinary Medicine?

    Vets in Belize can not get the medications, other supplies, & equipment that they need to offer excellent service in Belize. (just like the physicians in Belize) Meds and supplies have to be imported, and many of the most efficacious meds are only available in the USA to vets lisc in the USA.

    Veterinarians practicing in Belize must have a relationship with a USA licensed vet who sends them what they need to work. Lawrence should be barred from the practice, based solely on his behavior with this seriously injured dog. there should be zero tolerance level for his behavior.. The rest of the staff needs to continue in the practice, only if there is a trained veterinarian on site to supervise the staff.

    Here in Corozal we are lucky to have Dr Sheila who was trained in the USA and who has access to proper medications and equiptment. We also have a Belizean vet, Dr. Marta who is very good, but who often can not get the meds and equiptment she needs, such as good suture material. Then we also have Dr Charles, another Belizean vet who worked many years in Belize City with the Humane Society. Lastly we have a man who claims to be a vet, who is rarely if ever, at his store front self proclaimed clinic. He leaves all services in the care of a tech who told me she did an online course to get her vet tech training. She is not supervised by a veterinarian.

    1. Sometimes what one reads online Kristina gives only half a story.

      I’ll admit straight away that I know Peter Lawrence and have known him for many years. He can be abrasive and I suppose rude. I also know that he absolutely loves animals. Perhaps more than he likes some humans.
      The incident that has been reported online is one that I am familiar with. What hadn’t been reported is how rude the complainant in question was to Peter Lawrence. I, along with a number of non Belizeans, was personally verbally assaulted by this lady when attending an auction.
      Peter -to my certain knowledge- rarely gets involved in the day-to-day running of the practice. He did on this occasion because of the individual involved.
      The current vet is a qualified vet as is Doctor Lawrie Droke the co-partner who started the practice.
      They do get proper medications from the USA but that is one of the problems they have experienced ie being allowed to import them.
      I believe that if the authorities were to conduct a random poll to find out the views of owners that have had their pets treated by the San Pedro Animal Hospital there would be few- if any- that reported anything less than an exemplary service.

  7. robert says:

    The SPAH is brilliant. Seems some local lady didn’t appreciate it and told tales to higher ups on the mainland . Typical ,unforetunately of what happens . That facility has got to stay or AC is really going to suffer , but not half as much as our 4 legged friends. Tell John to get his friends at BATSUB to pay a few people a ‘friendly’ visit !!!

    1. Yep and I think a number of us know of the lady in question. Not too sure she even lives on the island now.
      Hopefully common sense will prevail and the authorities take note of the views of many as opposed to a few (or one).

  8. Jane says:

    Dear Ziggy, We wrote our letters the other day, so I hope we’ll make a difference so SPAH can stay open. Teeth cleaning is not our favorite thing, either, but it makes the humans here pretty happy, and that’s what we’re all about!
    Georgia, Pocket and Simon, the Terrible!

    1. Thank you Georgia, Pocket and Simon The Terrible. I’m going to ‘pass’ on the next teeth clean. If I’m given the choice that is!

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