Daily Point of Light # 2989 Jul 20, 2005

Joe Aubain is a man who loves his island, his home. He has seen the devastating effect of cruelty on animals in the Virgin Islands and its link to family abuse. Since 2000, Joe Aubain has worked constantly to help prevent the epidemic of animal cruelty and its subsequent toll on families.

As President of the Board of Directors of the Humane Society of St. Thomas, he has significantly affected the lives of thousands of animals and countless children and adults. His unrelenting volunteer efforts launched a campaign to build an Animal Care Campus for the purpose of providing proper care to the island’s many unwanted animals and providing the value of humane education principles to thousands of school children.

As a seasoned nonprofit professional and animal lover, Joe Aubain envisioned a “campus” of facilities and activities designed for the enjoyment and education of people along with meeting the needs of unwanted animals. Dogs would be able to romp in one of several dog parks, or be exercised by taking a leisurely walk on nature trails. Cats would have lots of room to play in a tropical cabana. Families would visit the beautiful grounds and bring their beloved pets for walks and socialization with other animals, something unheard of in the community. Injured iguanas and migratory birds would be cared for in sanctuaries. Most importantly, children would visit the campus and learn to respect animals and the environment, and thus, display the values of humane education to one another, and as they grow into adults, teach these values to their children.

A steadfast believer that animal abuse is family abuse, Joe Aubain has already begun to see a dream realized-the positive impact of humane education on the community.

Joe Aubain has worked to enhance the quality of life of Virgin Islanders through his involvement in numerous causes and community based organizations. As Executive Director of the St. Thomas-St. John Chamber of Commerce for the past 14 years, he has stepped in and assisted numerous individuals and organizations when the “community safety net” failed them. His experience and the relationships he has built throughout the community has enabled him to launch this massive effort of (1) raising 3 million dollars for the construction of the Animal Care Campus, (2) managing the project design and construction, (3) developing the organization by raising funds for an executive director to develop and implement a strategic plan, (4) diversifying and growing the organization’s membership from less than 200 to a goal of 2,000 in less than two years, and (5) mobilizing the community’s elected officials to enact stronger animal cruelty legislation.

In addition to this phenomenal undertaking, Joe Aubain finds time to adopt and rescue animals. As he will step out of the Presidency in June 2005 at the organization’s annual meeting and preparation for the groundbreaking, Joe Aubain will remain on the Board as the volunteer project manager for the capital campaign and construction of the Animal Care Campus.