In the Turks and Caicos, a popular celebrity playground east of Cuba, the airlift program evolved because stray dogs were jeopardizing the tiny nation's burgeoning tourism industry -- they were running in packs, fighting over scraps of food and frightening visitors. Many of the dogs were shot, and others were poisoned; few lived beyond the age of 3.Rescuers call the strays "potcakes," and the pups are adorable — as you can see from the photo above from the Potcake Place website.
"Shelters don't have puppies. Or they only have pit bulls or mixed pit bull breeds."
To those who say the U.S. has enough strays without adding potcakes, [Potcake Place director Jane] Parker-Rauw replies that her group doesn't want to deny homes to American dogs: "We think all puppies deserve a home, including potcakes."C'mon, people -- thug life is fun! [Ms. Fitzgerald can't be talking about Denver shelters, can she? Because everyone knows there are no pit bulls in Denver.]
And, though shelters are crowded in many parts of the country, including Southern California, puppies are sometimes hard to find, experts say.
"It can be a win-win situation for puppies and for shelters in the U.S.," said Dena Fitzgerald, director of animal services for the American Humane Assn. in Denver. "Puppies are in great demand, and some spay/neuter programs here have been so successful that the shelters don't have puppies. Or they only have pit bulls or mixed pit bull breeds. People who visit the shelter with good intentions planning to adopt go away disappointed and never come back."
I agree that all puppies deserve a home, and I don't much care whether you adopt a dog from a Central Valley shelter or a Caribbean island, as long as you love and care for him. Heck, if you're a Los Gatos venture capitalist, flying to the Caribbean might actually be less of a hassle than driving to the Kings County Shelter. [There are great dogs at that shelter, by the way. I pulled a wonderful little red Aussie from Kings Co. last year.] But I hope you'll check local pounds and shelters before jetting off to Turks and Caicos for your next pup. Every time I visit Today's Arthur, I see photos of SoCal shelter dogs I'd grab in a minute, if only I had the room...