If you read my blog post about Rusty, then you know about my visit to the Antigua animal shelter during my recent trip to the caribbean. If you haven't read it, then click HERE to learn how this special pup won my heart. Warning! He may just win yours too!
Since I never go anywhere without my camera, I took this opportunity to photograph some of the dogs at the shelter. They had just posted on Facebook that they were looking for someone to photograph the pets for their social media and website. If I lived here or were staying longer, I would have signed up for sure!
Most of the dogs like this fellow below, Mellow, were young and quite friendly. In spite of the fact that they roam the streets foraging for food, they all seem to get along really well. We didn't see any signs of dog fights which really impressed me.
Shepherd mixes were the most common type of dog we saw. Though there was Rhodesian Ridgeback, retrievers, beagles, and rottweilers mixed in as well. Many of the dogs are strays that are surrendered. There were quite a few puppies as well. Often someone dumps them in a open lot where a good samaritan finds them and bring them to the shelter for safety.
PAAWS (Protect Antiguan Animals with a Smile) is rather new. We met one of the founders when he stopped in to see how things were going and learned how he and his wife raised money to build the kennels, arrange for sponsors to provide food for the animals, create a website and Facebook page among some of their accomplishments in the 2 years since they founded this organization.
It's overwhelming knowing where to start to help, but the new director has been successful in the few weeks she has been working there to get animals out of Antigua and shipped into Canada and the United States where they find forever homes rather quickly. She is hopeful to find other shelters to network with that can also help with the cost of shipping the dogs off the island.
Our visit to the caribbean was all too short. I wished I had more time to do more to help these dogs. All I know is that one day I will be back to visit. And when I do return, I will plan in advance to find out what I can do during my stay. Even if it's just bringing one dog back to the states to find a home here, that's one dog whose life might be saved.
If you'd like to learn more about PAAWS Antigua, visit their website by clicking HERE. Or if you'd like to become a fan on Facebook by "liking" their page, click HERE. While homeless animals can be found all over the globe, one thing is for sure, none of us can help every dog out there, but anything you can do to make the difference in the life of one dog, is contributing to solving the larger issue of pet overpopulation.