Just two weeks ago, nine 6-week old pups and their mom were found abandoned on the beach near Barceloneta, Puerto Rico. Although the pups were starving, dehydrated, and obviously in need of medical care, the most that our rescue partner, Animalitos de Dios PR, could do was provide food, since all of their fosters were more than full. With their only hope being rescue, LDCRF was able to step in and say yes. Covered in fleas and infested with worms, the pups received the veterinary care needed to recover and fly to the mainland, although sadly two pups did not survive due to parasite overload. Within just a few days, they were headed to LDCRF, which meant they were also headed to health, safety, and new beginnings. In a foster home, they were soon eating, drinking, and happily playing with toys. Back in Puerto Rico, their mom has proven to be a challenge for volunteers – running quickly and evading capture – but they are hopeful they will be able to catch and neuter her soon.
Many dogs, cats, and puppies in Puerto Rico are not as lucky as the pups. Estimates of the number of stray and abandoned dogs in Puerto Rico range from 100,000 to 250,000. Obstacles to overcoming the pet overpopulation problem are many: few local adoption options, only five local animal shelters for the entire island, lack of belief in spay and neuter of pets, difficulty enforcing animal control and cruelty, and a poor economy. Several isolated beaches and areas, such as the beach where the pups were found, are used as dumping grounds for unwanted dogs and puppies. Local rescues bring much needed food and water to these areas, and take in as many adoptable dogs as possible. While spay and neuter is the only solution to the overpopulation problem, transport to the mainland sometimes provides the only hope for saving lives. When asked what changes she has seen in the last year, a volunteer with Animalitos de Dios PR said, “The number is increasing, and we don’t have enough resources or funds to rescue and save them!! I cry every day because I can’t help them all.”
Last week and much closer to home – just 200 miles south in Halifax, Virginia – seven schnauzers were in need of rehoming after their elderly owner had become overwhelmed with their care. A small rescue group in the area was able to take in the dogs and arrange transport to LDCRF. Once again, within days the schnauzers were groomed, given medical care, and ready to find new homes. Two have already found the homes they deserve, and the remaining schnauzers – Chance, Chip, Kassie, Smurfette, and Cody – can be found on the LDCRF website. The Puerto Rican pups will be ready for adoption in a few weeks, once they are spayed/neutered and filled with food and loving care.
LDCRF volunteers and donors make it possible to say yes when there are animals in need, both near and far. Thank you for supporting LDCRF, and for allowing us to save more lives and find them the homes that they deserve!