Why help the dogs in Puerto Rico?
Puerto Rico is essentially a Colony of the United States. Once labeled a Commonwealth and/or Territory, the Supreme Court ruled in 2016 that we are neither, leaving us with much confusion as exactly who we are and where we stand. However, all Puerto Rican Citizens are born with U.S. Passports, and are U.S. Citizens. Therefore, the dogs of Puerto Rico have U.S. Passports and are well deserving of our help!
We choose to help dogs in Puerto Rico because of the island's overwhelming need for shelters and compassion. In the States, we have many shelters, humane societies, and rescue groups. In Puerto Rico (which is about the size of Connecticut,) we have 5 shelters operating on shoe-string budgets. Unsterilized dogs roam the streets, reproducing at alarming rates. Thousands of dogs die inhumanely, suffering from illnesses and starvation. They are NOT given the right to die humanely, pain free, or peacefully. Most die in extreme discomfort, never knowing love or affection. For these reasons, we fight to raise awareness to the sufferings occurring in our own American Caribbean. We strive for a better future for all creatures.
What is Island Dog?
Island Dog is an animal welfare organization in the United States Caribbean Islands. We are a registered 501 ( c ) (3) organization, recognized by the Internal Revenue Service, with offices located in Luquillo, Puerto Rico and Baltimore, Maryland. Federal ID Number: 20-5107492. We ARE NOT a shelter. We have a small dog hotel at our office for dogs awaiting travel to the United States. We mainly operate spay & neuter surgeries out of various veterinarian offices in Puerto Rico. When we have extra funds or supplies we assist Culebra, St. John USVI, and Nicaragua.
How is Island Dog Funded?
Island Dog is funded by people like yourself. We do not receive government assistance or help from the Humane Society. Our scope of work depends upon our funding from people like yourself.
How can I help?
There are many ways you can help Island Dog! The two biggest obstacles are funding and awareness. We need money to make our programs successful and we need you to share our story with the world. Island Dog believes in the power of a team. We believe together we can make successful change. Visit our Get Involved Page to learn how to help.
Do you have volunteer opportunities in Puerto Rico?
We accept volunteers 18 years and older. While we do need volunteers who live locally, in Puerto Rico, our greatest need is HELP IN THE UNITED STATES TO HELP US RAISE AWARENESS, FUNDS, AND TO PROVIDE FOSTER CARE AND AIRPORT TRANSPORTATION. To volunteer please contact Katie at Katie@islanddog.org.
Do you have employment opportunities at this time?
Currently, Island Dog does not have employment opportunities. We hope to have many opportunities for our fellow animal lovers in the near future. The more people helping our dogs, the better!
I want to adopt!
If you are interested in adopting one of our wonderful dogs, please fill out our ADOPTION APPLICATION. Please check out our Facebook and News page, as our dogs are listed on their first. Dogs are then listed on our Adoption & Petfinder pages. Island Dogs can be found in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Illinois.
What does it take to rescue an island dog?
Rescuing an island dog is NOT an easy process. Many have health issues when taking them from the street or beaches. Mange and heartworm are two of our most expensive treatments. When we first decide to rescue a puppy or dog we first take it to a vet clinic. We have a limited number of vets who give discounts. After the initial vet visit dogs are either designated to board at the vet or with foster care. Either way we pay a daily boarding fee. If a dog is diagnosed with heartworm we must then treat him/her for a months time. During this time the dog must remain completely calm and rest. Once the heartworm treatment is completed the dog is assured a healthy and happy life! Mange treatment can range from one week to a month depending on severity. We can not send a dog to the states without a completely healthy check-up, and with two sets of shots (vaccinations). Flights are limited because of temperatures. A pet in NOT allowed to fly if a temperature is above 85 or below 45. United Airlines is the only airline that provides climate controlled cargo. This means we can fly a pet on United in any weather! However, United does not fly to all locations, so this can get tricky!
Why do I see so many homeless dogs?
While Island Dog works everyday to help the thousands of homeless dogs in Puerto Rico, there is still an epidemic of owned dogs not sterilized, producing more dogs. Because the island does not provide adequate shelters for all these dogs being born, they are dumped onto the beaches and streets. For every 10 dogs Island Dog rescues, another 10 will be dumped. Therefore Island Dog created a spay and neuter program to help combat the problem from all angles. We understand you may feel overwhelmed by the situation. Please write to the Tourism Company and express your feelings. And please trust that Island Dog is working tirelessly to help the thousands of dogs on the streets. In fact, since 2007, we have sterilized over 4,000 dogs and cats, preventing over 64,000 unwanted animals from being dumped onto the streets. Plus another 3,000 have been given new forever homes. We believe by working proactively in the local communities and continually building our spay and neuter programs, we can create successful change. Please join us and help us make the Caribbean and Puerto Rico a better place for animals.
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