I was fortunate enough to visit the animal rescue on the island of Abaco in the Bahamas last week and spend some time with the pups and volunteers. The rescue currently has 41 Potcakes, mostly over the ages of 1 and a couple of seniors. Two of the dogs were getting ready to fly to the states and join their furever families. Operating with no power and only recently, a running water system, the rescue was a breath of fresh air. Literally, not stinky at all: large pens, sandy floors, multi-level dog houses, large buckets of fresh water, canopies of shade and most importantly, each other. 2-4 dogs per area, the dogs seemed to be at home and were living harmoniously with each other. Half of the crew eager for scratches and love, the other half incredibly timid and hiding behind their houses. Made me wonder what kind of human encounter's they had before they arrived at the shelter.
The shelter itself looks like Robinson Crusoe built it. Crafted in the Bahamian jungle, it is built from locally collected wood, building scraps and siding, an old bathtub for their sink, car hoods and children's abandoned play houses, it stands sturdy from recycled materials barely leaving any kind of a footprint in the Bahamian jungle. With genius use of local, recycled materials, the shelter is able to keep costs down substantially but are praying for a building one day where they will have power, running water and a place to offer vet care. One of the biggest surprises was how clean the facility was. With one local paid full time as he is there every day, the shelter is entirely run by volunteers who live full time on the island. The dogs were happy, healthy and have so much love to give.
Personally falling in love with two rottweiler mixes, Mary and Susie, I learned they were found roaming around the dump on the island. Thinking they were left there by their previous owners meant to be used as guard dogs of some sort, but ultimately had too much of soft, lovable personalities, they probably didn't do their "guarding" very well. Only interested in kisses, hugs and butt rubs, Mary and Susie quickly won me over. Also helped my mother's name is Mary Susan and they loved her just as much.
With all 41 Potcakes being over 25lbs, it proves a little more difficult to get them off the island and onto the mainland, however difficult, not impossible and successfully completed often. Please scroll through the photos and see the wonders of the Abaco animal shelter. If you are interested in volunteering at the Abaco shelter, or adopting a Potcake from there, I urge you to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to chat further and discuss logistics and the possibilities of bringing a Potcake into your life! While the shelter is able to keep their costs low, they are always in need of food, medicine on hand, beds, leashes and of course, treats. If you would like to donate to the Abaco shelter, you can do so here.