POTCAKE ADOPTION LEAGUE (PAL)
[Potcake Adoption League PAL]
WHAT IS THE POTCAKE ADOPTION LEAGUE (PAL)?
When Project Potcake began in Marsh Harbour, Abaco, The Bahamas, in 1999, SNIP's community canvassers were staggered by the number of emaciated dams and puppies in communities such as Murphy Town, Dundas Town and the Haitian enclaves known as The Peas and The Mud. Even though nature mandates only two breeding season a year, every reproductive female Potcake was either in heat, pregnant, whelping, or nursing litters of as many as 12 puppies each.
During the first two years, Project Potcake focused on effecting long term population reduction by spaying every reproductive female possible. This protocol included massive clinics that sterilized as many as 200 animals in four or five days; juvenile spaying of puppies as young as 10 weeks old was the norm. Even though clinics were staged every three month during the most intensive phase of Project Potcake, it was common place to see as many as 50 litters of puppies in the field. Every one of them deserved rescue. There were just too many of them to help…
Moreover, because nature abhors a vacuum it was painfully necessary to return every Potcake to its community to prevent peripheral colonies of roaming Potcakes from migrating and "colonizing" suddenly unpopulated territories. It had to be done but it was one of the hardest choices we ever had to make. Homeless Potcake puppies face a bleak, short future…
During the last two years, all this has changed. Although litters still are born, their numbers now approach a level considered manageable for a stable breeding population. Today, when Project Potcake canvassers come across unwanted litters (and, occasionally, adoptable adults facing imminent and unnecessary death due to a short-term health crisis) SNIP does everything possible to rescue them, restore them to health and find them safe, responsible, loving and permanent homes.
This rescue program – and all it entails – is called SNIP's Potcake Adoption League. It begins in Bahamian backyards, under abandoned vehicles, at the dump and outside of town, where cardboard boxes containing unwanted litters of puppies are abandoned to die in the bush.
It continues with emergency veterinary care that treats puppies for a variety of parasites that includes everything from multiple worms, mange and ringworm to fleas, ticks and lice. It requires antibiotics, fluid therapy, slowly acclimating starving digestive systems to nourishing food, wound treatment, vaccines, and socialization. And that's before they leave the island.
Then comes reserving seats on small commuter aircraft that accommodate flight carriers, making additional flight arrangements on stateside airlines, followed by more rest and recuperation at SNIP's New England headquarters or placement in pre-qualified private homes or temporary residence at participating shelters.
(A growing number of shelters welcome these Bahamian canine refugees because spay and neuter has proven so effective in the U.S. that there aren't enough puppies to meet existing needs in the States. Additionally, there is a growing movement among progressive shelters that believe helping to place homeless animals is a global humane issue that exceeds national boundaries.)
Naturally, SNIP requires that all Potcakes adopted through its PAL program are sterilized before they reach reproductive age. As of this year, 2003, SNIP ensures that every Potcake available for adoption through PAL is spayed or neutered before placement in his or her new home.
None of this is easy nor is it inexpensive. Nonetheless, in a little more than one year SNIP has rescued and secured homes for more than 180, otherwise hopeless and dying, Potcakes.
If you would like to find out more about opening your heart and home to a Potcake… If you would like to be responsible for saving one of these precious diamonds in the rough by making a tax deductible donation to SNIP, please – for the sake of the Potcake puppy who has no home and no sustenance except for garbage on the grass on which it was born -- don't wait. Do it now. These precious, joyful, highly intelligent animals depend on people, on PALs, like you for their very existence…
For further information or to offer your help, E-Mail S.N.I.P.
Then: This little Potcake puppy was intentionally scalded. He was rescued during a clinic, treated, given sanctuary and quickly adopted.
Now: Crispin's scars won't ever disappear but his days of misery are far behind him; he's a most fortunate, well loved and lucky Potcake.
For further information or to offer your help, EMAIL SNIP