More mongrels take flight
Nearly 500 dogs and cats that were rescued in Jamaica have migrated to Canada, the United States of America and parts of Europe since 2021.
The animals, some of which were previously housed at the Montego Bay Animal Haven in St James, have been adopted into homes by pet lovers.
Tammy Browne, director of Montego Bay Animal Haven, said the resilient nature of the Royal Caribbean terriers is a major factor that endear persons to the dogs that are widely described as mongrels in Jamaica.
"We send out at least three or four [dogs], and sometimes cats, weekly, and they are not placed in Canada alone, but also in the USA and sections of Europe. These terriers are tough as hell and they don't have any of the health issues that the pedigree dogs have, and they are always so grateful for love and affection. They are so loyal, it's unbelievable," Browne told THE STAR yesterday.
The first mass plane load of Jamaican dogs left for Canada in 2021 after Browne coordinated the adoption of 144 terriers. All of the dogs went straight into foster homes and then into forever homes. Browne said that dogs and cats have also been flown to foreign countries by visitors who come to the island and fall in love with them.
"There are times when tourists will go to hotel and see the dogs and cats that are not always in good positions, and they fall in love and want to take them home. We have seen a lot of that happening," she said.
The Montego Bay Animal Haven director disclosed that her entity is making preparations to send a dog to the Canadian family that adopted Princess Pauline in 2021. The dog, which was among the 144 that travelled to Canada via chartered flight, passed away from an unknown tumour on her spleen last week.
Browne said all the other animals are doing really well.
"We have followed some of the animals' caregivers on social media and we see that they are well taken care of. Princess Pauline is the first dog that died from the batch, and her owner wants another Royal Caribbean terrier, so we have another one to send to her."
Meanwhile, Sabria Hector, managing director of Montego Bay Animal Haven, said the rescue organisation would love to send more animals overseas but is constrained by the fact that the shelters there do not have enough space to house them.
"In the post-COVID era, a lot of people have gone back to work and they have returned the animal that they had adopted to the shelter. Most of the shelters, if they can take any animals from us, it may be one or two as they are overrun and don't have the space. Getting them out is not a problem, but it's having somewhere for them to go," she said.