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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! A bit of background: I work with a rescue group based in the Caribbean that sends many of its dogs to the Northeast and Canada (prioritizing areas without existing shelter overpopulation issues). I'm based NY state and help coordinate with local rescues/shelters as well as adopters. For the last few years, our organization has flown dogs to Miami and then transferred them to ground transportation to the tri-state area. This has been the most cost-efficient way to get dogs off island and into their forever homes, and we have worked with some incredible ground transporters in the past.

Unfortunately, for one reason or another all our past ground transporters are out of commission. We have ~25 dogs ready to travel and the airfare booked, but no one to drive the dogs from Miami to NJ and NY. We can be flexible on departure date, but of course every dog we can get off the island results in another life saved—and the waiting list to get into our sanctuary or foster network in the Caribbean is massive. Does anyone have recommendations for rescue transport groups? I've reached out to a few pet transport companies, but the quotes are easily 4x what we have paid any of our past crews, even with nonprofit discounts.

Appreciate any ideas or suggestions!
 

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You won't like this but:

My recommendation for all off shore (non country of origin rescues) is to educate the people in the country of origin about Spay/Neuter.

Spend the money used to transport dogs/cats out of that country instead to support spay/neuter clinics and education where the dogs/cats are instead of exporting the problem elsewhere.

And no, I do not have a suggestion for a massive transport. We are having heat and floods between Florida and the northeast US. The flooding in Kentucky and West Virginia will likely leave many animals and humans homeless and they need our help first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You won't like this but:

My recommendation for all off shore (non country of origin rescues) is to educate the people in the country of origin about Spay/Neuter.

Spend the money used to transport dogs/cats out of that country instead to support spay/neuter clinics and education where the dogs/cats are instead of exporting the problem elsewhere.

And no, I do not have a suggestion for a massive transport. We are having heat and floods between Florida and the northeast US. The flooding in Kentucky and West Virginia will likely leave many animals and humans homeless and they need our help first.
I actually don't disagree with you -- I believe spay/neuter and animal welfare education should come first, as that is the root of the problem. But of course reality is more complicated than that! I kind of got roped into working with this group (my dog came from them via a US shelter, so that'll do it!) and truly want to help them navigate the longer-term systemic change that has to happen to stop the overpopulation crisis they're facing.

Fortunately or unfortunately, there's a "market" for the Caribbean mixes in the northeast and Canada, so they continue to send the dogs off island. And the government doesn't seem to care much about the animal welfare situation on this island -- they do not enforce animal abuse laws and leave stray control to small rescue groups like ours, which get dozens of calls every day to pick up injured, sick, dead, and occasionally healthy strays. Boxes of puppies are dumped outside our Sanctuary gates 3-4 times a week. There are just so. many. dogs. and they have to go somewhere while we continue to push community s/n programs and urge the government to take animal welfare seriously.

With all that said, I still agree that resources should go towards domestic dogs and domestic systemic issues first. We only work with rescue partners that also pull from municipal shelters (many also take dogs from the Southern US and in times of natural disasters), and ensure they have additional capacity for overseas dogs before sending them any. Sometimes that does mean that dogs and puppies in the Caribbean get left on the streets or euthanized when they would have otherwise had a chance, because our team does not have the capacity or people to take in more. It sucks, but I realize that happens in the US too.
 

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I'm in rescue too. Most of my experience with international rescue are with hyper-regional breeds and/or types (mostly the Podenco and galgo breeds from Spain, the spitz types from the Korean Peninsula*, and pariah dogs in Taiwan called Formosan Mountain Dogs); and it's mostly helping individual adopters transport the dog they adopted. Which rescue transport groups have you looked at?

Fortunately or unfortunately, there's a "market" for the Caribbean mixes in the northeast and Canada, so they continue to send the dogs off island.
There's a market because potcake dogs and similar dogs have traits that dogs stateside don't. I cannot come up with a single widely available breed and/or type in the USA that is within 20-40 pounds, has moderate energy and drive, has a short coat, a "natural look" with no extreme features, isn't cropped and/or docked, is not dog aggressive, is relatively quiet, AND is not on a breed restriction list. A lot of pariah dogs from abroad do have the latter traits. The closest widely available types of dogs that come close to fitting the latter requirements are mid-sized bully breeds, but they can be dog aggressive, are on breed restriction lists, and a lot of them are cropped**. Basenjis are another dog that are close to fitting all the requirements I listed above, but they are pretty vocal and are high drive and high energy, which eliminates them. I do not think imported rescues take away homes from domestic dogs because the people who want imported rescues are a completely different population; for them, they wouldn't have adopted at all if the only option was to adopt domestically, it's either go dog-less or get the dog that fits all of their requirements. I do not think it is wrong for regular pet owners to want something specific. As long as all the laws and requirements are followed, I don't have an issue with importing rescues. Even if I did, I wouldn't be able to stop a sizable swath of people individually rescuing a dog from abroad anyway (it adds up, even without the help of an organization).


*A lot of spitz types in the Korean Peninsula are the local stray dogs. There isn't a clear distinction between breed and type. Oopsie litters from roaming dogs are common which muddies the waters. Pet keeping standards also different. I can say a lot here but I'm already digressing.

**I didn't even bother with rare breeds because from my observations, rare breed people in the USA aren't keen with a sea of regular pet people knocking on the door to own "their breed" as "just a pet". I also know that most people are not willing to wait more than a year for a puppy, which is an inevitability with rare breeds. Got a lot to say about this too, but I'll stop because I'm already off topic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There's a market because potcake dogs and similar dogs have traits that dogs stateside don't. I cannot come up with a single widely available breed and/or type in the USA that is within 20-40 pounds, has moderate energy and drive, has a short coat, a "natural look" with no extreme features, isn't cropped and/or docked, is not dog aggressive, is relatively quiet, AND is not on a breed restriction list.
This is exactly it. They also tend to do really well in urban areas due to their size and temperament, so they make excellent city/apartment dogs. The shelters we work with want potcakes because they tend to be easy to adopt out and rarely have major behavioral or medical issues (though they do occur, as with any dog of unknown breeding or origin). I also volunteer in the kennels for one shelter partner in particular, and the majority of local dogs they pull from city facilities are the extreme behavioral cases or medical cases (think incontinent frenchie puppies, labs with megaesophagus, a westie with a with heart condition). Those dogs are not easy to adopt out and cost a lot of money in care, training, and vet bills -- which is what this shelter has come to specialize in. They do really incredible work for otherwise hopeless dogs. BUT they need a reliable source of income (beyond fundraising), and our potcakes help provide that because they tend to get adopted quickly, especially the puppies. The other dogs they pull from city shelters or from the south tend to be pitties (which I personally adore, but are not for every adopter) or bigger breeds. We have one coonhound from SC that has been in the shelter for more than a year because he's just not a good size or temperament for a city. He's darling otherwise.

All to say, in a weird roundabout way I hope that our dogs help enable shelters like this one to continue taking the medical and behavior cases, while being able to offer a more adoptable option to first time owner or families with kids, etc. To this shelter's credit, they also fund some of our work in the Caribbean to provide community education and a kibble pantry to encourage spay/neuter and keep dogs in homes during times of personal hardship.
 

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@nicolai Yeah. Also, I find people simultaneously overestimate and underestimate the difficulty of some types of widely available dogs. Bully breed mixes are good example. Honestly a lot of the problem is BSL and rent weight limits, where people are good fits but their living space or city doesn’t allow it. But also people think dog aggression is a huge problem even though it’s a non issue in single dog households and really not that hard for even average dog owners to manage. There’s a lot of problems in dogs that are objectively much worse, like having to medicate a reactive or fearful dog. They are really biddable toward people and easy to train. And I don’t think average pet owners really want low energy, or even what “dog people” consider medium energy either. There isn’t really a succinct way to say “I want a dog that can play when I want them to play, and settle when. I want them to settle.” A lot of average pet owners who aren’t super active but aren’t couch potatoes do just fine with pitties, huskies, GSDs, and the like.

Unfortunately a lot of the transport services I know only operate domestically. The international ones I know deal with individual dogs, not groups from rescue.
 
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