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Pets from Paradise: Tinker


Tinker is about 4 months old and was rescued by the St. Croix Animal Welfare Center after being abandoned in a cardboard box at a dump. He is now safe and loved.

Tinker has been examined by a veterinarian at the SCAWC, given his shots, heartworm test and has been pronounced healthy. He is a Chihuahua mix and now is available for adoption.

The playful pup is also eligible for the Pets From Paradise program, according to Shanice Seeram, the Pets From Paradise coordinator in charge of pet adoptions. A short video of Tinker can be seen here.

Pets From Paradise finds off-island homes or foster homes for dogs, and a few cats, that have been socialized and are comfortable around people and other pets. The SCAWC tries to find local homes for the animals in their care.

The Pets From Paradise program is expensive to run, as is the center. Dogs and cats are welcomed at the shelter with no charge, even when they are surrendered by their owners. However, each dog costs the animal shelter more than $500 for exams and tests, vaccines, deworming, spay or neuter surgeries, as well as rabies shots for stateside bound dogs.

The lucky pets flying to mainland no-kill shelters or permanent homes need a travel crate, costing at least $50 and a $150 donation for airfare.

With the help of animal advocates, sporadic funding has been found to pay for pet travel to the mainland and contacts have been made with rescue operations and animal shelters. Currently there are about 50 locations that accept pets from the territory.

"If anyone considers adopting from the States, I always line up a partner rescue in the area who will be ready to step in and accept the animal if it doesn't work out," said Donna Cascarelli, who works with Pets from Paradise. "Adopting a pet sight-unseen can easily turn out to be a bad match, even with the best of intentions, so it's reassuring to everyone to have that contingency plan in place."

According to airline regulations, pets traveling from the territory must be accompanied by a human, who picks up or meets the pet at the airport, carries it on board and makes sure it is picked up at the destination. When the weather permits, larger dogs can travel in cargo, also accompanied by humans who check the dog in and retrieve it at the destination.

Only a few cats have traveled with Pets From Paradise, because there are only two partner rescues that accept cats – in Washington, D.C., and New York. Cascarelli said it is hard to find travelers willing to travel with cats because many people have allergies and getting through TSA holding a feline can be tricky.

Since 2004, approximately 2,000 pets have been placed in stateside homes through Pets From Paradise, according to statistics from the St. Croix Welfare Center and the FixIt Foundation.

More than 2,800 animals were taken into the shelter in 2013 and about four out of five animals that end up in the shelter every year to not make it out. The annual euthanasia rate consistently has been 75-80 percent.

Tinker can be flown to many U.S. cities. For information, to travel with a pet or to make a donation, call Seeram at 340-718-1850 or email Donations are tax deductible and appreciated.

Pets From Paradise is a 501 c 3 nonprofit organization within the St. Croix Animal Welfare Center, also a 501 c 3 organization.

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Pets From Paradise Video: Tinker

Topic starter Posted : February 6, 2014 12:47 pm
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