Pets in Paradise 3 – Alex
Pets in Paradise 3 – Alex
By Susan Ellis
Alex is a three-month-old Corgi waiting at the St. Croix Animal Welfare Center to be adopted, either by a family on the island or by someone stateside willing to give him a home.
See this link for the video: http://stthomassource.com/video/2014/02/25/pets-paradise-3-alex
Here's some good news:
Little Switzerland Lifts Up ‘Pets with Wings’ with $5,000 Donation
Charlie, the Humane Society of St. Thomas’ poster pup, filled the Little Switzerland store with happy barking on Friday when the store presented $5,000 to the shelter’s Pets with Wings program.
Little Switzerland executives and staff gathered around the friendly dog, brought by Humane Society general manager Rhea Vasconcellos as a reminder of the lives saved by the donation to the cash-strapped Pets with Wings.
The Pets with Wings program is a Humane Society initiative that sends shelter animals to mainland states where there are waiting lists of aspiring dog owners.
Even though we have a nice state-of-the-art facility, we are over 100 percent full,” said Vasconcellos, stressing the urgency of transporting the animals off-island.
According to Vasconcellos, the Humane Society cannot legally turn away any animal brought to its care, and when her team can no longer stretch the space, they are forced to make the hard decision of choosing which shelter animal to put down. The Pets with Wings program eased some of that burden by allowing the shelter to ship out pets with financial help from sponsors.
Pets with Wings was endangered in June 2013 when American Airlines, a major sponsor that used to waive the pets’ airfare, pulled out of regular support and decided to consider each dog on a case-by-case basis. St. Thomas residents launched a petition campaign to have the airline’s involvement restored to no avail.
Adam Levitt, vice-president of public relations for Little Switzerland, said the senior management team of the store chain saw a gap that needed to be filled.
“When we heard about this particular program for relocating pets from St. Thomas elsewhere and the fact that the funding had run out, we felt it was a perfect opportunity to donate to that particular part of the Humane Society,” said Levitt.
“This donation will go a long way in saving lives because we are able to transport the animals to other rescues in the states,” Vasconcellos said.
The Humane Society pays approximately $175 for airfare per dog, in addition to the $60 to $85 for the required health certificate and rabies shot. Vasconcellos said the $5,000 would save at least 22 dogs.
“Maybe even more,” she said. “When we figure the cost, we include the cost of the health certificate, maybe a crate, and we don’t always need a crate, so at least, between 22 and 26.”
Vasconcellos said this is still not the final tally of canine lives saved because, for every dog that gets transported off-island, one space is opened up at the Humane Society, so two lives are saved.
This is not the first time that Little Switzerland worked with Humane Society. When they opened their Jewels store a few years ago, Little Switzerland also did a fundraiser that benefitted the shelter.
“Whenever we do any kind of party or opening launch, we always like to pick a local charity,” said Little Switzerland Chief Executive Officer Hal Tayler. “It’s just something that we strongly believe in, helping the animal population on the island.”
Levitt said this is not the last time they will be working with Humane Society.
“We fully intend to work with them in the future,” Levitt said. “It’s a cause that’s near and dear to many of our hearts, and it’s certainly a big part of the local community.”
For more information on how to support the Humane Society or Pets with Wings, visit the Humane Society website at www.hsstt.com or call 340-775-0599.