Contributed by Jenna Donleavy, traveler and pet parent of three rescue dogs: Knox, Bear & Harper
6 Pet Rescue Sanctuaries You Should Know About
As you well know by now, I’m pretty obsessed with all things that have to do with rescue dogs. And it’s not just because of my three crazies, Knox, Bear and Harper, but because I happen to just love everything about dogs. I am super lucky to have found a voice talking to equally passionate rescue dog lovers. Anyone can get involved with pet rescues, lend a hand and/or support the great animal sanctuaries that are protecting homeless animals all over the world. I know I for one cannot wait to visit as many of these places as possible.
Potcake Place Shelter – Turks & Caicos, Bahamas
Picture this: you are on vacation in the Caribbean, the sky is blue and cloud-free, the ocean is majestic, and the warmth of the sun envelops you as you stroll down the beach. Sounds perfect, right? Well, how about if you have all that, and an adorable, floppy-eared rescue puppy by your side enjoying this beach day with you? Yes, it’s real. And it’s thanks to the unbelievably passionate volunteers and employees of Potcake Place in Turks & Caicos; this pet rescue makes puppies available for field trips. Seriously, they say it themselves, “We supply everything you need; you supply the TLC.” I think we can handle that.
Best Friends Animal Sanctuary – Utah, United States
By now you’ve had to have heard about Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Angel Canyon in Kanab, Utah. They’re part of the wonderful national organization Best Friends Animal Society with one sole defining purpose, to “Save Them All.” This animal sanctuary is home to roughly 1,600 homeless animals—and not just dogs! The most beautiful part is you can volunteer your services at this breathtaking pet rescue and put your helping hands to good use in Dogtown, Cat World or even Horse Haven.
Animal Care Projects – Vieques Island, Puerto Rico
If you are looking for a unique dog sanctuary experience, then this is for you. Over a 10-day period, you will travel from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to the island’s gorgeous rainforest, then on to the rustic Carite Reserve, rounding out your amazing experience in beautiful Vieques. Throughout this journey, you will be working with highly acclaimed and reputable dog trainers and veterinarians who will educate you on how best to work with rescue dogs in general, and Puerto Rican “sato” dogs (street dogs) in particular. All of this experience and education will lead to you and a sato dog being paired together, ultimately leading that special pup to its forever home in the U.S.
D.E.L.T.A. Rescue – Los Angeles, United States
Located in the desert hills high above Los Angeles, Dedication & Everlasting Love to Animals (D.E.L.T.A.) Rescue was established in 1981 as a non-profit organization dedicated to pet rescue. Driven by his unwavering love of animals, actor/producer and animal advocate Leo Grillo opened the animal sanctuary to homeless animals in need of food, shelter and love. Grillo is firmly committed to D.E.L.T.A. Rescue’s mission that they are not a drop-off spot for people looking to abandon their pets. The animal refuge is specifically for animals found in the wild. There are currently 1,500 homeless animals at D.E.L.T.A. Rescue. Call ahead for a full tour—I bet it will be nothing short of life-changing.
Territorio de Zaguates – Heredia, Costa Rica
Talk about a bucket-list dream. High in the lush, rolling mountains of Costa Rica is a pet rescue that is home to roughly 800 dogs at any given time, looking for their forever homes. Over the past 8 years, founders Lya Battle and Alvaro Saumet have dedicated their lives to helping these homeless animals find their way to their intended families, and if an adoption doesn’t happen, the pups are welcome to stay at the animal sanctuary and become part of the Territoro de Zaguates family.