From Anguilla With Love
Mon, Apr 18 | Leave a Comment
Margo Ann SullivanU.S. veterinarian brings hope to abandoned puppies abroad.
NEWPORT, R.I. -- From Anguilla with love, three puppies traveled more than 1,600 miles to find new homes in Rhode Island -- and even more puppies are now scheduled to make the same journey.
Mimi, Savannah and Captain arrived in the U.S. at the end of February, courtesy of Newport, R.I. veterinarian Dr. Jack Civic. He returned from a winter Caribbean vacation with the three pups, to save them from being euthanized.
Last week, Mimi, the last of the "Coconut Retrievers," was adopted. While the staff finalized the adoption papers, Mimi sat on her new owner's lap and administered kisses. A few minutes later, the 12-week old mixed breed puppy left Newport Animal Hospital's Adoption Center and went home with Cherry Hall of Middletown, R.I.
Hall her eye on the little brown bundle of fur, from the moment she saw the puppy playing with her litter mates.
"When I walked by and saw this one, I said, 'She's mine, if possible,'" said Hall, who fell for Mimi's "face, and her demeanor." Hall, a stay-at-home artist and her husband, already have two dogs, Flossie, a 9-year-old Scottish terrier and Molly, an 8-year-old Cairn terrier. All the dogs have been introduced, Hall said. The whole family visited Mimi at the adoption center before taking her home.
"We live for our dogs," she said. "They're our children."
When Mimi left on Monday, the adoption center sat empty for the first time in almost two months. The adoption center won't stay empty for long, thought. Civic flew back to Anguilla this weekend (April 15) and plans to return with more puppies. They'll stay at the hospital behind a glass wall where clients can watch their antics until they're ready to go home and make someone else happy.
Without this special puppy rescue, Mimi and the other Anguillan pups likely would become statistics, Civic said.
"It's sad when a healthy puppy has to be put down," Civic said "These guys weren't going to get adopted," he said because the shelter, the Anguilla Animal Rescue Foundation has been deluged with too many unwanted puppies.
"We made a difference for three puppies, and we made three people happy," he said, recounting how in one case, the puppy transformed his new owner's life the minute she held him.
"She looked like a 7-year old girl," he said.
Civic thought a new puppy would do the woman good. A month earlier, she had lost her older dog to heart disease, but he did not realize her mother had also recently died.
"I never thought I would feel happiness again," she told him.
Anguilla, a small Caribbean island about 130 miles east of Puerto Rico, is a winter paradise, and Civic and his wife originally visited for a February break. Then he found out about the Anguillan Animal Rescue Foundation and their struggles with pet overpopulation.
"They have a problem with spay and neuter," he said. "They're where we were in the '60's when everyone in the neighborhood had puppies, and some would end up in shelters."
According to the organization's website, the island's human population stands at 12,000, and most already own pets. The shelter is working to educate the residents about the need to sterilize their animals, but for now, hardly any Anguillans want to adopt a puppy.
When Civic stopped by the shelter last February, for example, 20 new puppies had just arrived. He plans to continue the special puppy rescue and share ideas about best practices, he said.
To find out more about the Anguilla Animal Rescue Foundation, visit their website.
Pictured: Dr. Jack Civic of Newport Animal Hospital hands 12-week-old Mimi to new owner Cherry Hall. In February, Dr. Civic vacationed in Anguilla and took three puppies at the Anguilla Animal Rescue Foundation home to Rhode Island to be adopted.
What to you think of the efforts of Dr. Civic? Have you heard of similar international adoption transfers? Tell us below!
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