Take Home a Potcake . . . or Two

The homeless dogs you see roaming the streets of many Caribbean countries generally stay that way: homeless and constantly foraging for food and shelter. The Turks & Caicos Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (TCSPCA) was founded in 2000 to better address the plight of these homeless dogs, here called "potcakes" -- the name comes from the food once fed to stray dogs, the caked remains at the bottom of cooking pots. And they've succeeded to a large degree on Provo: You rarely see collarless potcakes running lickety-split along the beach (the Environmental Health department has been cracking down, some say a little too zealously). Many people who've adopted potcakes find that they're smart, unflappable, incredibly adaptable and loving dogs. Potcakes look like the ultimate mutts, with floppy ears and tan or black markings; many a visitor has fallen in love during a stay in the TCI. Along with lobbying the government to adopt animal protection laws and create an animal control unit, the TCSPCA has been able to find homes for many of these dogs all over the world. The TCSPCA has been instrumental in promoting "off-island adoptions," making it easy for visitors to actually carry home a potcake puppy (the TCI has no pet quarantine periods coming in or going out of the country). Every puppy comes with shots and medical certificates and can be carried in the passenger cabins of most airplanes. For more information, contact the TCSPCA (tel. 649/941-8846; http://tcspca.tc) or the island charity set up to improve the lives of TCI potcakes, the Potcake Foundation (www.potcakefoundation.com). The Potcake Place is a nonprofit rescue organization (tel. 649/231-1010; www.potcakeplace.com).

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