Paws from Paradise
In February 2019 I married my best friend and for our honeymoon we traveled to St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands. No trip we ever take is complete without visiting an animal sanctuary or shelter and our honeymoon was no exception. On our third day on the island we stopped by the St. Croix Animal Welfare Center to volunteer in whatever way we could. It just so happened they needed help taking out the dogs to play. Perfect! While we rotated dogs to take outside we learned about the stray and abandoned over-population and the many ways in which St. Croix AWC combats it from the local volunteers. In 2017, Hurricane Maria destroyed the St. Croix AWC home and devastated the island. With many people fleeing and leaving their pets behind, the stray population quickly got out of hand. Although at the time the shelter was adopting out upwards of 60 pets per month (pretty incredible I thought for such a small island), they were taking in sometimes 15 pets daily (and still are). The numbers just don’t add up. There are way more pets that need homes than are people on the island.
We then became interested in their Paws from Paradise program. If you are a tourist coming from the US mainland, you can escort a pet from the island on your way back to a local shelter where they will have a chance of finding a forever home. What an amazing way to help, all while gaining an adorable travel companion! Unfortunately, there weren’t any shelters in our area that were part of the program, so we weren’t able to participate. That is when there was a poop emergency in one of the puppy pens and my husband was handed an escape artist puppy by a volunteer tending to the cleanup. Not even 5 minutes later he asked if we could take him home. We had planned to get a dog after getting married, but not 2 weeks after! Although very hesitant, we talked to the coordinator about the process and soon after signed the adoption papers. The shelter coordinator was also kind enough to keep our little Axel Croix at the shelter for another five days since we couldn’t bring him back to our resort. Not exactly what we had planned, but it was the best impulse decision we ever made.
Needless to say, St. Croix Animal Welfare Center holds a very special place in our hearts. That is why as we near the Generous Intention launch day, we have decided that the first animal organization we want to give back to is St. Croix Animal Welfare Center. 20% net profits from our first 3 months in business will go to this wonderful shelter. They are doing an amazing job assisting the community animals through low to zero cost vet care, humane education, foster programs, adoptions, and of course their Paws from Paradise program. We encourage you to check out their Facebook page to read and take a look at the wonderful work they are doing.
As always, thank you for joining us on this journey. Together we will make the world a kinder place for all.