29 Street Dogs Were Rescued From Antigua and Flown to the United States · The Wildest

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29 Street Dogs Were Rescued From Antigua and Flown to the US

The stray pups were uncared for and in poor health — now they’re looking for forever homes.

by Sio Hornbuckle
May 15, 2024
29 Street Dogs Were Rescued From Antigua and Flown to the United States.
Photo Courtesy of @flewthecoop_

A recent rescue flight saved 29 stray dogs from horrible fates on the streets of Antigua, one of the two islands that make up the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda. The pups were facing horrific conditions, including malnourishment and abuse, and are now available for adoption into loving homes. 

The May 7 flight was possible thanks to a partnership between Flew the Coop , a nonprofit that provides emergency assistance to animals in crisis during disasters, and Dogs & Cats of Antigua (DACOA), an organization dedicated to reducing the street dog population in Antigua. 

Dog overpopulation in Antigua

The rescued pets “were in a disaster zone,” Joy Farrell, the founder and executive director of DACOA, told . Overpopulation of dogs is an ongoing problem in Antigua. “I find it’s a beautiful island, but when it comes to animals, it’s an absolute crisis zone,” she said. “We have a dog and cat population spiraling out of control. On a daily basis, it gets worse.” 

The pets who Farrell works with are often traumatized and malnourished. DACOA works to give the pups veterinary care, including getting them up-to-date on vaccinations. They then find loving forever homes for the rescued pups, which sometimes involves transporting them. “We’re so proud that we can take pups like these and give them a chance at a second life,” Farrell told People. “And that’s what Flew the Coop enables us to do.”

The rescue 

Chris Harding, the founder of Flew the Coop, owns a beachfront resort in Antigua called Hodges Bay Resort and Spa. He wanted to find a way to help the pets in the Antigua community, so he met with Farrell to discuss her work. They quickly realized that a rescue flight was necessary. 

Farrell and Harding selected dogs who were vaccinated and in good enough health to make the international trip. Some of the pups have been through truly devastating circumstances. 

Suzie, a two-year-old paraplegic pup, was hit by a car and abandoned in a gutter before being found and rehabilitated by DACOA, reported People. Another pup, Stilts, experienced such extreme malnourishment that he developed rickets, a condition that occurs when a vitamin D deficiency leads to the softening of bones. 

Mr. Magoo, another pup on the May 7 flight, was found on the highway. “Not only did he have scabies, he was malnourished. His eyes were shut; they were glued shut. He had some sort of eye infection. So the poor pup didn’t even realize he was on a busy highway,” Farrell told People. After a period of care at DACOA, “Mr. Magoo became a gorgeous little charmer,” she said. 

How you can help 

The dogs rescued by Dogs & Cats of Antigua and Flew the Coop are available for adoption at Vintage Pet Rescue in Rhode Island, Westchester SPCA in New York, Animal Haven in New York, Big Dog Ranch Rescue in Florida, and Reba’s Animal Rescue in Virginia. You can also donate to Dogs & Cats of Antigua and Global Empowerment Mission, the organization behind Flew the Coop, to help them continue their life-saving work.

Sio Hornbuckle

Sio Hornbuckle is a writer living in New York City with their cat, Toni Collette.

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