Cape May, NJ-When you vacation, do you bring back souvenirs? You might bring back a trinket, a t-shirt, or, if you go to the Jersey shore, you might even bring back a hermit crab. But what about a puppy? Or a kitty?
Clarice caught my eye while I was walking Joy, my golden retriever, past Good Scents on Carpenter Lane. Clarice is a cat available for adoption through Animal Outreach of Cape May County. This got me thinking about my own vacation last winter in St. Thomas.
Puppies are what my friends on St. Thomas, USVI encourage guests to take home. Cute puppies! Adorable puppies! Once in a while the puppies are so cute, even they can’t let them go. Mickie, pictured here, is one of the coconut retrievers that our host, Joanie fostered, but couldn’t let go of. Our host encouraged guests to adopt puppies from the local shelter. Actually, she was creating awareness of the animal’s plight on the island.
Joanie works with the Humane Society of St. Thomas USVI. Joanie is a foster parent and ultimately helps place dogs and puppies from the organization. The purpose of this society is to establish and maintain suitable facilities for the care, assistance, housing, and disposition of abandoned animals and to prevent cruelty to animals by all proper means, to encourage, promote, and respect the human/animal bond through education and collaboration with other community service agencies.
When my wife and I vacation at Joanie’s home, we always play with her coconut retriever, an endearing term for islander dogs. This helps with missing our own golden retriever while we are away. This year Joanie added a twist; dogs for adoption. Cute dogs, adorable dogs.
Joanie fostered four dogs this year. Three became successfully placed in homes. One dog, Libby, pictured with me, actually was taken home by another guest from Joanie’s place. Libby was taken all the way to Boston.
The St. Thomas Humane Society has a great track record getting dogs “off-island” into no-kill shelters, and placed into caring homes.
My hope is that Simba, Samson and Clarice at Animal Outreach on Park Boulevard in Cape May get the same opportunity for forever homes as the doggies of St. Thomas. Cape May visitors wishing to adopt a cat must go through the same screening process as a resident would. This ensures, as it does in St. Thomas, that the animals become permanent members of the adoptive families and don’t return to shelters.