Colorful parrots and spiky sea urchins aren’t the only creatures you can see in the Caribbean. These adorable “potcake puppies” are native to the Caribbean islands, too!
What are “potcake puppies”?
First of all, you’re probably wondering why these cute canines have such a strange name. They are a mixed-breed type of dog, and they live on many Caribbean islands. Their name comes from what Caribbean residents used to feed them: the caked-on remains at the bottom of a pot of rice.
These Caribbean dogs generally have smooth, short coats that can be black, tan, white or golden-brown, or a mixture of all of those colors! Their faces are long and they usually have cocked ears. They are incredibly energetic and friendly, despite the fact that many of them are strays living on beaches and streets.
Where do potcake dogs come from?
Potcake pups are of mixed ancestry. The first potcakes were the result of cross-breeding between dogs belonging to the native Caribbean Arawak people, terriers that traveled on European ships as a means of controlling rodents onboard, and dogs from the American colonies brought to the Caribbean islands during the American Revolutionary War.
Although they are widely recognized in the Caribbean, and commonly found on islands in Turks & Caicos, the Bahamas, and St. Lucia, potcake dogs are not currently recognized as a standardized breed by any major kennel club. However, the Bahamas Kennel Club does list them under Group 9 (non-registered breeds).
Potcake puppy overpopulation
Unfortunately, the potcake dog population is out of control in certain Caribbean countries. These dogs are incredibly hardy, and can eat many things that would harm other breeds. Despite efforts to curb overpopulation with spay-and-neuter programs, islands like New Providence in the Bahamas have been looking for new ways to get these cuties off the streets.
In Turks & Caicos, an organization called Potcake Place rescues the pups and places them in loving homes. Remarkably, this charity even arranges for the dogs to be vaccinated and transported to adopters in other countries by airlift! You can donate or adopt a potcake pup yourself by visiting the Potcake Place website.
The Denver-based charity OutPaws airlifted 1,001 potcake dogs from the Caribbean to Colorado in 2013. The story goes that their original group was 1,000 dogs. However, a potcake dog wandered by last-minute, and got to get on the flight, too!
In addition, the Humane Society in Freeport, the Bahamas, sometimes ships potcake puppies to Florida.
How to Help
Helping these adorable potcake puppies out is as easy as taking a trip to the beautiful islands of Turks & Caicos! That’s right, you can be a part of the rescue effort while on vacation.
You can take a rescue pup out for a walk, and play with him or her for a few hours on the beach. There’s no charge for it, and you’ll get to spend some time with one of these adorable canine friends, all while helping him get some socialization and exercise away from the shelter. Visit Potcakeplace.com or follow Potcake place on instagram for more information!
Main image source: Potcakeplace.com
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