Dogs and Cats of Antigua Flew 58 Antiguan Dogs and Puppies to their ‘Furever’ Homes in Canada by Chartered Cargo Jet

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COVID-19 brought the world to its feet and changed lives forever. Animals and many rescue groups that help them were hard hit like Dogs and Cats of Antigua (DACOA), a non-profit group that rehomes rescue dogs overseas to places like the United States, Canada, and Great Britain.

Antigua’s closed borders meant no flights or passengers to transport their dogs overseas, and the rescue group was left with dogs and puppies waiting to get to their adoptive homes.

Many of these animals were just small puppies when first picked up, and now were young adult dogs needing more space and attention. This situation also crippled the rescue’s ability to help the many other stray dogs starving and sick on the island’s streets, beaches, and bushes.

The group looked on in awe as rescue organizations on other islands chartered private planes costing approximately $35,000USD and upwards. However, for DACOA, the cost was prohibitive. Then help came in an unexpected form. Giovanna Pari, a regular visitor to Antigua, a member of Dogs and Cats of Antigua, and an Antiguan dog owner reached out to DACOA. Inspired by the need, she spear-headed the Antiguan Puppy Airlift– Freedom Flight initiative with a personal donation of $5,000CC and started a GoFundMe for the group.

Shortly after, two more Canadian donors and an Antiguan resident made generous pledges to help. The balance of the money came from adopters, rescue groups, fosters, GoFundMe donations, and DACOA.

DACOA spokesperson Brittany Barnes, said, “This is epic and we are thrilled! It is the first time Antigua has engaged in such a massive undertaking for dogs”. Fifty-eight dogs and puppies flew to Toronto in a chartered cargo jet from the Signature Air Strip this past Thursday, September 4.

The dogs arrived in Toronto and were greeted by screams of delight as soon as the cargo door opened. Some adopters had driven up to 17 hours to YYZ airport to pick up their new furry family members.

Cindy Bennett of HSDR, one of the Canadian organizers, said “We are genuinely impressed with these dogs’ health, and so was the CFIA vet!” Stories of the joyful reunions have been pouring in and these Antiguan strays are now Canada’s highly desired family pets. Each pet receives numerous applications for adoption and every applicant is thoroughly vetted and screened.

Dogs and Cats of Antigua (DACOA) is a foster-based non-profit, registered and operating in St. John’s. They rescue abandoned puppies and dogs starving and in terrible condition from the streets and bushes of Antigua. These animals then are fostered, vetted, and then transported to Canada, the United States, and Great Britain to be rehomed.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. Congrats to the Dogs and Cats of Antigua (DACOA). According to the cliche, ” what is rubbish to one man… becomes treasure to another”. Not only can these stray dogs & cats can be used as pets, but the govt can use them as an additive to our tourist product…. They can be cleaned up & reared in a manner to participate or showcase in dog shows and be reared also to become racing dogs….. This will certainly form a spectacular feature to entertain both the tourists & locals alike…

  2. Way to go stray Cats and Dogs of Antigua. This is most remarkable that our strays are in high demand in the US, Canada and that UK. It is even more remarkable because as we see so often on TV many stray dog and cats advocates,, from SPCAs(Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) to a host of shelter managers, there are constant heart-wrenching appeals to people in the US, UK and Canada to adopt their own home-grown stray cats and dogs or offer to pay monthly subscriptions towards their care and upkeep. Guess Antiguan stray dogs and cats have a special Wadadli flavor which makes them highly demanded in Canada, the US and the UK! Privately chartered cargo jet and all!! As Ginger would say, “Pay attention”.

  3. If these people cared about the poor and destitute person’s in society, like they care about dog’s and cats, what a wonderful place Antigua would be.

    • Why do you think.It is their responsibility to take care of the destitute in society.That is the responsibility of your Government and all of those for non profits like Share,Inc. By the way.In this time of a Pandemic.What has Share,Inc.done to help one single person.I am glad those pets are being taken care of.There are too many stray animals roaming the areas of St.Johns and beyond.

    • Must say its been a long time that I have agreed with you on anything. Anyway i also find the need to share a truth you are running from (the chameleon) :

      “Finance Minister Harold Lovell said Yida International Investment Antigua Limited, led by Yida Zhang, is seeking approval under the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) as well as incentives under the Business and Tourism (Special Incentives) Act for a mega resort and residential development on Guiana Island and surrounding areas.
      “Government has approved the project and is willing to give the necessary concessions,” Lovell said.
      “We have done everything we can to facilitate the project and get it moving,” he added. “The possibilities exist that we do what is necessary in order to ensure that the project comes off the ground.”…Lovell said the government has been doing its part to ensure the mega project can move ahead full speed, but is waiting for the group to finalise its purchase from the Stanford liquidators. see Gov’t keen to offer incentives for Guiana Island project
      Article Published: May 9, 2014, Daily Observer

  4. Cool ruler you couldn’t have said it better. Dogs getting a better life than human… what is this world coming too?

    • The difference is that the dogs and cats didn’t do this to themselves. If we stop being so selfish them maybe we as human can improve.

    • “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. The bad minded is everywhere.

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