Potcakes in the press
A great video by our friends at Creative Liquid Productions. Thank you for donating your time to show some of the behind the scenes at Potcake Place.
PROVIDENCIALES, TURKS AND CAICOS (WUSA9) - Every year, more than a million tourists visit Turks and Caicos.
It’s a British territory and its beaches are ranked among the best in the world.
“It’s constantly voted the most beautiful place on earth,” Jane Parker-Rauw said.
They come for the beaches. Though for a dog on these Caribbean islands, it’s a tough life and they find themselves coming to America as “luggage.”
In Turks and Caicos, the dogs are known as Potcakes. The name comes from the leftover food at the bottom of a cooking pot.
For more than 100 years they have roamed freely, breeding at will.
“It’s a public health issue,” Parker-Rauw said.
Parker-Rauw has lived in Turks and Caicos for 20 years.
“People use to do inappropriate things to get rid of them,” Parker-Rauw said. “They’d deliberately run them over…they’d put out rat poison, they’d shoot them.”
You can find the stray dogs everywhere. On the roads, under cars and in the woods.
Twelve years ago, Parker-Rauw and other volunteers started “Potcake Place.” The group rescues as many dogs as they can.
“Genetically they are mainly German Shepherd, Labrador, Fox Hound Terrier,” Parker-Rauw said.
The vast majority of the puppies are adopted by Americans on vacation.
“There’s been well over 80 people in the line some mornings,” Parker-Rauw said.
So far, more than 6,000 dogs have traveled north.
Many of the tourists spend as much as $3,000 a night for a hotel room. If you travel down the backroads where the locals live, money is much tighter.
“A lot of the dogs are not owned,” Parker-Rauw said. “They are just not going to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on a dog that’s not theirs.”
Potcake Place is completely funded by donations. Everyone at the center works for free.
“If I cared about money I wouldn’t be in this position,” Parker-Rauw said.
For the first time in 20 years Parker-Rauw said she can see a difference.
“My goal is to be run out of business,” Parker-Rauw said.
The dogs are free but donations are encouraged. If you want to adopt, volunteer couriers will deliver the dogs throughout the United States.
Before I write the rest of this post, let me start by saying that each January, people all over the world make a list of resolutions to help them live a better life throughout the year. It could be personal … to lose weight, make more money, travel more, or maybe just spend more quality time with the family or business oriented, like improving processes, buying new equipment, or changing office locations. It’s just a great opportunity to start the year with a clean slate.
Well, one of our New Years resolutions for TCR is to launch a charity program in 2014. TCR will be donating a generous portion of each booking made each month to a specific island-based charity. The charity will change each month.
As each of the team members of TCR are proud owners of potcakes themselves, the program begins with the charity Potcake Place.
In January, TCR will donate a portion of every booking they make that month to help the adorable and needy potcakes that desperately need a home and good care. The goal of Potcake Place is to reduce the number of homeless potcakes on Provo, and the only way to do that, they say, is to educate. Although hundreds of potcakes continue to roam the island, still hundreds more have been rescued and adopted by people not only locally, but throughout North America. A map hangs on a wall at the nonprofit with pins marking all the cities where potcakes now live with families of their own – from Dallas to Boston, Los Angeles to Toronto. Each year, about 600 potcakes are adopted from the dog-rescue charity.
TCR is very excited to give back to the community, and we are very excited to start with the wonderful and necessary charity Potcake Place!
Published: Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Misty Pileggi and her husband Frank, of Lower Salford, were taking a pre-tax-season tropical vacation before Frank's job as an accountant got into the full tax-time swing. The couple traveled to the Caribbean Island of Providenciales, in the Turks and Caicos Islands, to enjoy the clear ocean water, the relaxed local attitude and the refreshing island sun, but they came home from their winter getaway with more than just a suntan. The Pileggis adopted a three-month old puppy, which they brought back to Montgomery County at the end of their trip.
By By: Brendan Purves
Although the Pileggis were going on vacation to relax before tax season, they were also traveling to bring a care package for Potcake Place, a nonprofit organization that sets up the adoption of local island dogs. During their vacation they had the opportunity to meet some potcakes puppies, and could not help but invite one of the gentle Caribbean dogs into the lives.
"They bring the puppies to your resort," Misty said. "They give you an opportunity to meet them and inevitably fall in love with them."
Potcakes, which are a recognized breed on the Turks and Caicos Islands, are so named because for generations the islanders fed them the caked remains at the bottom of their cooking pots, Misty said.
Misty had done research on Potcake Place, and the plight of the potcakes before the trip was even planed, and when the opportunity to help the dogs arose, she packed leashes, dog toys and treats into her suitcase along with her bathing suit and suntan lotion.
"They are the only guardian angels for the potcakes," Pileggi said about why she wanted to support Potcake Place.
The Pileggis were excited to help out the potcakes, and were even considering couriering one of the easy going dogs back to the United States for an adoption agency, but they did not think that they were ready to bring another pet into their own home, Misty Pileggi said.
In the spring of 2006 the Pileggis lost their 14-year-old American Alaskan Eskimo, Jessica, and their 14-year-old cat, KC, and did not think that it was the right time to get a new pet, Misty said.
The Pileggis had no intension of adopting, but Potcake Place organized a potcake-puppie beach play date at the beginning of their vacation, and after a week of discussion, they decided to adopt one of the playful little pups.
Gracie, the newest member of the Pilleggi family, made the trip back to the United States with another puppy who was being taken to The New Jersey Animal Alliance for adoption.
One would think that taking two dogs into the country would be difficult, but Misty said that Potcake Place made the process very easy.
"It's extremely easy," Pileggi said. "It was really a piece of cake." (No pun intended)
Gracie has been living with the Pileggis for a few months. She will graduate from puppy kindergarten at Opportunity Barks in Quakertown later this week, and although potcakes like Gracie have had rough early lives, Misty says that Gracie is very well behaved, and brings an island calmness to their home.
"She is very mature for her age," Misty said. "She's very calm and serene. She is definitely on island time."
Since its start just under two years ago, Potcake Place has been able to set up 345 adoptions - 19 of which were to homes in Pennsylvania. Misty said she will continue to do everything that she can to help the organization, and encourages others to get involved with helping the potcakes.
"The more we can spread the word about the plight of the potcake pups and the tireless effort to save them, the greater the number of success stories we can achieve and ultimately help more of these special pups find their forever home," she said.
More information about the potcake pups can be found on the Potcake Place Web site www.potcakeplace.com.
Marley went from being all alone on the highway of Providenciales to being a New York star. In being such a smart, loving, loyal companion, he is spreading the word about his cousins in The NEW YORK POST:
An article written by TodayShow and MSNBC