Potcake Place, Turks and Caicos
I'm a huge dog lover. In fact, it's not uncommon for me to take my dogs to work. One of the joys of going on vacation is getting a break from the 6:30am wakeup call my three and a half year old lab Tucker likes to give me on a daily basis. However, during the my recent trip to Providenciales in Turks in Caicos I found a way to get my dog fix while away from my furry family members.
I stayed at the Regent Grand Resort, which is located near the Salt Mill shops on Grace Bay. While walking around the open air shopping center I noticed a shop for Potcake Place. Through the window I saw a room of puppies running around and I paused to read the flyer in the window explaining just what this place was. Potcake Place is a rescue group in Turks and Caicos that rescues, fosters and adopt out stray dogs from around Turks and Caicos.
A Potcake is the name given to the dogs of The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands. The story behind the name is that locals feed the caked remains of cooking pots to stray dogs. In reality, Potcake is a cute name for a mixed-breed dog from the islands. Most grow up to be somewhere in the 25-60lb range. Potcakes are known for being intelligent, loyal and calm, so I'm told. Many of the Potcakes I saw resembled shepherd and hound mixes.
I spend a good amount of time volunteering with a Lucky Dog Animal Rescue in Washington, DC, so I was eager to find out more about Potcake Place. I stopped inside and spoke to some of the volunteers to learn more about their organization. They were friendly and eager to tell tourists about their work and the dogs. Since the pool of potential adopters on the islands is small, most Potcakes are adopted by families in the US and Canada. Potcake Place uses tourists as couriers to transport the dogs back to the US into the arms of a waiting family. The rescue group takes care of all of the paperwork and pays the airline fee for the pet. All you have to do is carry the dog onto the plane.
In the shop they have a map of the US and Canada and pins placed where Potcakes have been adopted. Hundreds of pins filled the map all the way from the Northeast US to Los Angles. I contacted Lucky Dog and offered to bring a Potcake back to Washington, DC to enter our adoption system. Lucky Dog rescues most of its dogs from north and South Carolina and brings them to Washington, DC to find suitable homes. The group had recently started brining in dogs from Puerto Rico, so I thought it would be a great idea to bring home a Potcake. Low and behold, another Lucky Dog volunteer who was in Turks and Caicos a few weeks before me had the same idea and at the time Lucky Dog had a Potcake! Small world. They agreed to take another and I would have brought one home had it not been for the fact I was flying in the first class cabin on Delta and they would't allow a dog in that cabin on an international flight. If I was in coach I would have been fine, go figure.
Even if you aren't looking to transport a Potcake, you can still help out. Potcake Place allows tourists to come in, get a dog and take them for a walk on the beach. They provide you with a bag with water, treats, poop bags and brochures to hand out. This was a great experience. If you are a dog lover I highly recommend you check it out. They usually let the dogs go out in the morning, but they want them back before the heat of the day. Go early. We saw a short line of tourists waiting for the shop to open on several occasions.
Potcake Place also has a small shop that sells dog related items and branded merchandise. All of the proceeds go to help this wonderful organization. They also accept donations.
If you're in Turks and Caicos, and like dogs, I highly recommend checking out Potcake Place. This was an unexpected find and not something you would expect on a luxury island getaway.
Visit Potcake Place online to find out how you can help.