A little bit over a year ago we found our sweet Rumba girl on the beach in the Dominican Republic. As most of you may already know, if you have followed her story, we were just on a quick get-away vacation not looking to take home a dog (or that’s at least what I was telling my boyfriend when we booked the trip). However, the trip took a fast turn only 20 minutes into us being there and became a full blow rescue mission!
I am asked all the time, how did we do it? Was it hard? Did I just put her on the plane with us? And so much more! So I thought why not share with our Gal’s Best Friend readers how we did this! So here goes nothing…
Make sure that the dog does not belong to anyone!
Yes, we did this! On our Dodo video, there are plenty of comments about how people think we just stole someone’s dog and that there may be some sweet Dominican man frantically looking for his dog. But, I can promise you that we made sure the Rumba was, in fact, a stray. Actually, the guys who sell all the fun stuff on the beach told us that the resorts had been trying to poison her over the past few months, and she had been getting very sick. So, yes Rumba was very much a homeless pup.
Make sure you have a plan!
Okay, so we didn’t really have a plan at all, I just knew as soon I saw her hiding hot dogs in the sand that I was not leaving without her. BUT, in a perfect world… knowing what I was going to do with her as soon as I got her off the beach would have been the best. Having a rescue set up to take her in or a foster, but I guess her and God just had a plan for her to stay in my life forever.
Find someone to help you!
I spend hours and hours looking for someone to help us get Rumba and Papi off of that beach. And when I say hours, I mean I was inside our hotel room on that beach with the dogs not getting a tan whatsoever. On the last night we were there I was getting very worried that there was no one to help and that we would have just moved there. We finally came across a Yelp review that led to the Red Collars Facebook page, and they were more than happy to help us! So make sure you look everywhere for help, especially if you are in a different country… social media, yelp, google, people in the town, phone books…look everywhere! A good resource is Global Strays, they help rescues all over the world and might be able to help connecting you to the right person.
Head to the vet and get a checkup!
We took Papi and Rumba straight to the vet in La Romana as soon as we got them off of the beach to make sure they were in good enough health to take to the shelter around the other dogs and healthy to fly in a few weeks.
Shelter, papers, and waiting!
If you in another country, then you have to secure a place for the dog to stay. You can’t take them on the flight with you when you leave. They have to go through a full quarantine, get their shots, and all their paperwork before heading to the states. This takes about 3-6 weeks.
So, next time you are on vacation and you happen to run into a stray beach or street dog and they completely steal your heart, refer back to this post or shoot me an email because I would LOVE to help out in whatever way I can!