Taking ‘Pet Friendly’ to a Whole New Level

We love it when people use Skype to come together to do great things. When there’s animals involved… well, that’s a huge bonus.

Our Pet Ambassador, Paris Permenter, recently caught up over Skype with Alison Sawyer  from Isla Animals – an animal rescue group based on the island of Isla Mujeres, Mexico who promote spay and neuter clinics, education and adoption programs. Here are her thoughts on the experience…

I know that whenever I travel, I meet street dogs and cats that are so much like the pets I have at home. Regardless of where they live, these dogs and cats speak the same language (so to speak), and have the same needs – but so often they’re in need of a home or even a little help. A lot of the time this help comes in the form of some food bought from a vendor or market, but many travelers want to do more.

I recently chatted via Skype with Alison Sawyer, founder of Isla Animals. Helping both dogs and cats on the Caribbean island, Sawyer’s rescue has worked with many travelers who have donated everything from pet supplies to volunteer time. Many travelers come home with a lifetime of memories after visiting the animals and meeting fellow pet lovers. Some return with more than memories, actually transporting animals to their home airport or adopting them and bringing home a new family member.

If you’d like to help local homeless animals when you travel, it pays to take the time to reach out to rescues like Isla Animals at your destination. You’ll find that Skype can be a great tool to help you:

  • Decide which supplies to bring for a shelter donation. Chat with the shelter via Skype to see if you can help by bringing collars, leashes, toys, or even medications.
  • Sign up for a volunteer day. Whether you’d like to spend a few hours walking dogs or helping with bigger projects, pet rescues can always use volunteers. Call the rescue via Skype and discuss your schedule, your interests, and your skill set and how you can help.
  • Discuss transporting an animal back to your home airport. At least a few weeks before your planned trip you can call to see if you can assist by transporting an animal from your holiday spot to your home airport to be met by a local rescue group.
  • Discuss adopting a pet during your vacation. Again, a few weeks before your planned vacation, set up a Skype chat to talk about your lifestyle and your needs, whether you’re seeking a four-legged running partner or a cat to cuddle with on the couch. The rescue will be able to tell you about adoption options.
  • Follow-up with the shelter. Whether you transported or adopted from the shelter, you can follow up via Skype for questions that either you or your veterinarian might have and to give the rescue an update on the pet’s success. Happy adoption stories are a big benefit not only to the animals, but also to the shelter employees who work so tirelessly day in and day out.
  • Reach out to the shelter regarding ongoing needs. Whether the donation of money or just the sharing of news and adoptable pets through your social media channels, you can continue to help the shelter once you return.

You can contact Alison directly through the Isla Animals Facebook page, as well as the website. But now we’re curious – what pet friendly things have you done through Skype? Share here.