As you know, before we were pet writers, we were Caribbean guidebook writers. The majority of our work was in Jamaica but we wrote several comprehensive books to the region and also covered many of the other islands for trade magazines. One of our favorite destinations was the USVI or US Virgin Islands. More than once, we fantasized about what it would be like to live on St. Thomas, St. Croix, or St. John.
If you’re considering a trip to the USVI, check out the Paws for Vacation package offered by Bolongo Bay Beach Resort on the island of St. Thomas. Owned by a family of pet lovers, the resort makes it easy for guests not only to visit the local animal shelter but also to adopt a pet during their Caribbean vacation.
The resort program assists the Humane Society of St. Thomas. Katarina Doumeng, Sales and Marketing Director and a member of the family who owns Bolongo Bay Beach Resort, explains, “We have welcomed six adopted dogs into our family over the years, and so many more dogs and cats are looking for a home. Dogs have been a part of our family since my son, an animal lover, was little. When we added dogs to our family, we looked to the Humane Society as there are so many loving animals that need a home.” Katarina’s latest adoption is Kasey, a “coconut retriever,” the island nickname for the many mixed breed dogs found here.
“What better way to remember a vacation in the US Virgin Islands than a new four-legged friend,” says Doumeng. “And they make a much better souvenir than a t-shirt or shot glass.”
The Paws for Vacation Program
On their first day at Bolongo Bay Beach Resort, guests in the program take a complimentary roundtrip taxi ride to the Humane Society of St. Thomas to visit the many dogs and cats available for adoption. There they can begin the paperwork and health certifications, a process that takes several days. Because of the paperwork and health certificate process, the program means a five-night stay.
Guests also receive a 30 percent discount on the resort’s room-only plan in both Oceanview and Beachfront categories at the beautiful resort:
The program also includes:
- free airfare for the adopted animal on American Airlines. Pets fly home with their new family under the seat or in the cargo area, depending on size.
- a complimentary pet carrier provided by the Humane Society.
The cost to adopt is $100 for a dog, $75 for a cat, and includes a veterinary check up, vaccinations, spay/neuter, and a health certificate.
If You’re Not Ready to Adopt
Would you like to help the homeless animals of St. Thomas on your trip but you’re not wanting to add to your furry family right now? The Humane Society is always looking for volunteers to accompany animals on American Airlines flights to the US. (If a person accompanies the animal, the airline will fly the animal without charge). Resort guests who do this will receive a $50 dining credit to use at one of Bolongo’s seaside restaurants–and know that they played a big part in helping the island’s homeless pet population.
For More Information
For more information on the Paws for Vacation program, visit http://www.bolongobay.com/islandpetadoption/.
Lower two photos courtesy Bolongo Bay Resort, St. Thomas