Alison Trazzera, of Absecon, New Jersey has spent more than three years trying to raise awareness about the need for better animal care in the U.S. Caribbean islands, Jennifer Bogdan writes in pressof atlanticcity.com.
After fostering dogs from Island Dog Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to building animal-friendly communities in Puerto Rico and its island municipalities of Vieques and Culebra, Trazzera wanted to do more to help. The organization spays, neuters, vaccinates and assists in adoptions of stray animals. The issues are widespread in the Caribbean islands, where animal shelters are few and far between, and medical care for animals is often hard to come by.
This year, Trazzera teamed up with Ashley Costello, of Brigantine, to hold a fundraiser for the organization at The Pool at Harrah’s. The Sunday event, which featured DJ Jerry Blavat and chef Luke Palladino, drew about 150 people who paid between $60 and $75 per ticket.
Trazzera and Costello, who recently adopted an “Island Dog” through the Atlantic County Humane Society, have both taken trips to Puerto Rico to rescue dogs and help place them with families in the United States.
“Our primary cause is prevention — making sure that animals are spayed or neutered and vaccinated,” Trazzera said. “It’s unbelievable how many dogs there are sick and not being taken care of.”
The island has five shelters to serve 78 municipalities, the organization states.
Island Dog was founded by Baltimore native Katie Block in 2006. After spending a few years living in Puerto Rico, she found thousands of homeless animals wandering the streets and beaches. In some cases she witnessed cars intentionally striking dogs on streets, she said.
Block, who now lives in Puerto Rico and works full time for the organization, said the nonprofit depends on events such as the one at Harrah’s to help pay for medical supplies, vaccines, food and other animal necessities.
“We send back about 400 dogs each year that are adopted in the United States,” Block said. “We also maintain areas where dogs live on the beaches, and we ensure that they’re fed and have medical treatment.”
Fundraisers have been held throughout the country in New York, California, and Pennsylvania, she said.
Portrait of Baxter, a rescued Puerto Rican sato, from http://dogeachday.com/?cat=1&paged=3. The site is a wonderful tribute to dogs. Check it out.