In Provo, 'potcake' pups are an attraction

Visitors can take puppies for a walk on the beach or home on the plane.
Visitors can take puppies for a walk on the beach or home on the plane.

What's a potcake?

It's a mixed breed of dog found on many Caribbean islands. Appearance varies, but potcake dogs, most of them strays, generally have smooth coats, cocked ears and long faces. And they're adorable, beguiling and often irresistible.

The name "came about because locals fed the caked remains of the cooking pot to the dogs," according to Potcake Place, an all-volunteer canine sanctuary in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, that rescues potcakes and invites visitors to take its pups out for a day on the beach -- or home on the plane.

The center opened in late 2010 and rescues more than 500 stray dogs from across the Turks and Caicos every year.

"On average we adopt out about 40 pups a month, mainly to the U.S. and Canada, about 70% U.S. and 30% Canada," according to Jane Parker-Rauw, the center's founder and director.

Most hotels on Provo know about Potcake Place and are involved in fundraising efforts for neuter and spay clinics. Many properties donate hotel stays for its online auctions.

The dogs are fostered in volunteers' homes so they are already used to children and less shy around adults and other dogs before Potcake Place puts them up for adoption.

Most potcakes grow to approximately 45 pounds.

"Our mission to to reduce the number of homeless potcakes on the island," said Parker-Rauw. "We have a constant stream of puppies needing socialization and adoption. Visitors can come by and take a puppy out to the beach.

This also aids with potty training and helps them learn how to walk on a lead.

"We'll give visitors everything they need, all they need to supply is some tender loving care," she said.

Once a pup is available for adoption, its photo is placed on Potcake Place Adoptions Facebook page. The potential new parents fill out an application, background checks are carried out and living arrangements discussed. Each potcake comes with medical records, up-to-date vaccines and a health certificate, which must be shown to Customs in the arrival country.

There is no adoption fee, although donations are welcome. If the adopting owners are not in Provo, a courier will transport the dog to the new owners in an approved in-cabin airline bag.

Visitors who meet their potcake while on vacation can bring the pup home with them, and many do.


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