Tropical island holidays don't need much improving, to be fair. Sun, sea, white sand and a generous number of cocktails usually do the trick, vacation-wise.
However Providenciales, part of Turks and Caicos Islands, has a unique bonus – holidaymakers can play with rescue puppies on the beach. Yes, that's right, it's all your tropical island dreams come true.
As reported on barkpost.com, the scheme is run by rehoming charity Potcake Place and is most definitely not about reducing dogs to a cute tourist attraction: the organisation (staffed by volunteers and reliant on donations) is geared toward reducing the number of homeless potcake dogs on the island, and a big part of that is socialising dogs via foster carers and trips out.
And of course, to nobody's surprise, this can also result in holidaymakers falling head over heels and adopting a canine.
Potcakes are a mixed-breed dog found stray all over the Caribbean, earning the moniker from the scrapings of the rice mixture islanders have traditionally fed dogs. Though said to be smart, loyal and affectionate, the overpopulation of strays has been a problem in recent years and attempts have been made to curb their numbers.
Potcake Place has no shelter for the dogs it rescues, so according to its website, the staff “look after these pups in our own homes until a permanent home can be found.
“Our policy is to house them for as long as it takes to find the best home. This is the only alternative we can see to them starving in the bush, being run over, intentionally poisoned, dying of heartworm, ehrlichia, parvo or being euthanized.”
With people adopting the dogs from all over the world, the charity works with vets “to ensure that pups get their vaccinations, wormers and other treatments, and arrange health certificates for travel. If an adoption goes ahead, we help book the pup on the plane, and meet the families at the airport.”
Be warned, Potcake Place’s Facebook and Instagram pages are awash with ridiculously gorgeous pictures of pups, so if your interest in becoming a dog owner has mysteriously spiked, please consider the thousands and thousands of dogs waiting to be rehomed in the UK from centres such as Dogs Trust, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and RSPCA, rather than visiting a breeder or a pet shop.
In the meantime, find a few of the charity's snaps below and try not to rinse the credit card with a flight to Turks and Caicos...