Who do we rescue in Aruba?

The neglected, abused or abandoned stray Cunucu dogs and puppies of Aruba.

What is a Cunucu?

You may or may not be familiar with this breed of dog named Aruban Cunucu, Arubian Cunucu or simply just Cunucu Dog. A Cunucu dog originates from Aruba, a small island in the Caribbean.Cunucu is a Papiamento word used by the natives of Aruba. The Aruban Cunucu is the wild dog frequently seen roaming around the island.According to research conducted by a Dutch geneticist, the Aruban Cunucu Dog is a descendant of the Iberian Hound, which was brought to Aruba in the 16th century by Portuguese slave traders. Iberian Hounds became quite popular with the Arawak Indians and were often crossed with various feral dogs on the island. The results of these crosses were named Aruban Cunucu’s and were used primarily to hunt small game. It is thought that they received their name due to their excellent ability to chase iguanas through the rocky terrain of Aruba’s desert interior, which is known by locals as the Cunucu.
The Cunucu Dog, a medium-sized dog, is a friendly breed that makes a great companion or pet for families with children. Their protective and loyal nature also makes these dogs terrific guard dogs and extremely obedient.
Cunucu’s can weigh anywhere from 35 to 50 pounds fully grown. They have short hair, which can be almost any colour; however, the most common colours include tan, brown or black with white markings. Their tails are long, curled and held high. They have semiprick ears, long legs and a muscular body.
As an extremely athletic and enthusiastic dog that excels at many different sports including hunting, agility, fly ball and obedience a Cunucu Dog needs to have plenty of toys and room to run.

What is the Dog Act?

Please click here to be redirected to the The Plataforma Ley Di Cacho website to learn about the Dog Act that was enacted in Aruba on January 1, 2015,

How are the puppies rescued?

Each puppy’s rescue story is different. Sometimes our New Life For Paws volunteers, “Team Paws” find them on the side of the road, in a trash cans, in a cactus bush or as they are being surrendered at the Kill Cage. Team Paws often receives calls from concerned tourists or locals who have reported an abandoned or neglected dog. Team Paws take great care are use multiple techniques to safely secure our Rescued Paws.

What is the Kill Cage?

With number of homeless, hungry and neglected animals in Aruba, the island has an overpopulation of strays. The limited resources of residents frequently has resulted in the government implementing a kill bin that euthanizes captured and surrendered animals as an attempt to control the animal crisis.

What happens once a dog/puppy is rescued?

Once Team Paws has initiated a rescue and are able to successfully save the puppy/dog, our Rescued Paws begin their journey with New Life For Paws by immediately being taken to a certified veterinarian. All Rescued Paws receive a checkup. Frequently they may require blood tests, vitamin shots and antibiotics. The most common conditions which we have to provide treatment for are anemia, tick disease, parasites, flea treatment, heartworm and/or skin conditions.Many Rescued Paws will require multiple visits to the veterinarian each day/week until they are healthy. While receiving veterinary treatment, our Rescued Paws will be fostered with one of our amazing families on the island.

What happens to adult rescues?

New Life For Paws volunteers feed packs of dogs across the island daily and over time gain the stray’s trust and allowing safe capture. Trap, Neuter, Return and Catch, Spay, Release are techniques learned from Animal Balance at Operation Cunucu, an event that took place in Aruba in April 2016. Once caught, the stray is sterlized released back to theirpack after their recovery from the sterlization procedure. This is a way to break the cycle. New Life For Paws continues to feed and care for the sterlized strays with the knowledge that one less dog will contibute to the overpopulation crisis on the island. Spaying one female and neutering her mate can potentially stop approximately 67,000 puppies being born on the streets over the next 5 years.

Which puppies are available for adoption?

New Life For Paws is continuously rescuing puppies. An Aruban Cunucu litter can frequently be as large as eight to twelve (8–12) puppies. As litters become available to be adopted, New Life For Paws will update our Facebook page. We ask that you follow our page so you can be kept up to date as Rescued Paws become available. If you see a rescue that makes your heart melt and think would make a great addition to your family, please complete our online application. We strongly recommend that you include the name of the rescue or the litter that you are seeking to adopt from in the field at the bottom of the application. A New Life For Paws team member will contact you as soon as possible.

When are puppies available to be adopted?

All Rescued Paws must be vaccinated, microchipped and cleared by a veterinarian to receive the required health certificate to travel to the US. During this time we will be posting updates and photos on the New Life For Paws Facebook page and Instagram to share they are available for adoption. Please follow us on Facebook to be kept up to date on our available Rescued Paws

When can I get a puppy?

As soon as Rescued Paws have been cleared to travel, arrangements can be made for travel to the US.We try to honor requests for specific NLFP rescue, but the process is not first come, first served. In the event the rescue requested is no longer available for adoption, we will provide other NLFP rescues that are available to be adopted for your consideration.New Life for Paws works in conjunction with Aruba Flight Volunteers. In Aruba, New Life for Paws is rescuing dogs and puppies each and every day. Adult Rescued Paws are spayed and neutered but the puppy Rescued Paws are permitted to travel to the United States to be united with an adoptive “furever” family. To facilitate this effort, we need the assistance of Flight Volunteers.

What is a Flight Volunteer?

An Aruba Flight Volunteer chaperones a rescue puppy on their flight from Aruba to the United States. Please follow us on Facebook.

Can I become a Flight Volunteer?

The founder of Aruba Flight Volunteers, Marie Geerman, coordinates the logistics of transporting a puppy from Aruba to the US. There is NO cost to become an Aruba Flight Volunteer. If you are departing Aruba for a destination in the US, Aruba Flight Volunteers purchases the puppy’s plane ticket (yes, the puppy requires a ticket to travel). New Life For Paws arranges and provides all the necessary travel documents, including a valid health certificate from a certified veterinary clinic in Aruba, proof of microchipping, vaccination certificate, etc. Please fill out an online application if you are interested in being a Flight Volunteer. Please have your date of travel, airline and flight number available to accurately complete the the Flight Volunteer online application as well as how many traveling in your party can chaperone. Chaperones are limited to one puppy per traveler. Marie has prepared a podcast that can provide much more detailed information about our Aruba Flight Volunteer program. We strongly recommend listening and contacting Marie with any additional questions that you may have.

What airline must I travel to be a Flight Volunteer?

American Airlines, JetBlue, Delta and United Airlines will all allow a puppy to travel from Aruba to the US. American Airlines will also allow adult dogs to travel. If you are travelling on one of these airlines and would like to volunteer to chaperone a puppy, please complete our online application. Marie can be messaged through the Aruba Flight Volunteers page on Facebook. Please include your date of travel, airline and flight number with your contact information in your message to Marie as well as how many traveling in your party can chaperone. Chaperones are limited to one puppy per traveler.

What if I am flying Southwest Airlines?

Southwest does not allow puppies to travel on their flights, however the airline does permit passengers to bring two (2) suitcases per person weighing up to 50lbs each. So, although you cannot chaperone a puppy on your return flight, you could volunteer to bring supplies to Aruba for our Rescued Paws. This is just as important as chaperoning a puppy. Many items in Aruba are significantly more expensive the small island must import goods. Any items that are donated to New Life For Paws in the US must be transported to Aruba and many of these items are critical to the care of our rescues.

I am a Flight Volunteer, what do I need to do?

You have been confirmed to chaperone a Rescued Paw and the day of your flight back to the US has arrived.Please arrive at the airport three (3) hours before your scheduled departure time. A New Life For Paws team member, frequently Natalya, will meet you at the outside the airport with a puppy in a soft sided carry/travel case. Please note, the puppy does not count as a separate carry-on.The New Life For Paws team member will have the puppy’s health certificate, health records and plane ticket. The team member will check the puppy in with the airline and accompany you and the puppy to security for departures. With your permissions, the team member will request to take a photo of you with the Rescued Paws you are chaperoning to share.At security, the puppy cannot go through the x-ray machine but the soft-sided bag must. You will need to take the puppy through the scanner with you and place the puppy back in the bag you retrieve off the conveyor.After security, you will approach the kiosk for customs. Please answer “YES” when responding to the question that you are traveling with pets. When you approach the customs official, you will need to present the paperwork provided to you by the New Life for Paws team member. Customs will scan the puppy for the microchip and inquire about the destination for the puppy, whether it is being fostered or adopted upon arrival in the US. The team member will inform you so you can appropriately answer.While waiting for your flight to board, you can take the puppy out of its carry bag, but PLEASE do not put it on the floor. If you do not want to hold the puppy, you can leave him(her) in the carry bag. Other passengers will ask to pet or hold the puppy and will ask you about him(her). You will be provided business cards to hand out that helps Aruba Flight Volunteers find others interested in chaperoning on their next trip to Aruba, fostering or adopting.The puppy will board the plane and sit in the cabin with you. Please place the puppy in its carry bag under the seat in front of you. Each flight attendant is different and some may allow you to take the puppy out of its carrier to hold or require you to keep the puppy in the carry bag. Please be considerate of the flight attendant’s response. Our team member will be at the gate waving goodbye to another of our Rescued Paws on the next leg of their trip and the start of their new adventure on their journey as a new life begins.Typically the roar of the engine will lull your puppy to sleep and they will sleep the entire flight.

As an Aruba Flight Volunteer, what happens when I arrive at my destination in the US?

When you arrive at the airport in the US with a puppy, please call or text the Aruba Flight Volunteer team member to let them know you have landed and confirm you will meet at the baggage claim. The puppy and their documents are delivered to our team member and you have given a great gift to one of our Rescued Paws by helping them get another step closer to their furever home. Sometimes, a puppy is lucky enough to be received by their new furever family upon arrival. You will be advised if you will be meeting a team member or if the new family will be meeting you. We ask all Aruba Flight Volunteers that may be delivering to a furever family to please take a picture of the family’s first moment together and send it to Aruba Flight Volunteers.

What happens when the puppy leaves the airport in the US?

Our New Life For Paws team member will then take the puppy to a short-term foster for a few days. Our US foster help our Rescued Paws acclimate and adjust to their new surroundings before moving them to their new adoptive furever families …. then they live happily ever after….

Can I become a foster?

A foster is usually a temporary situation, a kind of like a “stop-gap” between rescue and adoption. Fosters are always needed in both the US and Aruba.
To consider becoming a foster, you must be a genuine dog lover. We prefer our fosters to have a fenced in secure yard, time to play with the puppy/dog and assist with house training. We may also request a foster to continue a veterinary recommendation. All fosters will be made aware of any special circumstances prior to the Rescued Paws arrival and in the event the foster feels they are for any reason unable to continue a recommended course of treatment, an alternative foster will be found.
In Aruba, many of our fosters accompany their Rescued Paws to the vets for follow ups, medication, vaccinations and any other veterinary treatment required during the rescue process.
New Life For Paws and Aruba Flight Volunteers are always happy to welcome new fosters to our families. Please fill out our online application to foster.

What happens after I adopt my rescue?

NLFP requires a follow up visit with your veterinarian within five (5) days for your adopted NLFP rescue. If you do not currently have a veterinarian, NLFP will refer you to Banfield Pet Hospital at PetSmart for a free Office Visit and Consultation. Banfield offers Puppy Wellness Plans that include Comprehensive Physical Exam (2x/year), Vaccinations Diagnostic Testing, Fecal Exams (3x), Deworming (4x), Spay or Neuter Surgery and Unlimited Office Visits.

Should I take my puppy to Obedience Training?

NLFP strongly recommends every puppy attend obedience training. There is no downside to obedience training. It is a huge responsibility to train a dog and it must begin when they are puppies. Habits that appear cute as a puppy can quickly become challenges as your puppy matures into a dog. It is important to work with a certified trainer to learn commands that will follow your puppy into adulthood. For example, when your puppy is teething and chewing on whatever item is available, including a person’s hand, this can possibly become a problem for an adult dog. A certified trainer will teach you techniques that with time and consistency will ensure acceptable behavior as your dog matures. Please read Jake’s blog for great tips for raising a Cunucu.