What’s the story of Pups with Passports?
I lived in Doha 2014-2016 and I saw firsthand the abuse, neglect and overpopulation spreading like wildfire among the stray dogs in Qatar. Dogs are poisoned, abused, dragged behind cars, attacked and given no value by most people in Qatar who view them as nuisances and filthy animals. After escorting three dogs to Toronto three years ago, I felt this was my place in dog rescue: relocate them out of the country and find them loving homes in North America. To date Pups with Passports has relocated and placed about 500 dogs in the U.S. In 2017, we matched 190 dogs from Doha with forever homes in many different U.S. states.
The effort has grown in scope and now we work with 20 rescue partners in the U.S. who also place dogs for us. They support our mission and believe dogs do not know borders and deserve a chance. Despite challenges in the U.S. in dog rescue, they open their arms and accept these dogs. They spay/neuter them, vet them and place them in quality homes. We have a Board of four people who also work hard to place dogs directly into homes. We screen by phone, reference check, and do home visits to be sure that any dog from Doha will have a lifetime of extreme happiness never possible in Qatar. On average it takes us less than two weeks to place a dog directly from their foster homes in the U.S., and often the dogs are adopted before they even land. It takes a lot of people around the country, but people are so generous and kind with their time to support our mission.
We could not do any of this without flight buddies who escort the dogs over. We need ticketed passengers because it is the cheapest way of flying a dog. Without flight buddies, our work would be close to impossible. We welcome more flight angels to facilitate more U.S. adoptions! It is free to be a flight buddy and Pups with Passports work very well together to prepare the dogs, the crates and the paperwork. Passengers are met in Doha at check in and on arrival in the U.S. by experienced transporters and rescuers.
2018 is an exciting year for us because we became a registered 501 c3 non-profit, and we are beginning to establish fundraisers to further our goals and mission. We recently held a t-shirt fundraiser which raised enough money for two dogs to fly. Later in the Spring we will launch an art fundraiser which is very exciting!
You can find out more at pupswithpassports.org or on Facebook at Pups with Passports. Thank you for helping the dogs gain wings and for making it possible for them to fly into their forever homes!
Founder and President
Caroline Fernandez is an English as a Second Language teacher and a lifetime dog lover. She began rescuing dogs when she lived in Qatar 2014-2016. She loves to see the street dogs of Qatar and a Turkey land into wonderful homes in the U.S. and focuses on adoption placement, rescue partnerships, flight logistics and planning ground transports in the U.S. She has a background in both customer service and logistics and applies her experience to create forever loving homes for the dogs!
Shannan Meehan resides in the Chicago suburbs with her two intrepid dogs, Bolt and Brighton. She's had dogs most of her life and has been involved in rescue for about 7 years. Shannan is passionate about matching the right dogs with the right homes, and as you may have noticed, also passionate about German Shepherd Dogs! She first started working with Caroline about 3 years ago when they were partners on getting dogs from Doha to fosters and adopters in Chicago.