A Potcake is a mixed-breed dog found on islands in The Caribbean, more specifically, The Bahamas or Turks & Caicos Islands. The name is a term of endearment that comes from the leftover rice or macaroni mixture often stuck to the bottom of the family cooking pot. After a meal, Bahamians traditionally placed their food-caked pots outside to feed the stray dogs. Hence the dogs became known as Potcakes. Although Potcakes are an untapped valuable resource, the majority of Potcakes do not have a home of their own. Rather they are mostly born in the wild and struggle to survive. Most do not make it more than a few days or weeks. Without finding a nearby source of sustenance, they usually suffer greatly and perish within a year. If one is lucky to find and care for one of these stray Potcakes, they will have an amazing and loyal companion for many years due to the fact that Potcakes are the cream of the crop. Over the centuries, it’s been the hardiest and most adaptable of the Potcakes that have survived to reproduce. This “natural” selection of only the strongest pups has worked to create one of the most amazing dog breeds on Earth. Potcakes are resourceful, strong, intelligent, determined, brave, loving, and most of all, loyal. Those exact traits that help Potcakes succeed in the wild also make Potcakes excellent additions to almost any family.

Origin of Potcakes

The ancestry of Potcake dogs is varied and somewhat mysterious. More than 1500 years ago, people came from South America by canoe and brought the first dogs to the Islands. When the Spanish arrived a thousand years later, they brought their own dogs, which became forever intertwined with the native dogs.

In the centuries that followed, merchant ships often brought Terriers to the Islands since they excelled at hunting rodents and protecting precious cargo. During the U.S. Civil War, as people moved and passed through The Islands, more and more dogs became introduced to these areas.

Why Do Potcakes Need Help?

Despite the challenging conditions Potcakes face, their numbers continue to increase at unsustainable rates on every Island where they are found. Unfortunately, most of the Bahamian Islands do not have Veterinarians. BAARK (Bahamas Alliance Animal Rights and Kindness) and the Bahamas Humane Society help fund clinics on the Island without Veterinarians. However, these clinics are usually only once a year if that. On many Islands, Potcakes are considered pests by the locals and receive little if any care. However, in the past sixteen years that we have lived in the Bahamas, the local people are witnessing firsthand what a valuable resource Potcakes can be when cared for properly. We have numerous Bahamian friends who are simply amazed when we take a Potcake near death and nurse it back to a strong, beautiful dog. Or when we rescue an entire litter of pups and find them homes, and they all prosper. This experience has motivated numerous locals to rethink their attitude towards Potcakes. We now see Potcakes living with and becoming an important part of the lives of more and more local people. Of course, there are many other people on other islands doing this same work, but much more is needed. We strongly believe that through the education of current and future generations, Potcakes will become what they were meant to be.

 

You can help with these efforts by donating your time or money to many shelters and rescue operations, including the two mentioned above. Contact us with any questions. We would be glad to help!

How Do We Care for Potcake Rescues?

We partner with BAARK to fund and organize humane spay/neuter round-up clinics for dogs and cats on Andros Island with additional help from some residents and visitors. These clinics help combat overpopulation and educate locals about necessary animal care. Proper treatment and aid help overcome potential health complications and even death. Potcakes can live long, happy, healthy lives when they are fortunate enough to be welcomed into loving homes. Without these organized programs, many Islanders would not have the resources to spay or neuter their pets, as most islands don’t have veterinarians. During these Clinics, hundreds of stray animals are captured temporarily. These animals are then given all necessary medical treatments possible and released. This is exhausting work, and without the generous help from locals and visitors who all do this for free many more animals would suffer cruelly.   These programs help avoid millions of unnecessary deaths and suffering. Other efforts to help Potcakes is by finding them homes elsewhere. Again there are many talented and generous people assisting in these efforts. These much-needed rescues help reduce population pressure and create a healthier environment for the Islands. Not to mention the Joy they bring to many many people’s lives—the beauty of sharing Potcakes with the world!

Giving back has never tasted finer.

You can also make a difference by simply enjoying our Dundee Hills wines from Willamette Valley. Each purchase helps make an impact for the Potcake community.