In 2020 a group of strangers went on an animal rescue trip to Aruba to help the rescues and bring supplies. We volunteered at various rescues and saw firsthand the work these rescues were doing. We also saw the "not so happy" part of the island: the amount of stray animals, and the suffering they were enduring. When we left, a few of us knew we could do more, and we formed One Love Foundation Inc.
It is estimated that there are 30,000-40,000 stray animals on an island of 100,000 people. Many of these animals will die of starvation or disease. There is a lack of affordable vet care for spaying, neutering, and vaccinations. And very little education for the residents on sterilization and how to care for their animals. To further the problem, many of the hotels and resorts will go to great lengths to get rid of the strays, fearing that tourists will not come. There are also stories of animals being poisoned or euthanized in cruel ways.
On the southern side of the island is the CCC, funded by the Aruban Government. If an animal is picked up and the owner does not come for it then it will be euthanized. There are no animal cruelty laws or animals control officers and the residents are not required to register their pets. Aruba is considered a desert, and since it gets hot, most of the island has no fresh water or food for the stray dogs or cats, so many starve to death.
All of this has led to a problem in Aruba, and with no animals laws or help for the government, animals can only rely on the few rescues on the island. These rescues are doing amazing work but they have limited resources. Plus they are usually full unless they can get the animals into homes on the island, or can fly them to fosters or adopters outside the country. Unfortunately, it is very hard to get adult dogs off the island since only a few airlines will fly dogs as cargo. It is also costly to fly animas off the island, so the rescues pay for the flights. The rescues rely heavily on tourists to help: by becoming flight volunteers, bringing supplies (they are costly on the island), and by donations.
Ultimately we saw a problem with a great need and wanted to help. There was no way we could leave and not look back. The animals and people of Aruba stole our hearts. . .
Please join us in our mission of helping the animals of Aruba.
The Arubian Cunucu Dog is a rare breed that is a descendant of the Iberian Hound. It is believed the breed was brought to the island in the 1600s by the Portuguese slave traders and then allowed to breed with the common, semi-domesticated dogs that were already there. It was the Arawak Indians that took up the Arubian Cunucu Dogs and bred them. With these matings came a breed that was used for hunting small game, such as iguana, on the island. This breed gets its name from the word “cunucu”, which means “countryside” in the language of Aruba.
Arubian Cunucu Dog are intelligent dogs and can be trained quickly, as long as there is a good human to canine communication. They are also very athletic dogs so they need their exercise and need to be kept stimulated both mentally and physically. They are usually very friendly and social dogs, good with people and other animals, if they are used to being around them.
Please check out the Cunucu’s next time you are in Aruba or from the pictures and stories on our website.