A holiday in the Cayman Islands really can be a walk in the park, thanks to a new scheme called ‘Doggie’s Day Out’ started by the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman in association with the Humane Society of the Cayman Islands, which gives unwanted dogs and puppies a home.
Twice a week, on Wednesdays and Fridays, the five star resort which is located on Seven Mile Beach takes on two dogs from the Humane Society and offers its guests the chance to walk them in return from a US$25 donation to the Society. The scheme isn’t only open to resort guests however, and visitors from all over the island are literally queuing up for their turn.
The programme was started by the Housekeeping Manager who happens to own a veteran from the Humane Society, named Charlie. Together with the engineering team she designed a walk around the resort’s Blue Tip Golf Course and the North Sound Club which provides plenty of shady locations for resting between walks.
Don McDougall from the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism is keen to add ‘dog walking’ to the long list of activities that can be enjoyed by visitors. He says, “Although diving, snorkelling, kayaking, swimming, tennis, golf and so on are easily accessible in Cayman, we have to accept that active sports of this nature are not for everyone, especially in the hot weather, but a gentle walk with a pooch is a great way for anyone of any age to keep fit while on holiday. I think it will be a huge hit especially with visitors who have left their own pets back home for a week or two, and the added bonus is that it is for a good cause too. Recently a lady gave US$1000 to the society, just for walking one of the dogs.”
The scheme is also helping to find homes for the dogs, as people become attached to their dogs and choose to adopt them. The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman is investing in ‘Adopt Me’ leads and offers free grooming for any dog that gets adopted to ensure they are in good shape for their new home – or possibly for their flight back to the UK.