Mystery Dog Miraculously Rescued At Sea!

If only this little guy could talk! He can’t, but maybe you can speak for him.
Anyone know anything about this dog?
On Sunday, 15 October, 20 divers, guests at Belize Ocean Club, were diving a few miles from Pompion Caye.
Someone yelled: “Hey, there’s a dog in the water!” He looked weak, paddling around in the middle of the Sea, miles away from land or boat. A diver jumped into the Sea, but the dog began to fearfully swim away. Another attempt was successful, and this pooch was gently lifted into the boat.
Jeff, Hoa, Bob, Maryann, Brian, and the other divers reported that he was clearly in a state of shock. He was shivering, and did not want to be touched. Amazingly, a U.S. veterinarian was on the boat, and was able to determine that this pooch was actually a well-cared for dog.
By the time they reached Belize Ocean Club, this mystery dog had already touched the divers’ hearts. He was named–given more than one name, actually– Neptune, Poseidon, Salty Dog. According to Jeff: “This was a totally mind numbing experience. We knew he was a gentle dog, not aggressive, and he deserved a good life.” Belize Ocean Club’s Anna Perigo, was immediately notified. She went to

the PHS website, and contacted Candace Feldman, PHS volunteer coordinator for rescues, fosters, and adoptions.
Neptune/Poseidon/Salty Dog slept the night in the Belize Ocean Club dive shop, under the close eyes of Roberta and Dario, the dive operators.
The next day, the divers took turns walking and running the dog on the beach. He was lavished with so much attention and love! As Hoa said: “Everyone got very emotionally involved with this dog.”
PHS board members, Melanie L Wilcher, Patricia Celenza, and photo/video volunteer Loco Caballo, reached Belize Ocean Club later that day. He was delivered to Regina Klaus Gilmore, who is now lovingly fostering him and introducing him to his new life on land.
The divers who so caringly rescued this dog are part of
Diving for Life, a group of 128 participants from the United States who travel and dive around the world, raising money for various AIDS service organizations in the U.S. In the past 25 years, they have raised more than U.S. $1,000,000.00.
Perfect that Diving for Life saved this dog’s life. What a story!
But he still remains a mystery dog. He is about 1 to 1 ½ years old, not neutered. We know nothing about how he ended up swimming in the middle of the Sea. Maybe he fell off a boat? Maybe he was swimming around a caye and the current carried him?
PHS will continue to care for and foster him. We are sharing these pictures and his story, and hope that you will, too. We must do whatever we can to find his owner. If after a reasonable time and the owner has not been found, PHS guarantees that he will spend the rest of his days in a loving forever home.
If you have any information about this dog, please contact PHS immediately on Facebook, or message Melanie Wilcher or Patricia Celenza.

A Sad Beginning To A Very Happy Ending.

These before and after photos have shaken up animal lovers around this planet.
The story of this dog began right here in Belize. Spoiler alert—it has a great ending!
Three months ago, PHS board member Melanie L Wilcher and her niece, PHS super volunteer Idaly Wilcher were driving through Seine Bight. What caught their eyes is what you see in the first photo—a dog struggling for life, tied to a short chain, in full sun, no water or food bowls. They stopped to investigate.The owner lived in Belize City, bred this dog til she could no longer make him money. He gave her to his uncle in Seine Bight. This man could barely feed himself, admitted that sometimes he shared a bowl of rice with this dog.

He understood the dog was not well, and asked Mel: “Can you help her? Can you take her now?”
Without hesitation, Melanie and Idaly did just that, and transported her to Idaly’s family, who welcomed her with love.

Candace Feldman, PHS’ Rescue/Foster/Adoption coordinator, posted this desperate plea on FB. Shawn Marshall and Mandy Marshall rose to the challenge, and took this pathetic looking pooch into their care.
They determined that this dog had been abused. She needed a more calm environment, so Lee Marinaki volunteered to foster her.
Says Lee: “I have two cats that I brought with me from South Africa, but I thought I would give this dog a try. Within 24 hours, we were attached. She is now one of our family.”
Athena is her name, like the mythological Greek goddess of wisdom.
She is strong, healthy, proud, like the goddess for which she was named.

Make your voice heard! Stand up for Big Red!

Big Red

Placencia Humane Society (PHS) insists on the removal of Big Red from Norwegian Cruise Line’s Harvest Caye. PHS also insists that Big Red be returned to rehabilitation, then released into the Rainforest, his natural habitat.
Big Red is a scarlet macaw, an endangered species. Estimates number their population on our planet between 200 to 400.
Our reasons for his removal are based on research and phone calls with both Forest Department (FD) and Nikki Buxton, Managing Director of Belize Bird Rescue (BBR).
PHS’ concerns focus exclusively on the health and humane well-being of the bird.
Big Red was confiscated out of illegal captivity by FD, and resettled for rehabilitation with BBR in October, 2016. FD admittedly considers BBR “their partner,” turning to the group when birds require special care and attention. BBR understood the young bird was to be rehabilitated and eventually returned to the wild. FD disputes this claim, saying the bird was never to be released into the wild, and on 23 May, 2017, the bird was, with only two hours notice to BBR, transported to Norwegian Cruise Line’s Harvest Caye.
PHS questions FD’s decision to return him to a life of captivity, and not release him to his natural environment. When PHS asked FD why, FD replied: “We have our reasons,” without offering any.
PHS looks to the work of veterinarian Dr. Fernando Martinez, director of ARCAS, a wildlife protection and rescue center in neighboring Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve. His group has successfully returned captive-bred macaws to their natural environments, boosting their endangered numbers by 5%.
Rehabilitation and return to the wild should have been, and still must be, the future of Big Red.

Harvest Caye is an island. Big Red’s home is the Rainforest. Nikki Buxton states: “Harvest Caye is an inappropriate environment for this bird. He now faces challenges to his eyes, ears, respiratory system, feathers, and his metabolic functions. He is being exposed to parasitic conditions on the caye that are foreign to him in his natural habitat.”
Harvest Caye sits in the first line rage of hurricanes. Evacuation off the caye would be considerable for all, not to mention the untold consequences of unsettling Big Red.
Harvest Caye is an artificial, man-made tourist environment, designed by a Disney imagineer. Cruise tourists can and should arrange tours to the real Rainforest to see the scarlet macaw in his home. That is both humane for the bird, and educational for the cruiser. Big Red is not a side show. He is not entertainment for cruise passengers waiting for their ship to depart.
Big Red is an endangered species.

Is it too late for Big Red to be returned to his natural Rainforest? Nikki Buxton believes his exposure at Harvest Caye would require him to be rehabilitated all over again. BBR is willing to do that, as that was always their mission.

PHS affirms that Big Red must be removed from Harvest Caye, rehabilitated, and given his freedom.
Make your voice heard! Stand up for Big Red:

  • By calling Forest Department at 822-2079 or emailing them at
  • By calling Prime Minister Dean Barrow at 822-2346 or emailing him at
  • By calling the Minister of Tourism at 227-2801 or emailing him at
  • By calling Belize Audubon Society at 223-4987 or emailing them at
  • By calling Wildlife Conservation Society at 223-3005 or emailing them at
  • By emailing Belize Zoo at
  • Write letters to the Amandala newspaper at
  • Or to the Reporter newspaper at

PHS hopes public sentiment will reach these authorities, and give Big Red the humane life that he deserves.