If you are visiting Anguilla, you can adopt a puppy or kitten from AARF and easily take it back to North America with you on the plane. 

Step 1: Make an airline reservation for your puppy. Most airlines charge a pet fee and have a limit on the number of animals allowed on the flight. Visit the airline's web site and search for “traveling with pets” to see what restrictions your flight might have. Note that Delta requires dogs to be 16 weeks or older to fly. 

A dog leaving Anguilla looks out the window of a plane

Step 2: Request your puppy's Health Certificate and Medical Booklet. This is necessary to present to immigration upon arrival to the USA or Canada. All medical information can be prepared by Morlens Veterinary Clinic for a fee. We recommend requesting this service at least two to three days prior to your departure. 

Step 3: Prepare your puppy for travel. Puppies in a soft carrier count as one of the allowed carry-ons on your flight. AARF has carriers, leashes, collars and toys, so everything needed for transport back to North America is available on-island.

Two volunteers transporting puppies back to the USA from Anguilla
A white puppy at AARF shelter in Anguilla

How do I get a puppy to me if I'm not on Anguilla?

We no longer facilitate courier services for international adoptions, however we recommend you contact an independent organisation to arrange your adoption.



You don't have to be a recognised breed to be special!

The truth is, Anguilla Dogs are rarely as obvious a cross as many mixed breed dogs are in North America. There are few traditional dog breeders on Anguilla, so purebred dogs on-island are imported. Because of the time and money it takes to purchase a purebred dog from abroad, rarely are they allowed to roam or become strays. Additionally, it is not common for purebred or directly achieved mixed breed dogs to be surrendered to the shelter.

The majority of our shelter dogs are the ubiquitous yard dog whose genetic origins remain a mystery. There are, however, theories about the breeds which were combined to create the first variations of what we now know as the Anguilla Dog. In order to shed some light on their possible kin, the history of Anguilla needs to be considered.

Originally known as Malliouhana, Anguilla was inhabited by the Arawaks who would have had their own dogs brought with them up the island chain in dugout canoes when they migrated from South America. Historically speaking, these were the first canines on Anguilla. When British colonizers arrived in 1650, they would have brought European dogs on their ships. These new dogs would intermingle with those which already lived on Anguilla, laying the foundation for the characteristics of the dogs we know today.

Some consider the 20th Century British Royal Monarchy and Queen Elizabeth's penchant for the Corgi as possible ancestors of the distinctive short-legged, barrel-chested Anguilla Long Dog. Others take into account the large shepherds or hounds that may have alighted various ships that came to port in Anguilla during maritime trade from other territories in the Americas.

Irrespective of its genetic origins, the Anguilla Dog is characteristically robust and good-natured. They have extroverted personalities, are quick learners, come in a variety of colours, and display resilience to many conditions. Typically, regardless of whether it is a Long Dog or a Standard Yard Dog, the Anguilla Dog has a lifespan of about 12-15 years once cared for properly.

A white Anguilla Long Dog puppy.


The identifiable short legs and disproportionately long body are common characteristics of this variation of Yard Dog. Long Dogs do not typically grow to be more than 12"-15" at the shoulder.

A black and brown Standard Anguilla Dog puppy


Pictured here is a puppy in a common yard dog colour combination. It is easy to note the longer legs and more porportionate body size characteristic of the Standard Yard Dog. This variation of Anguilla Dog typically grows to be between 18"-23" at the shoulder. 

A white and brown floppy-earred puppy


Most Yard Dogs have floppy ears. These can be petal-shaped like a hound or folded. 

A shaggy brindle dog poses on the beach


Some yard dogs are longer-haired than the more common flat-coat variety. These are distinguished by a fluffy feathered tail and tufts by the ears.

A black pointed-ear puppy


Some Yard Dogs can develop large ears which stand up off their head. The process begins occurring at around 9 weeks of age and can take about 6 weeks before the ears decide on their final state.

A short-tailed Anguilla Dog


Some Yard Dogs are born with naturally short tails. The genetic reason for this is unknown.


Bringing home a new dog or cat can be an adjustment.

Adding a new pet to your family should not be an impulse decision. Before bringing your adopted dog or cat home, make sure you have the necessary supplies like pet food, bowls, and toys. You will also need to ensure you have a safe designated space in your home for your new pet. For dogs, be sure to have a leash for walks. For cats, set up a litterbox in a specific area that is easily accessible to your new cat or kitten.  

Adopted puppies leaving the AARF Anguilla shelter

Consider the experience of coming home from the position of your new pet. They may be confused about the big changes happening and adjusting to life outside the shelter. 

Give your new pet about a week to adjust to their life with you outside of the shelter. During this period, your dog or cat will be learning their new home and your routine. If they are young, they can also be adjusting to missing their littermates.  Some animals may seem anxious during this time, but they are resilent and will adjust quickly once they start to feel comfortable. We love hearing stories about your Happy Tails, so be sure to share with us once you and your new puppy or kitten are a team.

A man takes home a brown puppy from AARF
Two tabby kittens at the AARF shelter

Make your pet's next vet appointment. We recommend making your new puppy's or kitten's next exam appointment with Morlens within the first week after adoption. You will need to confirm your pet's vaccine visits as well as their future spay/neuter surgery which will occure at 6 months of age. The team at Morlens is always ready to answer any questions you may have regarding your new pet's health. 

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