SPA Dogs to D.C.—Another Successful Mission!

SPA Dogs to D.C.—Another Successful Mission!

By Megan Gabel


In 2018, dog adoptions at the SPA had decreased dramatically. Cages were full and reserved isolation cages were used to help with the overflow. This began to change in 2019 when the SPA ( and our wonderful volunteer Tammy Belden partnered in a project called “SPA Dogs to DC.” The goal: transport SPA dogs to the United States to find them homes and use the freed space at the SPA to help more dogs. 


In August 2020, Tammy made her fourth trip to Washington, D.C, bringing six SPA dogs (Gema, Missy, Lani, Sam, Bailey, and Mitzy). In less than a week after they arrived, Tammy had found all of them loving homes! Gema had been fostered for several months before the trip, which opened a whole new world to her and transformed her from a wallflower to a viable adoption candidate. Young Missy joined Gema in her foster home and they both blossomed. As hoped, mother and daughter Bailey and Mitzy were adopted together. No one had expressed an interest in Lani at the SPA, but Tammy had a waiting list for her in the States. Shy Sam landed in a great home with patient owners.


Tammy has now successfully placed twenty-two SPA dogs, not including the four puppies she made it possible to get to Canada for adoption, or long-time resident Buddy, who is now in Indiana with his new owner. As a result, the SPA has been able to take dogs in from our waiting list and also save dogs likely doomed to die at Ecologia, San Miguel’s kill pound. 


We are very grateful to Tammy and our SPA employees, volunteers, supporters, donors, benefactors, and our dogs’ amazing foster families, all of whom worked together to make this joint effort a wonderful and gratifying success! We are already plotting our next trip. In the meantime, all our dogs are available for adoption. Check them out here: