CANDi, Cats and Dogs International, is honored to have received ACTA’s endorsement and support for the humane treatment of animals at tourist destinations.
“We are proud to have ACTA on board in promoting our message,” says CANDi founder and President, Darci Galati. “We also feel extremely privileged to have ACTA’s President and COO, David McCaig, on CANDi’s Advisory Board to help bridge the gap between the travel industry and tourists wanting to help stray animals abroad. Our goal is to see the travel industry embrace the humane treatment of animals as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility policies.”
CANDi's programs bring spay/neuter clinics to local communities, enable resort-based facilities to become safe havens for stray cats through CANDi’s Cat Café program, and assist with transporting rescued strays that have been adopted into loving homes in Canada and the United States. CANDi is the only animal welfare organization that partners with the travel industry to offer a unique approach to addressing the complex problem of stray cats and dogs abroad.
Galati developed CANDi’s humane business model as a tourist after discovering that stray animals are rounded up in mass to be killed, or “culled”, outside of local resorts before peak travel season. These culls are inhumane and ineffective.
One of CANDi’s unique offerings is the Make a Difference Program which is a simple and effective way of empowering hotels to create a positive impact in their local communities. CANDi can work with travel companies to implement this program. Participating hotels invite guests to add $1 (or the local currency equivalent), to their bill upon checkout. The money raised will go back to support animals in the community through free spay/neuter programs. This donation helps CANDi provide services in the local community, including:
• Free spay/neuter and other veterinary services to low-income families in the resort’s outlying neighborhood for both stray and owned animals.
• Sterilization and education programs to humanely and ethically reduce the stray animal population.
• Implementation of the Cat Café program with the local animal advocacy group and CANDi partner at the hotel to curb the stray cat population.
• Continuing education and training of hotel staff in best practices when dealing with stray animals in and around resort grounds.
RIU Hotels and Resorts has already implemented CANDi’s Cat Café program at select resort destinations, with more to follow in the upcoming year. In this video, Sarah Martinache, Director of Partner Marketing & Sales Development, USA & Canada, discusses RIU’s partnership with CANDi:
CANDi is continuing to reach out to tourists and the travel industry to encourage hotels to adopt humane programs such as the Cat Café and Make a Difference programs as part of their CSR policies, much like green and sustainable practices have been widely embraced by the travel industry.
“When major travel companies and airlines support the humane treatment of animals through our programs, CANDi can then continue to establish a common standard in the travel industry,” says Galati. “That is our vision, to have humane treatment of animals as a guaranteed policy at all resort destinations. With ACTA’s support, we are confident we can spread this message.”
CANDi’s next bi-annual clinic takes place in Cancun, Mexico December 1 through December 5, with a team of volunteer veterinarians and staff. More than 10,000 stray cats and dogs have been spayed and neutered at these clinics since CANDi began in 2006.
To learn more about CANDi’s programs and to share stories about stray and neglected animals at tourist destinations, please visit our forum at: www.candiinternational.org.