The most successful ViDAS Clinic to Date

So after a hectic few days of dogs and cats being treated left, right and centre the clinic was over and packed up just as fast as it had arrived. After so much anticipation I still can’t believe it’s been and gone already.

Thanks to the work of the ViDas vets and all of the volunteers that offered their time to help out the clinic was the most successful one to date with a grand total of 1254 animals sterilized in 5 days!

Bring on ViDas Playa del Carmen 2014!!

ViDAS 3012 – Pt. 2

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Just a pile of puppies..

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and more puppies..

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and more..

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Loved this little scruffy guy..

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Coco was loving the drugs..

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ViDAS

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Keeping records of all the dogs operated!

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Not al the dogs liked waking up with no balls..

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No clinic is complete without the T-Shirt souvenir..

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By FAR one of my favourite dogs.. I named him Dave!

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A face full of wrinkles..

ViDAS 2013 – Pt. 1

Every year, around this time the wonderful people at ViDAS set up a clinic here in Playa Del Carmen for local people to bring their dogs and cats to be sterilized for free. ViDAS (Spanish for LIVES), is a non-profit organization made up of veterinarians, veterinary students and other animal lovers dedicated to improving the lives of animals and people through veterinary medicine and education. The clinic itself is set up in one of the many local schools and each of the classrooms is set up to form operating theatres and recovery rooms. All of the material, food, drink, medication and everything else used is donated by wonderful people both here in Mexico as well as around the world in order to make these clinics a complete success. I had the opportunity to help them out this year and it really is a wonderful experience seeing how so many people bring their pets to the clinic knowing that neutering them will give them a much better quality of life.

Street dogs here in Mexico are becoming an issue, mainly due to bad ownership. The saying “There is no such thing as a bad dog, just a bad owner” really does apply here. People love getting a cute little puppy but then it grows and they realize the full extent of the responsibility involved and the costs generated. This unfortunately leads to people abandoning their pets in the streets. Most of these animals are not sterilized so it’s like a vicious circle as more and more puppies are born on the streets everyday. I’ve written before about animal rescue refuges but they can only take in so many animals and do so much. The real issue that needs to be tackled is educating people into realizing that sterilizing their animals is the way forward. It is sad but a lot of people, mainly men, see neutering their dogs as a direct reflection of their own masculinity! Seriously people, cutting your dogs balls off does not make you less of a man!

The clinic really is a fantastic idea  and last year alone 1130 cats and dogs safely sterilized during the 6 day clinic in Playa del Carmen! There is still a few more days left of the Clinic here which I’ll be attending and I’m sure I’ll have a ton of new friends and fun stories to share at the end of it! The heat is overwhelming and everyone spends their days pulling out ticks and combating fleas but knowing that you are improving the animal’s way of life is reward enough. Just seeing the difference between how the animal comes in and how it leaves is priceless. There are several volunteers who also take it upon themselves to collect dogs and cats from the street to bring them in, some lucky ones are adopted there and then by other volunteers or taken back to the US and Canada in the hope of finding them a home there. Of course this is not the case for all the animals brought in, unfortunately some of them do have to be returned to the street but at least they go back clean, tick and flea free and sterilized

These photos were taken just during the first few hours of day one:

Even the smallest puppies were brought in to be sterilized.

Even the rain didn’t stop the people from coming to the clinic with their dogs and cats

Little Blackie right after surgery – a few minutes after this photo was taken she was running around again!

Two little ones waiting their turn

Volunteers taking care of the animals as they woke up from the anesthetic

Out for the count..

Just a small selection of the medication donated and used at the clinic

De-fleaing and de-ticking the animals while they were still out from the anesthetic

If you would like to make a donation to VIDAS to keep helping them do what they do you can just click the image below. Even the smallest amount can help:

A is for Animal Rescue

t’s April 1st and Day One of my A-Z blogging challenge. There are a million things that I could have written about my life starting with the letter A and then it dawned on me.. the one thing that matters most to me and that has affected my life here in Mexico in more ways than one, Animal Rescue.

Dogs were always my favourite animals, every birthday and christmas the first thing on my wishlist was a puppy however living in an apartment in the center of London wasn’t the ideal surrounding. Fast forward 20 years and I arrived in Mexico, living alone there was nobody to tell me that I couldn’t have as many dogs as I wanted. Just for the record, I now share my house with 7 rescued furbabies and whilst they make my life hell, I love them to bits and wouldn’t change them for the world.

The closest I’ve ever gotten to an actual ‘family’ photo

The reason I ended up with so many dogs is in part because I love them and would have more if I could but more so because they are all, with the exception of my golden lab, rescue dogs. Street dogs here in Mexico are a common site and whilst there are several refuges in this area alone they can’t cope with the amount of dogs (and cats) that are abandoned on a daily basis. One of the refuges that does an amazing job in this part of Mexico is ‘Tierra de Animales’ (Land of the Animales) They have over 200 dogs there and each and every one of them was rescued from the street. Most of them were picked up in horrific conditions due to malnutrition, abuse or disease. The team at Tierra de Animales, lead by Ricardo Pimentel, do an amazing job nursing the dogs back to health and finding them new homes either here in Mexico or even in the US and Canada. Cross border adoptions are so easy now days that personally I think every home should have their own Mexican Street Dog.

Ricardo and some of the dogs available for adoption at Tierra De Animales

One of the cases that I will never forget is Xolo, a dog that was practically dead when they rescued him. After a few months at TDA he slowly but surely started to recuperate.. He is now absolutely gorgeous and living in the US with his adopted family. He is the perfect case study to demonstrate that you never really know what a dog can become with the right care and attention.

The amazing recovery of Xolo

Tierra de Animales has only been open for 2 years and they have already rehomed hundreds of dogs that would never have had a chance in life and the most amazing part of all is that they operate purely on donations. They receive absolutely no government funding at all.

So if you’re thinking about getting a dog, why not consider a cross border adoption or even just donating to the cause.. you’ll be making 200 mexican doggies very happy! You can find out more about Tierra De Animales via their webpage:

www.tierradeanimales.org

or you can follow them on facebook and twitter:

www.facebook.com/tierradeanimales

www.twitter.com/tierradanimales