Thursday, March 18, 2010

Amigos de los Animales

Meet Edgar, an amazing Mexican guy who works at the animal shelter here in Mazatlan.  He and another fellow, Jaime, are employed by Amigos de los Animales, and every day they care for abandoned cats and dogs and try to find adoptive homes for them.  Sad to say there are many of these here--all with their own story.

Mexico's attitude toward animals is quite a ways behind ours north of the border.  Dogs and cats might be selected as cute presents and then basically ignored.  Perhaps they're fed but they usually live outside, sometimes on the roof, and rarely get any kind of training. Sometimes they're chained up in a garage.  Spaying and neutering is not the norm, so they continue to have puppies.  Eventually they may be abandoned to the street or brought into the shelter.

It's tough to change attitudes but this group works on that too. They have a program for school kids to come and work with the animals, they hold spay/neuter clinics, and produce educational materials.

We've been there several times now to take the dogs for a walk and I'm amazed at the number of dogs, puppies, and kittens that they're able to place.  Lots of puppies and kittens available now that spring's here--22 puppies as of today.

The older cats don't fare so well so they get spayed or neutered and then released back to the street.

Yesterday when Harry and I went by with some leashes and collars that Linette had brought down from Canada,  Edgar was taking this female border collie mix to the vet.  She's a sweetheart, about a year and a half old in treatment for tumor-like venereal disease.  Her last treatment was yesterday and now they're looking for a home for her. 

Another little dog was brought in by a woman who picked her up from the street as a little puppy a few months ago and now  wanted to trade it for one that's prettier.  Edgar received the pup and nicely told the woman that she couldn't have another dog with that attitude.  The dog is a busy little thing and super freiendly.  I'm sure she'll find a better home soon.

Edgar was telling us about picking up street dogs.  They used to do this but now they don't have the time.  It takes between one and three hours before a dog even if it's very hungry will come closer than five or six feet, even for food.  Sometimes they used to lope along behind the dog following it until it tired out or was cornered.  Now they get dogs that are picked up by the public and brought in.  The feral ones are gradually introduced to people and eventually can learn to walk on a leash.  These two are just about ready to be walked.

Edgar and Jaime do amazing work and they're supported by a group of three expat women who organize, raise funds, run a thrift shop, and also get in there and clean cages.Talk about putting effort into something worthwhile!

Here are just a few more of the dogs waiting for homes.  Which one would you take?


  1. joanna i'd take them all. . . . . steven

  2. Yes, Steven, I'd take them all in a flash as well. They are all lovely dogs. But two dogs is enough for me right now.


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