A Stitch in Time
To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.
If you have lived or even visited San Felipe for any length of time you will have noticed changes in the landscape: more paved roads, the new Calamax, umpteen OXXOs, fewer stray dogs roaming the beachfront and streets of San Felipe. All of these improvements came at a price and at least two of them will only continue to exist if the ongoing cost is refurbished. Like road maintenance, care for the local animals is an ongoing expense. Going through town and laying blacktop is only good for a season or two. The rains will come, the traffic continues and the roadways wear and wash away time and again.
Spaying and neutering pets is much the same. It isn’t a do it once and it you don’t have to think about it again type of thing, at least when you are talking about other people’s dogs and cats. Each year thousands of the animals slip through the cracks and don’t get neutered or spayed. They breed and produce dozens, if those go on to breed you are looking at hundreds, then thousands of unwanted animals with no place to go.
When we lived up north we relied on our local government to take care of the problem animals. We paid our taxes and called the dog catcher if we saw one continually running loose in the neighborhood. The “Animal Control” people would pick it up and wait for the owners to come claim it. If they did, they would be required to provide proof of vaccinations and licensing and the the licensing fees would be higher if our pets were not sterilized so we had added incentive to spay or neuter our pet. If we adopted from the the local shelter, having the pet ‘fixed’ was a requirement. Here the system doesn’t quite work as well. There is little money allocated to animal control and round-ups generally only occur a few days before big tourist weekends. When they do the owners have a brief window of opportunity to redeem their wayward pet but often the fines or travel distance required to do this make redemption not possible so many animals are euthanized.
The V.I.V.A. (Volunteers for Indigent and Vulnerable Animals) volunteers are working against the flow trying to stop this progression. Although they do not have a RESCUE facility, they continue to take in litters of pups and kittens, often because they have no choice when the pups or pregnant mother is left anonymously on their doorsteps. They care for them until they can find homes or other adoptions centers who will take them. They care for wounded or abandoned pets that others shun. They feed the multitudes both in their homes, on cooperating ranches and on the streets. To do this they need hundreds of pounds of the food and monthly incur large veterinary bills to treat the sick and injured animals.
V.I.V.A does not just react to to problem though. They are highly proactive. Their main objective is to educate the local community about the need for animal population control through sterilization programs. They work diligently to put together low cost clinics where the families can bring the pets for spaying and neutering at a fraction of the normal cost. V.I.V.A works with veterinarians to get the lowest cost possible then subsidizes even that out their organization’s funds. To do this VIVA is implementing special fund raising events solely to fund SPAYING/ NEUTERING CLINICS like the recent casino event. Other annual events like the “Fish Fry” help pay for the medical, food and daily needs of those animals that have come into VIVA’s care.
One such Spay & Neuter Clinic is coming up: Joaquin Villasenor will come to San Felipe on THURSDAY, AUGUST 1st through SUNDAY, AUGUST 4th. Their goal is to spay 100 FEMALE dogs and cats (spay or neuter). They can only handle 25 surgeries each day so appointments are necessary. local Mexican owners will be asked to pay 100 pesos per animal and VIVA will cover the additional fee. Americans and other non Mexican owners will be asked to $18.00 per animal for the surgery.
APPOINTMENTS can be made at the SEGUNDA – Tuesday through Saturday 10-4PM or by calling Barbara Bagileo at 686 193-2167 or 707 280-6292. OTHER APPOINTMENT LOCATIONS WILL BE POSTED IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS, PLEASE CHECK VIVA WEB PAGE FOR DETAILS: www.myvivasf.com!
You can help by sharing this information with your neighbor and friends. You can also help by contributing to the work to help offset the cost. You can help by fostering or adopting. If you are interested go to the V.I.V.A. website or contact Barbara Bagileo.