Animal Well-being

Organizations that help provide population control and shelter for abandoned or lost domesticated animals.

No Stranger to Suffering

1

Virgil

Being myself no stranger to suffering, I have learned to relieve the sufferings of others.

Many of us may have lived charmed lives and never faced real hardships or suffering. We might have gone through a few rough patches when we were unemployed (and collecting unemployment benefits) or just starting out on our own. We may know the pinch of getting by on less since retirement. Some of us may even qualify for that “negative income” tax break but not many of us in the “gringo” community know what it is like to experience real hunger or exposure to the elements. Yet, when we see pictures of ramshackle shelters and children in tattered clothing our hearts are touched and we do one of two things. We quickly flip to another page to find something more uplifting to focus on or we reach for our checkbook.

The dog days of the summer are upon us and yet there are at least two more months before most of us will return to the beaches of San Felipe. Those still there are struggling to get through and survive. Two organizations in particular are trying to help them through. Volunteers Without Limits continues to distribute food, diapers and nutritional supplements to those in most dire need. V.I.V.A. volunteers work diligently to find homes for abandoned animals but in the mean time must provide food and shelter for them. They also work non-stop to make spaying and neutering available to all.

How much they can do depends on you. Will you click off to something more pleasant or will you click through to their websites and to make a small donation? If you have ever know suffering in your own life you will likely be moved to help. If you have not, you have this opportunity to be grateful for your blessings and take time to pass some on to someone else.

The choice is yours.

Click on Vegas's picture to contribute to Volunteers for Indigent and Vulnerable Animals (V.I.V.A.)

Click on Vegas’s picture to contribute to V.I.V.A.

Click here to contribute for food, nutritional supplements and medical travel expenses - VSL

Click here to contribute for food, nutritional supplements and medical travel expenses – Volunteers Without Limits (VSL)

 

 

A Stitch in Time

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Mother Teresa

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.

Russo was dropped off at the vets after he was seriously injured by a car.  V.I.V.A. helped him back to good health and Chuck & I adopted him from one the foster homes.

Russo was dropped off at the vets after he was seriously injured by a car. V.I.V.A. helped him back to good health and Chuck & I adopted him from one the foster homes.

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.

Missy was abandoned on our street when her master left town to find work.  She was pregnant at the time.  V.I.V.A. volunteers took her at the time of her delivery in August summer before last on one of the hottest days of the year.  She birthed 11 pups, on 3 survived (the fathers appeared to be very large pit bulls).  Her pups were ferried up to the states to find good homes.  Missy was just recently adopted too.

Missy was abandoned on our street when her master left town to find work. She was pregnant at the time. V.I.V.A. volunteers took her in at the time of her delivery- in August on one of the hottest days of the year. She birthed 11 pups, only 3 survived (the fathers appeared to be very large pit bulls). Her pups were ferried up to the states to find good homes. Missy was just recently adopted too.

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.

 

Are We Responsible or Not?

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James Baldwin

We are responsible for the world in which we find ourselves, if only because we are the only sentient force which can change it.

Daniel Quinn

“You are the teacher?” he asks incredulously. “I am the teacher,” the gorilla replies.

One thing we have in common with our local neighbors is our affinity to having a dog or cat around the house. This may be motivated by numerous emotions; our desire for companionship or need for security or our need to come home to a warm welcome. These feelings don’t change with our economic status but our ability to care for that pet may. If we are struggling to put food on the table for our family we aren’t going to selecting a dog food based on its corn content or the location of the plant where it was manufactured. Not everyone has the luxury to be so choosey. Yet poverty doesn’t eliminate their need to sleep soundly knowing that their trusted guard dog will ward off any intruder or at least wake them if there is a danger. It doesn’t lessen the joy that their children experience when the family pet rolls around on the ground with them. Pets are one of those common needs that are shared by the wealthiest and the poorest among us.

Oops pups 2 leftHowever, impoverished or a even moderately funded family may face an economic crisis when faced with the cost of having that pet neutered and providing vaccines against life threatening deceases. In fact, many of us cringe at the cost of flea and tick treatments.  Keeping this pet contained and off the street can also be a financial challenge. Fencing materials, hardware and tools don’t just grow on trees.

So what happens when there is no money for these things? Animals are left to fend for themselves, foraging for food in the neighbors trash, roaming the streets in search of water or shade, left on their own to breed when the season is upon them without regard to how the pups will be fed and sheltered. The result is we no longer have one dog wandering about, we have a half dozen, then several dozen, and if left unheeded hundreds. The problem is no longer “how do we find a home for a few pups or kittens” but what do we do with 200 unwanted animals.

Carole and Missy's pups

Carole and Missy’s pups

The Volunteers for Indigent and Vulnerable Animals (commonly known as San Felipe’s VIVA group) are as compassionate group of individuals as you will ever meet. Many, like Carole Kingaby, have opened their homes to as many animals in need as they can get away with keeping. At the risk of irritating their neighbors or harassment from campo management, they take in the battered and starving strays, bathe them and medicate them, transport them to the clinic for spaying or neutering and foster them for extended periods until responsible homes can be found for them. Some like Bill and Marina Shelton make long costly journeys north with their vehicle loaded to the brim with puppies, heading for greener pastures up north. VIVA works with agencies in the States to relocate the pups until they can find forever homes and some of the older, less adoptable ones are sent to no-kill shelters when room is found.

Vet 1Why all this fuss and expense?

If you ask that question, you probably have never known the love a faithful pet or the loyalty of rescued dog. Let’s just say, they do it because they can and because they can, they believe they are responsible to do so.  

What about you?  CAN you help?  Click here to see how.

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