Friday, April 29, 2011

"Isla Animals" Dog Rescue Shelter

Nan walking George (out front) and Bruno on the beach in Isla MujeresLast week, before I arrived here in Isla Mujeres, Nan went over to the Playa Norte headquarters of Isla Animals, the local dog rescue shelter, to donate some leashes, collars and ointments she had brought down with her and to walk a few of the dogs. While there, she met the founder, Alison Sawyer Current, who coincidentally is also from Colorado and divides her time between the two places. She also met maintenance worker Marcelino and, of course, all the dogs. Each dog has its own sad story, like Rusty, a young mutt with a white heart-shaped patch on the top of his head. He was found in the Cancun dump, suffering from eye infections and weighing only five pounds. Now he is at a normal weight, healing, and playing non-stop with his dog buddies.

Nan had such a good time walking Bruno, George and Karen that she suggested we go walk them together. On Tuesday morning, volunteer Irene set us up to walk just Bruno and George, who had been neutered since his first walk with Nan. Both dogs are pit bulls with histories of fighting and abuse, but aside from their scars, you would never know it. Both are friendly, affectionate and good on a leash. Like all dogs, they respond to love with love of their own. We did a big beach loop with them and they had a great time, cavorting in the surf and chasing after sandpipers. When we dropped them off, George followed us to the gate like he wanted to go home with us and looked sad that we weren't taking him.

Adorable puppies ready to be adopted from Isla AnimalsWe went back again on Thursday morning. Irene told us that George had been taken to a shelter in Cancun to be adopted. It saddened us that we wouldn't see him again, but we were happy that he was going to a good home. Irene set us up with Bruno, her personal favorite, and with Sol, Alison's small, curly-haired, black and white dog. We did another big beach loop, with Bruno off the leash most of the time and Solly sniffing and marking the entire way. We were supposed to meet our friend Juan Torres at the shelter to help him pick out a puppy that morning, but he was tied up with business. He wants to give one to his son Joab for a birthday gift next month. There are three different litters of puppies, more than twenty in total, to choose from right now.

Unfortunately, there are more puppies born on Isla Mujeres than there are homes for them all. Isla Animals does what it can to make sure the puppies in their care get a healthy start at life, and each is neutered or spayed before adoption, but far too many dogs end up on the streets, where they are rounded up and electrocuted by the local government. To help prevent this inhumane treatment, Isla Animals conducts regular spay/neuter and pet care clinics all over this area of the Yucatan Peninsula. To learn more, or to make a donation, please visit the Isla Animals website. Thank you.

No comments: