My wife Heather and I have been involved with the Jaltemba Bay Animal Rescue spay and neuter clinics since their inception in December 2006. To date, JBAR has worked on over 2,700 animals in the Jaltemba Bay area. We have volunteered with clinics in La Peñita, Los Ayala, Rincón de Guayabitos, San Pancho, Lo de Marcos, San Blas, and at the very first clinic held in Las Varas this past March. Many animals have passed through these various clinics, and we have seen everything from healthy family pets to some street animals who were literally on their last days.
I have seen a very encouraging change in the attitude of local Mexican pet owners. At the early clinics, we gathered many of the animals via “dog-napping” from streets in and around town. By spaying and neutering these owner-less street animals, it has greatly reduced the population of strays and the associated bugs and diseases they carry. After the first few clinics, locals became more comfortable with our service, and we began to see a stream of locals gathering at the clinic gates every morning. After a few years of this transition, we now see the majority of the animals brought to us by caring owners. Granted, we always have a few pet owners who do not have the ability to get to the clinic site, and this sometimes leads to a friend or neighbour arriving with an extra animal. Our group also has a few dedicated people who still go out to the streets to gather the street-strays, as these animals generally get very little positive human attention.
Every year, we get more local volunteers showing up to help at the clinics. Some locals don’t have the funds to pay for their animal care, though these folks are quite proud to help at the clinic. Others contribute by preparing meals. Once a local pineapple farmer dropped off a load of pineapples for the volunteers. It is also encouraging to see the donation jar have more pesos in it now that more owners bring in their pets, which didn’t seem the norm when a large number of the surgeries at a clinic were for street animals. That being said, donations of any sort are always necessary and welcome!
Quality care is evident by the overall health of the animals we now see; they have less ticks and fleas, less mange, and less skin-and-bones malnutrition cases.
For our Guayabitos street-rescue cat, Mayo, he has nicely transitioned from a starving kitten with flea and tick problems to a full grown cat with a great coat and happy disposition. He loves to play catch with his foam ball, and seems to think the most comfortable location for sleeping is in my shoes. “You’ve come a long way baby!”
About the Author: Rob Erickson tells us why he got involved in the spay and neuter clinics… “On my first trip to Mexico, as well as on the many trips that followed, I always came up with the same thought of “why would anyone treat an animal like that.” I soon learned it was generally neglect or lack of knowledge by the owners that led to the skin-and-bones or malnourished, diseased animals on the streets. Today, if someone says they are interested in seeing a few more local back-streets and want to help out with the spay neuter clinics, I just reply with “do I have a job for you!” There’s nothing like starting a new volunteer with street-napping or cage cleaning!”
To learn more about Jaltemba Bay Animal Rescue (JBAR), you can view their community webpage.