What’s next, Doggie Day Care? Just kidding, but our dog and cat rescue operation has greatly expanded, so we are looking for visiting vets to volunteer their time to help spay and neuter our rescues (learn more below).

Hilltop Refugio Updates

Refugio Horse Rescue and Education

One of our founding members, Donna Brownfield, was here this month. She worked with several of the rescue horses who were developing bad habits. It was good to see her. Our Junior Trainers continue their education, setting the example for local owners.


Every time this author leaves town and returns, major construction has taken place! The latest includes:

  1. Gate at the end of the indoor arena so the horses are blocked from getting out the back and can exercise inside during the rainy season;
  2. Rails at the back of the stalls to keep other animals out, like the steers and local horses who visit regularly;
  3. Gates to lock in the area behind the stalls to prevent the horses from getting out;
  4. Expansion of the children’s area to accommodate more children on Wednesday’s during our Therapeutic Horseback Riding;
  5. Roofing over the expanded children’s area, and last;
  6. An entirely new dog area has also been constructed, which will be explained below under “Dog/Cat Rescue and Fostering.”

JEEP March Gate
New arena gate

JEEP March Back Fence
New back fence

JEEP March Visitors
Some of our frequent visitors

Therapeutic Horseback Riding

The therapeutic horseback riding sessions at Hilltop Refugio have been temporarily suspended due to the Semana Santa holiday to determine if we have enough volunteers still here to offer a safe experience for the children. The season has been highly successful, with ongoing testimony from parents, teachers and caregivers as to the life-changing experience it has been for many of the special needs children.

Dog/Cat Rescue, Fostering & Adoption

This has been an even bigger month than last month for rescues and adoption. The local need is tremendous, based upon the number of rescues and requests for help. George Leavitt and Ron Nicholls continue to oversee this activity. Due to the expanding need, we have built yet another kennel, this time two large kennels for multiple dogs. We recently acquired four puppies (from the same litter) and two adult dogs that were rescued from the street.

JEEP March Dogs
We are a family of four, but you can only see three in this photo. Won’t you adopt us! / (top photo) I’m a cutie and I need a family, too.

JEEP March Kennels
Our new dog kennel is shown on the right. 

The goal of our expanded efforts is to get homeless dogs off the streets, stabilized them health wise, spay/neuter them as needed, and then adopt them out to either local families or visitors returning to Canada or the United States. In the interim while stabilizing them, we foster them in our kennels. In the near future, the space between the two dog kennels (shown above), will be an area for spaying and neutering.


We need vets or vets assistants visiting the area or willing to come to Mexico to volunteer for spaying and neutering, as well as other health needs for our rescue dogs and cats. Come enjoy Mexico, while volunteering your time for a great cause! You can learn more about the Jaltemba Bay area on JaltembaBayLife.com.


Monetary Donations:

George and Loretta Leavitt:

  • Construction: ____________
  • Personnel: $450 USD
  • Boarding Income: 3 horses = $300 USD

Other Monetary:

  • Greg and Madeline Bennett Family Foundation: $200 USD
  • Donna Brownfield: $25 USD
  • Anonymous: $1,000 pesos
  • Cinnamon and Erik Dagsvik: 3 bags of dog food

by Valerie Bennett-Naquin

About Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.): Jaltemba Equine Education Project was established in December 2012 by George & Loretta Leavitt to help large animals like horses, donkeys and mules who are ill, malnourished or being mistreated in Jaltemba Bay, Nayarit, Mexico. To learn more or to make a one-time gift or recurring donation, visit Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.)

Your donations will help J.E.E.P. buy food, shelter, medication and the equipment necessary to care for the rescue horses, as well as complete the Hilltop Refugio. Remember, donations of tack and gear, both new and used are always needed and much appreciated.