ViDAS volunteers spay and neuter dogs and cats at Playa del Carmen clinic. © IFAW/J. de la Torre PonceViDAS is a US non-profit that devotes their resources and efforts toward organizing spay and neuter events twice a year in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico.

Once a year they come to Playa del Carmen where IFAW has a partnership with a local organization called Coco’s Cat Rescue. Coco’s mission is to reduce the population of unwanted pets in Playa del Carmen.

When I moved to Playa del Carmen 4 years ago heard about this campaign for the first time, I wanted to help.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend at the last minute because I hurt my foot and had to walk with crutches for several days. I regretted having to miss the opportunity, as I had so many questions such as how they operated and whom they worked with in the States. In the upcoming years I was able to not only help but also to be part of the great team they have, get to know their medical protocols, and how they patiently – and with the greatest care – handled their patients.

Read more about our ongoing efforts to vaccinate and to rescue local dogs and cats in Playa del Carmen

Many people in the community know about this campaign and it is fantastic to know that people love their pets so much. They bring them from long distances to come to the clinic and improve the quality of life they can offer them by preventing unwanted births.

During this year’s campaign, one woman arrived at 5 am to ensure her dog would get spayed. She was very happy to no longer have to worry about her dog going into heat or having more litters of puppies that she could not care for.

This year the Lost Dog Foundation also donated ID tags that we used with the ID tag engraver machine that IFAW granted to Coco’s. We were able to sell 718 ID tags at low cost. Identification for companion animals is a fundamental part of engaging people in Adequate Guardianship. Lisa Edwards, the founder of the Lost Dog Foundation, helped every day.

Without her help, and that of many other volunteers, we could not have done it.

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IFAW’s local partner Coco’s Cat Rescue, offers low cost spay and neuter services to the community. Their 2 full time awesome Veterinary surgeons get around 15-20 animals sterilized every day.

In comparison with the big spay and neuter campaign, Coco’s gets around 3,600 animals spayed every year. This campaign allowed us to sterilize the number of animals Coco’s does in 5 months in just 6 days!

In the 5 years since Coco’s was created, they have spayed more than 11,000 animals.

All the local rescue groups are served by the clinic where they get free spay and neuter surgeries, so no animal gets adopted unaltered to reduce the number of animals born.

We are also working on how to prevent the cycle of abandonment, by strengthening the bond with the owners, and giving low cost services to anyone who finds an animal, so they can provide vaccinations and preventive care.

Coco’s Cat Rescue also provides free services for abandoned kittens in the community, helping rescuers to get them dewormed, vaccinated and sterilized before putting them up for adoption. Rescuers who get involved understand why we need to prevent unwanted births instead of just rescuing animals in need.

We need to break the vicious cycle of abandonment at all levels, improving Adequate Guardianship and teaching the community at all ages about lifetime commitment with their pets.

Coco’s also offers free surgeries to those community members who are unable to pay the low cost. They aim to help those that are in need, and bring awareness, outreach and education. We are working with them as well, to maximize their work so they are able to help more animals than ever before.

Last year, with your help IFAW was able to provide a van that is able to transport animals to the clinic and back home so that people who are restricted by transport are not left behind.

We now also have a full time Animal Welfare technician, Ulises, who is responsible for the pickups, outreach to the community, rescues, legal advice when cases of neglect or animal cruelty arise, adoptions and so much more!

Just during this 6 day campaign, Ulises transported 90 animals for sterilization using the van.

I want to thank the ViDAS team especially; to Dr. Ruth, thank you all for doing what you do and for going the extra mile.

Thank you Laura for creating Coco’s, for envisioning the clinic, so it could help the community and for your hard work every day.

Thank you Dr. Leti and the Municipality, because all the hard work made possible that 1,610 animals were safely sterilized in the 6 day campaign, and thanks to VIDAS and dozens of volunteers!

Thank you!

–EF

For more information about our efforts to protect cats dogs around the world, visit our campaign page.

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Article source: IFAW

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