A group of grassroots animal activists in Puerto Escondido is conducting an online fundraising drive with the goal of reducing the number of street dogs.
On May 7, Puerto resident Nadja Ibarra published her story on the online crowd-funding site GoFundMe, where she describes herself as “an independent rescuer of dogs and cats.”
Since a young age, rescuing and caring for animals has been a passion of Ibarra’s. Three years ago she decided to start rescuing and rehabilitating dogs before putting them up for adoption.
On her fundraising page, she explains that she has found a lack of information, empathy, love and responsibility for domestic animals, and that, despite there being state laws that protect animals from abuse, “it has been difficult to enforce them” locally.
The two municipalities in which Puerto lies also lack the financial means to control the overpopulation of domestic animals, mainly dogs and cats.
While street dogs that frequent tourist hot spots might appear healthy and happy to visitors, Ibarra said that “the reality is that we have a very serious problem . . . an uncontrolled population of animals that live in very miserable conditions: starving, sick, mistreated, abused . . . waiting for death, or waiting for a miracle to happen and change their lives.”
The five dog shelters in town, she continued, can barely manage and “are always very saturated, because it is very hard to place dogs for responsible adoption, making it very difficult for shelters to receive more animals in emergency situations.”
Ibarra collaborates closely with one of those shelters, Alejandra Rescatando Callejeros Abandonados (Alejandra rescuing abandoned strays), or ARCA for short.
The shelter is managed by Alejandra López Agustín, “who has been rescuing many dogs and cats for more than 10 years, and has worked very hard to place the animals in incredible homes.”
Independent rescuers like Ibarra and ARCA more often than not have to cover all the medical and feeding expenses out of their own pocket, aided by “the donations that come to us from our friends or people who support our work.”
In order to keep street dogs from breeding and making this a never-ending issue, the activists decided to schedule spaying campaigns every two months, focusing on the most marginalized neighborhoods, “where people do not have access to information or low-cost sterilization of their pets.”
The plan is to start with 240 surgeries, divided between four campaign days in four different areas.
After tallying the expenses — which included flying two specialists in from Mexico City — Ibarra found that US $5,000 was needed to kickstart the spaying campaign, which is scheduled to start on June 8.
Initially, the crowd-funding campaign was posted with a $4,000 goal. On May 20, Ibarra increased the drive’s goal to $4,500 after finding a stray dog with a fractured leg that required surgery.
Of the $1,000 needed to care for the dog, Ibarra and ARCA hope to collect $500 from online donors, while the remaining funds will be raised through a raffle.
As of Saturday the campaign had raised $4,200 with over 95 donations. If their goal is surpassed, the surplus funds will be used to invest in a batch of vaccines to be administered to puppies and in flea and tick control medications.
The Help Dogs in Puerto Escondido to get spayed fund-raising campaign is still open for donations.
El Sol de Puerto