Campaign in Playa del Carmen vaccinates more than one thousand community cats & dogs
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Mexico is a worldwide example that rabies eradication can happen only through massive free vaccination of dogs and cats. People in Mexico realize that part of being a responsible owner involves annual rabies vaccination.
IFAW and its partner Coco’s Cat Rescue have been working to improve animal welfare at Playa del Carmen working along with the municipality authorities. The last week of March, the National Rabies Vaccination Campaign took place in the State of Quintana Roo, IFAW and Coco’s team helped with a stand in two neighborhoods. From Saturday to Saturday many volunteers, Ulises and myself worked very hard to vaccinate 1,083 animals.
Whenever I get the chance of providing services whether they are spay and neutering, vaccinations, deworming or veterinary consult, I am so grateful to be able of having a glance of what the relationship between animals and their guardians is.
I had the opportunity of meeting 'Maxi', a pit bull mix who was wounded with a machete by a burglar who tried to break in the family’s house. They paid her back taking her to the veterinarian and of course treating the wound and giving her the medicines as well as lots of TLC.
People came in all means of transportation, bicycles, tricycles, scooters, cars and some walked large distances to arrive to the meeting point.
Roaming owned dogs are also a very frequent sight in our Playa community, so it is not strange to see a dog wearing a collar with no id tag but with a rabies tag that proudly indicates he has been rabies vaccinated.
There was also an elderly woman who had taken three of her dogs to be vaccinated already but didn’t take her elderly 16 years old Chihuahua until she was sure it was ok for him to be vaccinated at that age. You could see the bond within them just through the careful touch she handled him and held him with.
A short-legged dog whose name I cannot recall was taken to us by his owner, the woman was very protective about her dog and told me how he had been bitten by a bat several months ago. Bats as you know are animals that help with pollination of crops and are invaluable in what we eat every day, but they can also carry rabies and transmit it to the animals we come in contact with, through the vampire species.
Rabies can be prevented in animals only through preventive vaccination. The owner had taken him to the veterinarian due to a severe infection that the wound had caused, she showed me the scar that was left of it, she had no money at the time but asked for some help so her companion could be taken care of.
We had the chance to talk briefly with the owners and offer the low cost spay and neuter service we provide within the community so the pets they want can be properly taken care of.
In the end no matter what cultural background we have, the treating of our animals with kindness is what we and these owners strive for.
For more information about our efforts to protect cats & dogs around the world, visit our campaign page.