Lola and her puppies: a success for International Homeless Animals Day
In honor of International Homeless Animals Day this past Saturday, a day to draw attention to the problems that homeless dogs and cats around the world face...and in the spirit of responsibility that we as humans have to help - we give you an update on Lola, a dog who was found by a supermarket in Playa del Carmen, Mexico in April, about to give birth to a litter of puppies.
One of more than 3,000 cats and dogs that the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s (IFAW) local partner project, Coco’s Cat Rescue, has been able to help so far this year, Lola represents the plight of many homeless dogs.
Our volunteers had been keeping an eye on Lola for weeks after she’d given birth to nine puppies, but were unable to help her because she was extremely secretive about the location of her den. Eventually, she allowed herself and her then one-month-old puppies to be rescued by IFAW staff and volunteers.
She and her puppies were in need of urgent veterinary care and good food.
When the family was finally brought in, they all suffered severe skin disease, malnutrition and heavy parasite infestation.
Unfortunately, two of the puppies died in the process of treatment and rehoming.
A month later, the seven puppies were thriving in their foster homes and ready for Forever Homes.
Lola’s sweet disposition, adaptive personality and cleverness would have allowed her to do well as a street dog, particularly as she was now spayed and wouldn’t have to struggle to feed and care for litter after litter of puppies.
One of the persons who heard about the story on Facebook, Mariana, loved her so much that she decided to adopt her even before she had weaned her puppies.
After the puppies were on their way to their own new homes, Lola was able to settle in with Mariana and a new sister. The two have become fast friends, and are pictured below having a swim in the ocean together.
In many countries, roaming animals are not synonymous with homeless animals, since many dogs and cats who roam the streets are still cared and provided for by one or many guardians. Animals who do not have a guardian however, are in danger of not having their basic needs met. Because cats and dogs are domesticated companion animals, they are dependent on humans to have their basic needs met. Basic needs include adequate food and water, shelter, exercise and play, and veterinary care, and when they are not met, animals suffer.
Homelessness increases the risk that animals develop and spread certain diseases, including diseases that are dangerous to humans, like rabies. Without access to proper veterinary care and annual vaccinations, populations of homeless animals can become a reservoir for these diseases, and risk spreading them to pets with homes, local wildlife, and humans.
Through our work with people and companion animals around the world, IFAW strives to provide good guardianship for all animals, whether owned or not. We improve the relationships between people and their dogs or cats, help people to care well for their animals, and prevent the production of more homeless animals.
Stories like that of Lola and her puppies and the remarkable people who took them in inspire us all.
You can be an animal hero too. Please consider adopting your next pet from a local rescue shelter. And always spay and neuter your pets!