Mexico: clinic & mobile services bring education and aid

In 2007, IFAW formed a unique partnership with the Humane Society of Cozumel (HSC) to improve the lives of dogs, cats, and people on Cozumel Island, Mexico.

With IFAW’s support, HSC expanded its spay/neuter program, improved their veterinary protocols and policies, rescued sick and abandoned animals from the streets and the city dump, and lobbied for improved municipal regulations on animal control. Through continued efforts to promote adoption and responsible care of companion animals, dogs and cats are increasingly enjoying the status of valued community members.

Today, HSC is seen as a successful model of humane population management, animal care and awareness. IFAW’s support to the HSC successfully stopped in 2012 to focus on the city of Playa del Carmen.

Helping dogs, cats, and people in Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is one of the fastest growing cities in Latin American and the number of dogs and cats that roam the streets grows alongside the human population.

Although owners care for their dogs and cats, many lack money or transportation to access the resources necessary to treat them. Additionally, roaming animals that are either un-owned or abandoned suffer from untreated illnesses and injuries, and are left to scavenge for food and clean water.

To improve dog and cat care, prevent abandonment, and support humane dog and cat population management, IFAW is bringing together community stakeholders to address the root causes of animal suffering. Together, we are in an ongoing development of community specific strategies that include education, provision of veterinary care, research, outreach, and policy to improve the lives of dogs and cats.

In 2012, IFAW partnered with Coco’s Animal Welfare, which was the region’s only spay and neuter clinic, and was providing services in Playa del Carmen as well as neighboring communities. To aid in educational outreach, transportation of animals, emergency assistance, and to support spay/neuter campaigns, a mobile veterinary unit was purchased in early 2013.

Due to an increased demand on these type of services and the growth of the community, Coco’s Animal Welfare facilities became obsolete. In 2015, IFAW sponsored the building of a new state of the art clinic, with all the proper spaces and species requirements to provide a more efficient aid to the animals.

Since our partnership, Coco’s Animal Welfare and IFAW staff has provided aid to more than 27,000 animals and sterilized over 20,000.

Through ongoing education, outreach, research and veterinary care, IFAW’s work in Playa del Carmen continue to demonstrate successful, modern and humane methods of managing dog and cat populations.