Spotlight Mexico: Coco’s Animal Welfare participates in Mi Amigo de la Calle festival

Lola was adopted at a previous event.Last month, IFAW and Coco’s Animal Welfare (previously Coco’s Cat Rescue) participated in a unique festival event called Mi Amigo de la Calle, or My Street Friend.

This event, the first of its kind, was much more than just a festival about street dogs. The featured activities focused on spreading knowledge about not only where those dogs on the street come from, but also adequate guardianship and proper care of dogs in peoples’ homes – a critical component in stopping the abandonment cycle.

The festival featured tons of activities for locals including informative talks, a small bazar, dog treat giveaways, art displays, and musical performances. Visitors were able to learn about everything dog-related from what makes a good dog owner, to how to walk dogs while riding a bike.

The goal of 1 ton of pet food was exceeded by an additional half ton, totaling 1.5 tons.The event also aimed to gather 1 ton of donated pet food to split between some local dog rescues and the Municipal Animal Welfare Center (CEBIAM). People were so committed to helping out that not only did they reach their goal of 1 ton, but they exceeded it by an additional half ton, totaling 1.5 tons of donated pet food for local rescue groups!

RELATED: Watch an overview of the Coco's Animal Welfare mobile clinic

Coco’s and IFAW participated in this event to explain to community members about the work we do, why we offer spay and neuter services, and our education efforts within Playa del Carmen. We also offered ID tag engraving.

Alongside an amazing team of talented people, we also put on a puppet show for kids to teach them about adequate guardianship and sterilization. Both funny and interactive, the puppet show features a young boy who learns all the lessons of good dog ownership – from the benefits of adoption to the cruelty of abandonment – when he decides to adopt a new best friend from a local shelter. The show culminates with strong messages of learning, forgiveness and second chances.

We placed a blank board with a cat and dog silhouette for people to write what dogs and cats need in order to be happy.

The word that we all agreed with is LOVE.

After all, as the Beatles used to sing, isn’t everything better with love?

Outreach material about our work was available throughout the event for people to read including information on adequate guardianship, why to spay and neuter your pets, how adoptions and foster homes work, and much more.

We even had a surprise visit from a few old friends, Tick and Lola, both of whom had been adopted at one of our previous events, Adopta un Amigo!

RELATED: Lola and her puppies: a success for International Homeless Animals Day

This event is just one example of the many efforts we have undertaken to employ outreach within the community in order to help stop the abandonment cycle and promote better care for the animals within Playa del Carmen.

It was a wonderful day – a festival completely devoted to good dog ownership, and a time for the community to embrace animal welfare as the common subject between them all.

With over 500 people of all ages in attendance, we are confident that animals are better understood each day in Playa del Carmen.

I want to thank the organizers Laura Rendón, Andrea Becerra and Barbara, who had this wonderful idea to benefit dogs – and people - and achieved this great accomplishment for the community!


For more information about our efforts in Mexico, visit our project page.

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