Playa Del Carmen Community Animals ProjectLeadership saves animal lives in the streets of Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen, Mexico is one of the fastest growing multicultural cities in Latin America. With a dense human and animal population, IFAW and partners are adhering to strict social distancing protocols to limit the spread of the COVID-19 while still providing lifesaving care the community depends on.
Since IFAW partnered with Coco’s Animal Welfare in 2012, and sponsored the construction of a new clinic in 2015, we’ve been able to help 10,000+ animals a year. IFAW veterinarian Dr. Erika Flores has been working with the medical director at Coco’s to provide critical care to both people and animals in a community very hard hit by both the pandemic and loss of tourism.
While Coco’s Animal Welfare is closed to the public, it is still open for emergencies and priority appointments that include lifesaving surgeries, neonatal care and pediatric patients (bottle feeding kittens and puppies). To prevent abandonment of beloved animals, our clinic is also providing free health certificates and transport carriers if families need to travel.
IFAW teams are also focused on feeding the community in a time when resources are scarce. When delivering critical food and medicine to the Mayan community of Nuevo Durango, our team met a dog named Moana who was hit by a car and in desperate need of surgery. Moana needed one of her legs amputated to save her life and allow her to return to her family. The good news is that she had a successful surgery and is having a happy recovery at Dr. Erika Flores’ home.
Members of the community are stretched so thin, yet they continue to care for their animals and each other. Just last week, a man reached out to us at the clinic about his neighbor, an elderly gentleman with mobility issues who was too humble to reach out himself. He had been sharing food from his own modest rations with a stray cat who had been visiting him. A few days ago, the cat came unexpectedly and gave birth to a litter of kittens in the man’s bedroom —an act that shows the animal truly trusted the man. IFAW and our partners added the man to our list and now bring him a daily delivery of food. We’re also happy to share that the man’s caring neighbor carried on the act of kindness by adopting the mother and her kittens.
In addition to providing pet food for distribution through elderly care meal programs, we are adding new distribution points to drop food for dogs, cats, chickens, pigs and rabbits each week. We are met with tremendous gratitude and will continue to listen to the needs of the community and work alongside them to help both animals and people thrive.