Hundreds of cats, dogs treated in first month at new Playa del Carmen clinic

Cocos first month

On the very first day there were only 10 patients for spay and neuter surgery, a very low number for what the staff is used to at Coco’s Animal Welfare, IFAW’s partner clinic in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Since that day the docket has been more than full, with an average of 25 surgeries a day, plus up to eight consults and whatever else comes through the door. That first Saturday they performed 40 surgeries.

The demand is so high that we have been fully booked for weeks. And the requests don´t stop.

On the clinic’s opening day, there was a report of a dog being hit by a car. A small schnauzer mix was left behind when her family moved. She had been foraging for food when she got hurt, and she needed urgent medical attention. She eventually had to undergo surgery to remove her eye. Afterwards, she was fostered by Roz, a great volunteer who devotes her retirement time to bottle feeding kittens and assisting whoever needs it. The schnauzer “Poppet” is much better now, and she enjoys playing with another of Roz’s fosters.

A mama dog “Tammy” and her puppy “Roy” were also admitted that first day, and they have been getting the nutrition and the shelter they so desperately needed. It’s adorable watching Roy learn to work his tiny legs.

READ: Grand opening for Playa del Carmen animal clinic

The new clinic’s facilities allow staff and volunteers to attend to walk-ins. The consultations are devoted only to recently rescued dogs and cats.

Coco´s intention is to empower individuals who come across animals in need by sterilizing and treating them before they find permanent homes.

Since the dog program first opened in November of 2013, 491 dogs have been helped through low-cost consultations, preventive medicine services and free sterilization (yes, free!). With the new clinic we believe we will be able to assist so many more rescued animals.

Another cute puppy was found in an empty lot by a family that was thinking about adopting a dog. Thanks to the Rescued Dog Program, they will be able to get her healthy and spay her at a very low cost compared to what it would have cost in a private clinic.

At the old clinic, the consultation room where these animals were seen was also the laboratory, the staff room and a room where medical supplies were kept—tiny and crowded.

Now, Coco’s staff can conduct two consults at a time, in separate rooms, while others can actually have lunch in a room of their own when their much needed break comes.


Learn more about our work with companion animals by visiting our campaign page.

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Senior Program Advisor
Senior Program Advisor
Brian Sharp, Emergency Relief Officer, Stranding Coordinator
Manager, Marine Mammal Rescue and Research
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
IFAW Veterinarian
Katie Moore, Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Loïs Lelanchon, Animal Rescue Program Officer
Animal Rescue Program Officer
Shannon Walajtys
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Consulting Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy