Cozumel Update: From “Dump Dogs” to Lucky Dogs

I met Zacatecas and Osita in March 2007, when I was visiting Cozumel’s municipal dump for the first time. The scenario at the dump was gruesome: skinny dogs fighting with vultures for a piece of rotten food, flies and pestilence everywhere. Fortunately a group of kind men who also lived at the dump took care of the dogs in the way they could and with their little resources.

But after a new company took over dump they evicted all of the animals – 13 dogs and six cats – and their loving caretaker, Gabacho. For some of these animals, the dump was all they had ever known and they had lived there since birth – for as long as nine years. Forced to separate from both their human and animal families, they had nowhere to go.  These were “the dump dogs of Cozumel” and I’m sure you remember their story.

Zacatecas and Osita were two of this crew of “dump dogs” who’d fallen on hard times, but when IFAW stepped in to ensure that all of the animals had a place with our partners at the Humane Society of Cozumel (HSC), their lives changed forever. When Zacatecas and Osita arrived at HSC they were in pretty bad condition. One had heart worm disease and the other had venereal tumors and infections in both eyes. But they had sweet personalities that immediately won the hearts of HSC’s staff and volunteers, and in time they were nursed back to health.

Gina and Cindy were on vacation in Cozumel when they stopped in to HSC and met Zacatecas and Osita.  Needless to say, they fell in love, and within just a few days we were making plans for their travels to the United States. Now these beautiful girls live in Nebraska and have started a brand new life, a life without having to fight for food or shelter, a life in which the most important thing to do will be to simply enjoy their new loving family.

And as much as Zacatecas and Osita are lucky to have Gina and Cindy, it seems that their adopters feel like the lucky ones!  In a recent e-mail they wrote - “When we decided to adopt a dog in Cozumel, all our friends thought we were crazy. As it turns out, we adopted 2! A mother and daughter! Through the process of it all we really felt like it was something we were supposed todo. After having the dogs and being a family we understand now that it was a situation that was meant to be. These 2 dogs have brought so much joy to our
lives. The love that we share is so powerful. It sounds funny but it is true. Zacs and Osita are the best things that have happened to us. And we thank the Cozumel Humane Society and IFAW for helping to make it all
possible and for all the wonderful work you do to rescue these animals.

It has been a privilege watching the happy ending story of these two very special dogs, and I want to send a special thank you to our donors for making this rescue possible. It was through your generosity that we were able to provide veterinary care and treatment to this mother and daughter pair, as well as the other rescued dogs.

For more information on IFAW efforts to help companion animals around the world, visit

Comments: 3

6 years ago

[...] Friday was a great day in Cozumel! We woke early to prepare the seven remaining female “dump dogs” for a very big trip.  Their journey began last summer when they were rescued from Cozumel’s [...]

6 years ago

Hi Latina, we are checking what might happened, but you can try again, comments are always welcome!

7 years ago

I typed a very specific response to this entry but for some reason the blog ate the whole thing. You might want to think about a new provider that is more accountable.

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