This week we are going to show how dog houses protect Mexican pets that have a human family. Yes, I know what you’re all about to ask. Well, sadly, and for whatever reason, the canines are not allowed inside the home. And, as a result, they live mostly outdoors, often in deplorable conditions.

As you will soon see, our photos tell the stories of before and after. Furthermore, we learn first hand why one small volunteer organization based in Playa del Carmen is able to step in and help.

The Snoopi Project – Riviera Maya

“When we started in July 2015, our initial intention was to provide animals with a proper shelter. And, we also wanted to educate owners on responsible pet ownership and promote spay/neuter,” explains Kelly Whittemore, Founder and Director of The Snoopi Project. 

Master carpenter Alonso Roda and his latest dog house, finished just in time for Christmas

Dog Houses Shelter Mexico’s Pets

In order to assist pet owners struggling financially, this organization donates dog houses for pets that are kept outside. These items are made locally out of recycled wooden pallets from nearby businesses. The objective is to protect the dogs from the tropical weather conditions prevalent in Quintana Roo state, on the Riviera Maya. That way, they are sheltered from the blistering sun and torrential rain that is typical during the summer hurricane season. 

Interestingly she is originally from California and worked as a veterinary assistant in North Carolina before settling in south-east Mexico. She then explained that The Snoopi Project pays a carpenter, by the name of Alonso Roda, for his work. With the extra money he earns on top of his full-time job, he can provide a better life for his family. 

Small Helps In A Big Way

As you have just seen, patience and dedication are what it takes to achieve meaningful results. And, this is a really good example of how small can help in a big way. The first dog house was delivered in July 2015. Now, the total count up to end December 2018 stands at 596. And, don’t forget, the work was done by just one carpenter, in his free time. Way to go! What an amazing achievement! 

Scouting Low-Income Neighborhoods

When I asked Whittemore how they hear about pet guardians who need help, she explained that residents and volunteers alert her. However, in addition to that, Kelly and her friend and helper, Stephanie La, constantly drive around poor neighborhoods. They look for outside pets in precarious situations and check on their welfare. She even laughed about the fact that residents are a little shocked to see them in their Snoopi Wagon. The fact is “most times people think we must have taken a wrong turn.” 

Whittemore also commented that most people are very grateful and appreciate the help. “The Mexican community has, honestly, been very open. We have met a lot of wonderful people.”

Dog Houses Can Protect Mexican Pets, Donations Are Key

The reason that The Snoopi Project is able to do its work is due entirely to the donations it receives. And, although providing dog houses to protect vulnerable Mexican pets is the principle objective, that is not all they do. Here are some examples.

  • Each family that receives a dog house is also gifted de-parasite medication and flea/tick protection for 30 days, for all dogs on the property.
  • Needy pets receive food and water bowls, collars with personalized ID tags, and toys, as well as supplies of dry food.
  • Help is provided so that pets can be sterilized.
  • While out on the streets, if they see an extreme case where an animal is injured, sick, abused or abandoned, they will take action. It’s important to note, however, that The Snoopi Project is not a shelter. All animals they rescue are either fostered or taken to a private boarding facility.

To Sum Up

Here are some of the people who deserve credit for the efforts described in this week’s blog. They are Mexico’s outdoor dog heroes. However, there are many more people who care about the wellbeing of these sentient beings. And, without any doubt, they are all trying to help these innocent animals who lack adequate care and protection. Thank you for what you do!

  • Kelly Whittemore and Stephanie La
  • Alonso Roda
  • All the volunteers, fundraisers, and those who donate to the cause

Follow them on Facebook: 

To donate you can do so via PayPal to

Please be sure to follow me next week. We’ll be staying in Playa del Carmen to visit a veterinary hospital to discuss injuries, disease and preventio. It will also feature the challenging medical case of tiny patient, Chanel, seen here in the arms of Kelly Whittemore.

The Snoopi Project founder, Kelly Whittemore, takes rescue pup Chanel to the vet for more tests
The Snoopi Project founder, Kelly Whittemore, takes rescue pup Chanel to the vet for more tests

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!  

The Complete Series

In case you missed any of the other articles in this series of six, here’s your chance to catch up now.







  1. Thank you for the excellent article. I have been following the Snoopi Project for a couple of years. It was nice to see the photo of Mr. Roda, and I didn’t realize that the houses were made from recycled pallets.

    It’s a good group to make a donation to in honor of, or in memorial for someone. The house makes a little more visible and substantial honor than just a money donation to a charitable organization – you get the photos of the family, the dog, and the new house. 🙂 (speaking as someone who donated a house to memorialize a friend’s deceased dog).

    Thank you for covering this very worth group. btw, I also had not to my knowledge seen a photo of Ms Whittemore.

  2. Kelly and crew DOA fantastic job of providing a much needed gap in the animal welfare world — improving the dogs who have a family but need assistance in making their lives better. This is a great option than attempting to re-home the many dogs who would otherwise be removed or abandoned by owners. The rescue world will always have many dogs that need new homes, but it’s incredible to provide this gap for the many other dogs in need. Thanks for your wonderful work!

    1. I couldn’t agree more. It makes total sense to keep a dog with a family and improve its living conditions. Fewer dogs on the streets that are forced to struggle to survive. Thanks for writing.

  3. Gracias por darle techo y ayuda a los perritos desprotegidos. Cuenten siempre con nosotras y nuestra pequeña contribución.

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