PART 5 IN THE SERIES “MEXICO’S STREET DOG HEROES”
She Came South, They Went North
There’s nobody better to talk to when it comes to why and how Canadians adopt homeless Mexican puppies. She is a Toronto native, potter by profession, who decided to settle near Cancún, on Isla Mujeres, after vacationing there. And because she was so affected by the plight of street dogs on the island, she knew she had to do something about it.
“We specialize in puppies,” states Alison Sawyer, founder and operator of Isla Animals, a non-profit with its own shelter.
What Isla Animals Does
Sawyer’s partner Trina, and Anna, who is the adoption/transport coordinator, are the only two constant volunteers, while others come and go. In addition, there is a staff of four women who clean and watch over the rescue. Here are the details of why and how the compassionate people mentioned here do what they do.
HOW ISLA ANIMALS TACKLES THE ISSUES
In just a moment we’ll discuss flight arrangements for Mexican homeless dogs Canada-bound. However, let’s first take a look at the underlying factors that give rise to the need to do this advocacy work in the first place.
As a result of hard work over a period of 16 years, the feral and street dog population on the island is mostly solved. However, efforts now focus on owners who allow their dogs to wander the streets.
But there is another side to this story as Sawyer explains. “Last July I took with me to Toronto a dog we named Olive. She was in a group of five, two adult dogs and three puppies. We think that they were dumped here from Cancún. This happens all the time. People can’t help a dog but want it in a safer place, where there is less traffic.” She added that, sadly, one of the adults and a pup were in such bad shape they didn’t make it.
Spay And Neuter
Like everyone else I have spoken to when gathering information for this series of blogs, sterilization is the top priority of animal rescue groups. “The best way to solve dog overpopulation is to prevent them from being born in the first place. But, as part of that, we also never leave a puppy on the streets,” Sawyer emphasizes.
In 2016, Isla Animals performed free surgeries on 1,784 cats and dogs, and 1,766 in 2017. As the above table shows, the 2018 number was 2,028. This is nearly a 15 percent increase over the previous year and shows the determination to reach more towns and neighborhoods in the future.
Sheltering And Fostering
Fortunately, Isla Animals enjoys a very good relationship with the current local government, which provides the location where their rescue shelter is located. Sawyer comments that they have fosters who take in puppies until they have been vaccinated. And, since the shelter is not set up for large dogs, they are able to care for more smaller-sized animals.
Working closely with other reputable rescue organizations is extremely beneficial. Isla Animals is able to trade rides for adopted and rescued animals, and also exchange dogs for puppies which, as we already know, is what they specialize in.
And, this brings us to their partnership with Lost Dog Foundation, which I happened to mention in my previous blog. A great part of their work focuses on facilitating the journey of Mexican homeless dogs Canada-bound and US-bound. Pups that will be flying either directly to their waiting adoptive family or to temporary foster families.
FLYING DOGS FROM MEXICO TO THE USA AND CANADA
So, now we come to a segment that is designed to help Americans and Canadians adopt homeless Mexican puppies.
These are people who are visiting Mexico, or planning to make a trip there from either the USA or Canada. For them the vacation may not only encompass the activities that tourists typically do. Quite possibly they will want to fly back home with a dog or a puppy from Mexico. The guide below is a basic must-do check list of what they need to do before they consider importing a pet.
Let me add that Canadian and US residents do realize that many dogs in their own countries are waiting to be placed in a forever home. However, they are also aware that opportunities for adult dogs and puppies to find loving homes are far more limited in Mexico. For this reason, and when the opportunity presents itself, they willingly go through the process to take a homeless pup back with them.
Rules, Regulations And Recommendations
Here is the information that Isla Animals gives out to potential adopters.
First you need to make sure that your airline will take pets, either in with the luggage or inside the cabin, depending on the size of the animal.
Then you have to find a vet who will vaccinate your dog for canine parvovirus, distemper and rabies, as well as make you a health certificate for Customs.
Your dog needs to have had its rabies shot one month before departure.
The dog also has to look health. If it has a lot of skin issues, they won’t let it in.
You will need a carrier, either a hard one for the cargo hold, or a soft one for inside the plane. It has to be the kind that the airline accepts. If you are buying one it will usually say if it’s airline approved
Be sure to make a reservation with your airline ahead of time.
Also make sure that whatever transportation you arrange to get to the airport will allow animals in their vans or taxis.
Follow Isla Animals on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IslaAnimals
To make a donation, please email:
To Sum Up
Here are some of the people who deserve credit for the efforts described in this week’s blog. They are the heroes. Thank you for what you do!
- Isla Animals: Alison Sawyer, Trina, Anna, 4-team shelter staff, and all their volunteers
- Lost Dog Foundation
- All non-profit partners in Mexico, USA and Canada
- All fosters, sponsors and donors
- The municipal government of Isla Mujeres
Don’t forget to join us next week in Cancún, our final destination on this eye-opening journey. You’ll meet a very special girl called Chica and her dad, mom and orphaned siblings. See you there!
Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!