Common Q & A
Q. How long does a dog or cat have to be in quarantine when you take it into the US or Canada?
A. There is no quarantine period for cats and dogs going into the US and Canada. You need a health certificate and a rabbis certificate and proof of vaccinations and an airline that will take animals.
Q. With so many unwanted street animals, why don’t people on Isla Mujeres spay and neuter their pets?
A. First, they cannot afford it…to spay a dog is $60-$100 dollars (that is a week salary for many people)! Second, they lack the knowledge for proper animal care because there are no educational programs designed to sensitize people to the plight of animals.
Q. Aren’t there laws that protect animals of Isla Mujeres?
A. Yes, but there are no positive enforcement mechanisms. Most municipalities address the problem in their own way, many simply ignore the problem. For example, there are periodic round-ups where dogs arbitrarily picked up and electrocuted immediately. No consideration is even given to whether the animal has been spayed or neutered, vaccinated, or has a collar. Can you imagine if this happened to your pet?
Q. Why not just build animal shelters?
A. Because even in the U.S. animal shelters are very expensive to operate and often animals end up living their lives out in a cage. Furthermore we are operating in a developing country which is still struggling to provide resources for their human population. The harsh reality is that it will be a number of years before we can expect the city or its citizens to be able to support a shelter. By aggressively running spay/neuter clinics and adoption programs there is less dependence on animal shelters.
Q. How did you get into this?
A. My commitment has grown over the years. I started feeding a few dogs in the street and then I kept a few puppies at my house. It has come about slowly and continuously. If you love animals and you live in Mexico it is very hard not to get involved.
Q. How many dogs do you have at your house?
A. I usually have between 20 and 30. Puppies are so much fun they barely count?
Q. Do you ever have to put dogs down?
A. We have put very few dogs down, only if they are too sick or injured to survive or if they are too aggressive, which happens sometimes if they have been treated cruelly for too long. I did have one very old weimaraner put down because his litter mate had died and he howled so loud I could hear him all over down town. It just broke my heart to see him that sad and he was twelve with bad hips. Generally we do everything we can to make any dog we find healthy and try to find it a home.
Q. What about the cats?
A. The cats are more independent and with all the fishing boats and docks they often get enough food. Also they are not a menace, like a dog chasing moto’s or biting tourists. The city generally leaves them alone. We do have one lady on the Island, her name is Lupita, she is known as the cat lady because she feeds so many cats that she goes through at least three bags of food a week. We are working hard at a catch and release spay and neuter program.