All Steamed Up

I’m mad. And sad.

I just went for a walk with Sam the tonto wonder dog. And during our walk we saw two stray dogs which both seem to need some kind of help or care. Both of these dogs have been hanging around the neighborhood for a few days. One is skinny and needy and young, but it has good healthy puppy energy. The other is older, has a collar and a limp and seems like she might be sick. This second one really concerns me, she’s not just lost, she’s ill.

So when we got home from walking the dog we went back out with some food and water and put it near where this second dog was lying down. She took off when we showed up. But I think she’ll return to that spot because I’ve seen her there a number of times in the last few days, she’s comfortable there. I’ll go back in a few hours and see if she’s eaten what we left for her. Pobrecita.

Cancun’s stray dog problem is out of control. I only saw two dogs in my neighborhood, but I live in a decent area. When you get into the poorer sections of Cancun the problem gets much worse. There are stray, limping, hurting dogs everywhere.

Every time I come face to face with a stray dog I feel so sad. And I get so mad at people here who do nothing. Worse, they don’t just do nothing, they get all ga-ga about how nice it is here. How can it be nice here when there are so many animals visibly suffering in the street? In my humble opinion, it can’t be.

In recent weeks I’ve made a commitment to RAP Cancun to help redesign the web site, and put it in English so that we can more easily solicit donations from English-speakers. We are also going to ramp up a campaign to encourage tourists visiting Cancun from the U.S. and Canada to adopt street dogs. Fortunately there is no animal quarantine between Mexico and both the U.S. and Canada, so adoption is a viable option.

If you would like to make a donation to RAP please let me know or contact Maria Alicia through their web site.

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11 Responses to “All Steamed Up”

  1. Susan in Cancun
    August 2nd, 2008 23:34

    Thanks for making people aware of this problem, RG. We see it everyday, but tourists are probably don’t even know this is an issue.

    I wish I had a MUCH bigger place so I could adopt every doggie I see. 🙂

  2. RiverGirl
    August 3rd, 2008 14:38

    I’m with you on that. I’d love to run a sanctuary for dogs and cats…

  3. Joe
    August 4th, 2008 13:50

    Typical gringos. You just don’t understand the culture in Mexico. You go down there and complain about everything instead of assimilating and trying to enjoy what is there.
    That is how things are in Mexico, respect the culture and stop trying to change the people there just because you desire. If you don’t like it, go back home.

  4. RiverGirl
    August 4th, 2008 19:57

    Joe – Thanks for that thoughtful and sensitive post. Really helpful and insightful that was.


  5. Michele in Playa
    August 5th, 2008 12:36

    RG – If you are looking for some ideas about how to entice visitors to the Cancun area to help combat the stray/homeless dog problem, you may want to contact Andy at The Peanut Pet Shelter in Playa del Carmen. He and his wife run Playa’s no-kill animal shelter and have saved and re-homed innumerable dogs and cats who were previously roaming the streets, hungry, unhealthy and unwanted. They have created a HUGE online following of supporters from the US, Canda and all across the globe. Each one shares a love of the Riviera Maya and a love of animals. It is an uphill battle for sure but it is posssible to solicite and receive the monetary support you will need. Good luck and keep us all posted!!

  6. RiverGirl
    August 5th, 2008 15:02

    Michelle – Thanks! We have been paying attention to how well Peanut has been doing and will be taking cues from their success. They are doing great work!

  7. Cdn Cat
    August 8th, 2008 07:24

    Hey RG! I just realized that you have in a way cloned yourself. With every person you inspire to adopt a pet they in turn inadvertently inspire someone to adopt…. and so on….
    This is my theory and I’m sticking to it. I almost adopted 2 cats a couple of weeks ago but the person decided to keep them. 🙁 So now I will start looking again. I was waiting to see if she changed her mind but no such luck. Unfortunately with my allergies I have to keep it to short haired, low shedders. They are out there, just not in great numbers.I can hear you now….I better start looking into getting one of those soft sided cat carriers right?

  8. RiverGirl
    August 8th, 2008 09:34

    Cat – We aim to please…I’m glad to hear you are taking the kitty plunge!

  9. tacogirl
    August 8th, 2008 20:18

    We have a stay problem here in Belize too. Sad to see that people do not take as good care of their pets as they could.

  10. working gringa
    August 26th, 2008 15:59

    We have cats and dogs who need homes here in Merida too. I’ve been supporting AFAD (www.afad.org.mx), have two street dogs myself (URL and Mali) and try to get everyone I know to take in a dog or two. Not to mention trying to save dogs everywhere I go. I now have a big Costco bag of dog food with plastic dishes in the back of my car.
    What I wanted to say is we should get AFAD and the Peanut place and RAP to link up. We all need to publicize that visitors CAN do something. I have a YL reader who donates $100 every month or two to AFAD via Paypal… it’s easy and $100 goes SUCH a long way here!
    Anyway, there are kindred souls here in Merida.. hook up with us if you have ideas of how we can all help.

  11. RiverGirl
    August 26th, 2008 16:02

    Thanks for the link, I’m glad to hear what’s happening in Merida. I think that these groups do need to work together, form a network.

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