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A “Thank You” from the Front Lines

Did you know?

Many of the adorable pups that have made their way to Pets Alive Niagara’s foster-based rescue program over the last 5 years or so have come from our shelter here in Merida, Mexico. We’re called “Evolucion Animal” and we are so grateful to PAN for taking in our babies and finding them the perfect Canadian forever homes!

A little about us:

Evolucion is a Mexican not-for-profit, volunteer-based organization with lofty goals. We exist to promote the health and well-being of our environment, animals and mankind; to prevent violence and to cultivate a respect and appreciation for all living things. As a part of this mandate, we operate an animal shelter for abandoned and abused animals. We run 100% on private donations and do not receive assistance of any kind from any level of government. We are currently caring for approximately 300 dogs, 160 cats and a pig named “Dory”!

Our “Dogs to Canada” Program:

Many of the dogs that come into our shelter wait for years to be adopted and, in some cases, don’t receive a single adoption request. This is sadly the reality for many dogs in Mexico where seeing a sick or stray dog on the side of the road is a normal occurrence. There are many reasons why things are the way they are here but lack of education on spay and neuter and responsible pet ownership, coupled with high levels of poverty, are part of the mix. Most of the dogs that we take in have really needed our help and we do everything within our resources to get them the help they need.

Many of the dogs that come to us are highly adoptable, but because they are mixed-breed or don’t look like a “designer dog”, they are looked over for adoption. There are, of course, local families that do choose to adopt but, sadly, they are in the minority. Thankfully, things in Canada are different – “adoption” is a household word and dogs are more often chosen based on their personality and demeanour instead of on their looks. And our “pekes” (Mayan word for pet dog) are full of spunk and personality!

Step in PAN: with the help of a network of volunteers on both the Mexican and the Canadian sides, we have been able to send many of our deserving dogs to Canada over the past few years where they have quickly been adopted by Canadian families. It’s sometimes hard to choose which of our lucky pups get to make the trip – there are so many here that we know would make great pets – but we do our best to choose the dogs we think will be most desirable to adopters in Canada and who we believe will adapt well to a new life in Canada.

We fly the dogs direct from Cancun (about a 3.5-hour drive from Merida) to Toronto (a 4-hour flight) where they are welcomed to their new country by PAN volunteers and fosters. It’s a long, difficult (and confusing) day for the pups, but dogs are highly adaptable and we have found that most settle into life in Canada very quickly. One of the highlights of our day is seeing one of our former shelter dogs enjoying snow for the first time!

 

How you can help:

Adopt, adopt, adopt! And if you can’t adopt, please consider fostering for PAN. Every time we are able to send a dog to Canada, it means we can help another dog here in Mexico (and there are so many that need our help). Every time you adopt a dog from PAN, you are making room for another dog to come into PAN’s rescue program from a place where their prospects for adoption are grim. By opening up your home to foster a PAN dog, you are giving that dog a second chance. So, to all PAN volunteers, fosters and adopters: thank you from the bottom of our hearts! It takes a village and we’re sure glad to have you as part of ours.

If you’d like to learn more about Evolucion Animal, please check out our website at evolucionanimal.org or “Like” our page on Facebook. You can search for us under “Evolución A.C. (English)”.