Mar 12, 2005, 8:57 PM
Post #2 of 3
The city has an animal control department which picks up street dogs that are causing problems, and now those animals which have to euthanized are put down more humanely thanks to Amigos de Animales, one of the two organizations in SMA which help animals. Amigos de Animales primarily provides free sterilizations of pets for Mexicans who cannot afford it and they recently had a concert by Doc Severinson to raise money. They do a great job and can always use money and volunteers. They also work to educate the Mexican community about care for animals, including by distributing comic books to school children on animal care.
The primary organization is the SPA, Society for the Protection of Animals, which has a shelter and does all sorts of good things. They have a website and a column in Atencion advertising the animals which they have for adoption, and you can also sponsor an animal if you can't take it home with you. They have volunteers who bottlefeed the babies who are brought in too young to survive without 24-hour attention in private homes, and they have volunteers who come into the shelter to give attention to the animals to help make them more adoptable.
They also provide low-cost vet care for people who cannot afford to take animals to private vets--a sterilization of a cat is about $27 US if you can afford to pay. They constantly are in dire straits for money. They have paid Mexican employees and a vet on staff, plus mostly volunteer help. They have a dog kennel section and two cat houses, one for the male cats and one for females and kittens. They keep track of which animals have gotten attention from volunteers to make sure all animals get some loving. They bring about four dogs and cats to the Jardin on Thursdays to try to get them adopted. I'll look up the website and add it on in a minute.
This town is full of animal lovers--most restaurants allow dogs on leashes inside, and you'll see dogs of all kinds all over town. There's something we call the San Miguel Special, small white poodle mixes who are so cuddly and adorable, always happy, which are usually available at SPA for adoption or you can buy them at Tuesday Market (it's not recommended that you buy dogs from Tuesday Market but many do).
The region puts on a huge dog show each year, with all the purebreds showing off and competing for best of breed and best of show, just like AKC dog shows in the States--you'll see just about every breed of purebred here. But I for one will get a street dog from SPA if we get another dog after our 12-year-old Shih Tzu dies. After awhile, it seems to me, many longtime residents prefer to adopt a street dog that needs a home rather than buying an expensive purebred.
Certainly bring your pets--I'd hate to think of them in some shelter waiting for a new owner, not understanding why they were left behind. Too many people leave their pets behind when they move--to me, when you take on a pet you are taking that pet on for its lifetime no matter what, just like a child.
It would be nice if gringos who walked their dogs would pick up the poop in plastic bags as we learned to do in the States, but dog poop can be a problem. Of course you'll be watching where you walk anyway to avoid cobblestone falls. Shop owners have to wash down the sidewalks in front of their stores every morning anyway, but it can be annoying.
SMA is definitely a pet-loving town! We have many excellent vets and pet supply stores and groomers and boarders for all your needs.
(This post was edited by Carol Schmidt on Mar 12, 2005, 9:39 PM)