Animal rescue takes a village, and we are reminded of how very true that is every year when PPR comes back to where we got started, Mexico! Pet Project Rescue has had the pleasure of being part of Mexican animals rescue for nearly a decade already!! We have had the honor of working with some pretty amazing people who are accomplishing some even more amazing things for animals in need. The Snoopi Project is one of those amazing programs that was set up by Kelly, an American, who is now a permanent resident of Playa del Carmen. The program started out as a simple plan to provide wooden dog houses and longer tie-outs to protect chained dogs from the rain and sun that is so common in this area of the world, but it turned into so much more!
Playa del Carmen is unique for Mexico, in that the city has a lot to offer animals in need thanks to the hard work of many people, like the high volume spay/neuter clinic that runs 6 days a week at Coco’s Animal Welfare, and the number of rescues set up to help street animals. But what so many of us don’t have the time to do in rescue is go door-to-door in our communities to find those that can’t help themselves. To help those people that are not seeking out assistance, but still need it just as much! It’s something lacking in the animal welfare community world wide, and the reason The Snoopi Project is so vital to the success of improving the lives of animals in Playa. What is even more exciting, is that this project can easily me duplicated and applied to any city, reservation, rural area, etc…everywhere in the world! So that’s why we wanted to share this project with all of you, in hopes that someone will read this and want to start a similar program for their community.
While The Snoopi Project provides shelter for chained pets, that are exposed to the elements, it also provides de-parasite meds, flea and tick meds, collars and tags, food, life saving vet care for the most extreme cases (when funding is available). But most importantly, they provide dialogue, education, and a platform to help local people, who are struggling themselves, and with this assistance owners are able to provide the best environment they can for their pets. It’s simple, it’s brilliant, and it’s working! To date over 150 dogs have been given shelter, dozens have been given life saving vet care (including getting spayed and neutered!), plus all of these dogs avoid street life!
We want to introduce you to just 2 of the 150 dogs this program has helped in the 7 short months since it was created! Rex was rescued just a few months ago from the streets, and was very thin. His new owner has worked hard to put weight on him, but she had very limited means to provide to herself or their dogs. She had set up a door to provide shade, but when the Snoopi Project came to give him a home they were also able to neuter him, which is a service they can offer through a partnership with Coco’s Animal Welfare. His life is improving each and every day now!
This is usually the part of the conversation where people ask us, why are these dogs chained? And that’s a good question. The reality is that Mexico is a very impoverished country, where people struggle to shelter and feed their families. These families often acquire a dog to protect their home, but very few people can afford a fence. A dog wandering loose runs the risks of being hit by a car, getting lost, or worse, so while living on a chain is not ideal, we are forced to acknowledge the limitation placed on us by extreme poverty. For these dogs, the tie-out and collar also provides more space, and is more secure.
There are also other issues to consider, such as homes don’t have doors, and if the people don’t want the dog inside that makes it really difficult to not have them on a tie-out. People often live in shared spaces as well, so their dog is not their neighbor’s dog, and therefore if “Blanco: the dog hops up on the neighbors kitchen table or nips a child, you may have a real problem on your hands! In cases where it can work, The Snoopi Project has built fences out of bricks and other materials to get dogs off chains. So as you can see, it’s a complex problem, without a single solution, but we do have the option to give the dogs shelter and a tie out with length to move around more freely and improve their quality of life.
Another need is often vet care for seriously ill/injured pets. The Snoopi Project met Manchas last week when they were asked by Coco’s Animal Welfare Playa del Carmen to sponsor his weekly chemo treatments to treat him for TVT (A TVT is a transmissible venereal tumor that is common in unaltered dogs in Mexico). Machas has started treatment and will hopefully be back to health in the next few months. He isn’t in the greatest shape, but a dialogue with the owner is being had and assistance is offered thanks to donors to The Snoopi Project! Machas has a shot at better life that he didn’t have before, and that is what this project is all about, and he will be neutered!
You can learn more about The Snoopi Project on Facebook, and stay tuned for Pet Project Rescue and The Snoopi Project collaborations in the future!