Inn-House, huh, what’s that? This is the question we get most often when we talk about the work we are doing to bring spay and neuter services to one of the poorest neighborhoods in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Most people in Playa don’t even know Inn-House exists – and it’s far beyond the scope of any tourists.
So, what is Inn-House? This “invasión” neighborhood is an extremely impoverished, fast growing area that grew out of a need for housing in a city with rapidly increasing property costs that locals often can no longer afford. This, coupled with an increasing population of people from all over Mexico moving to Playa in hopes of job opportunities, has created these “invasión” neighborhoods all over Playa del Carmen. With these neighborhoods comes extreme poverty, often trying living conditions without water or electricity, and many, many animals.
It seems that every home has at least one, or 5, animals – often for protection, but also for companionship and more increasingly because the home found a sickly dog or cat on the street and just couldn’t turn them away – despite barely being able to feed themselves, much less another animal. If these struggles weren’t enough, the residents of Inn-House also fall victim to organized crime that knows this population makes for an easy target. Overall, life is no cakewalk in Inn-House – these daily struggles make even the small problems seem huge, and so when people are struggling just to get by often the first to go without are the animals.
For these reasons, and because of an exploding population of needy and suffering dogs and cats, Pet Project Rescue has spent the last two years providing as much free spay/neuter and vet care support as we can to the animals and their families living in Inn-House. Days can be long and heart breaking, but they can also be filled with smiles, thank yous, and the absolute privilege of knowing we can provide care that would be entirely out of reach to this population. We know that the resources we provide change lives for the better, often saving lives and always preventing future generations of animals from being born to a life of misery on the streets.
Pet Project Rescue’s spay and neuter efforts assure more puppies and kittens are not born to the streets or into homes that can’t possibly feed and care for them. We reward these wonderful souls, that despite having so little still reach out to help street animals, by providing free vet care and sterilization services.
PPR is also able to start important conversations and educate the community on the importance of vaccinating pets, the health benefits of spay/neuter, and the general needs of dogs and cats. It’s not uncommon for a loving pet owner to see us and explain that their beloved pup hasn’t been eating and is losing weight – it’s often a case of terrible parasites and we’re able to provide de-parasitic medicine right on the spot and bring relief. We follow up on the animals that need repeated care – assuring that true relief from mange, injuries, and infections are provided. We’re showing this often over-looked and disenfranchised community that there are options, that someone does care, and that they are not in this alone.
There are days filled with tears and days filled with laughter – and most often days filled with both. It’s a gift to spends one’s life helping others, especially those that cannot speak for themselves. It’s a privilege to work with such caring people and to have the amazing support to keep doing this life-saving work thanks to each one of our donors. This work comes with a hefty price tag at the end of each day, but being able to change lives, and save lives is truly priceless. It absolutely takes a village to be the solution to animal over population, suffering, and homelessness, but we know this village is changing the world for the better one day, one dollar, and one life at a time. You can help continue this work with a gift of any size!