Hundreds of street dogs lined up in a local park in south of Merida on Mexico’s Yucutan Penninsula recently while stacks of Krispy Kreme doughnuts were passed around just above their heads. There may have been a bit of drooling, but frankly, the dogs didn’t seem to mind. They’d already had their lunch and they had arrived for something far more precious.
In the second annual Dogs and Donuts Fair, the beloved rescue group Sanctuary Evolucion had doughnuts flown in all the way from Mexico City. Volunteers arrived with guarded hearts, not sure if they dared to anticipate high sales or interest in adopting the dogs who were looking especially soulful as their eyes met those of people who knelt down to stroke their fur and shake their paws.
“The first fair was a financial success but only a few dogs were adopted,” Sanctuary Evolucion Patricia Holland explains. “This time we didn’t sell as many donuts but over 50 families are interested in adopting. Evolucion volunteers are busy making home inspections and if only half of the families are suitable, 25 dogs will have found their forever homes.”
“These dogs are sweet natured, loyal and loving,” Patricia explains. And she should know. After all, at any given time more than 150 of these dogs, many of them dumped at the shelter gate, find a soft landing at Sanctuary Evolucion’s extraordinary rescue center that is redefining the care of shelter dogs.
When you walk up on this center, you don’t see rows of anxious dogs crying out from kennels. Not a chance. This is a place of peace, and it has the feeling of home for the dogs who feel safe here. The dogs are housed in 15 separate enclosures across the property and live compatibly in packs. They run free. There is also a puppy enclosure. Each enclosure has a large, airy shelter and shade and all the dogs are protected from the sun and rain. And with a Paws on Pavement program, walking groups are used to socialize the dogs and to get them comfortable walking on a leash outside the shelter.
Today the dogs and the volunteers have something very special to celebrate as after almost six years of intensive lobbying, a local animal protection law has finally been enacted. Among the many provisions of the new law are measures to prohibit dog fighting, to seize animals who fall victim to neglect and to protect pregnant horses from being forced to work.
A Chance to Triple Their Rescue Power
Patricia deeply believes that Sanctuary Evolucion can acheive more by intensifying their free spay/neuter clinics in low income communities and she explains that their biggest obstacle to doing so is the group’s constant battle to raise funds including the $2,000 a month (about 25,000 Pesos) they spend on dog food alone. Nearly each dog that arrives has been afflicted with some form of physical or emotional harm and it’s hard to say who suffered more, the dogs with only one remaining eye or the dogs afraid to look a human in the eye. In a region where homelessness is an epidemic for dogs, Sanctuary Evolucion is simply indespensible.
Today the Harmony Fund is announcing a $2,000 grant to feed the dogs and is hoping to double or even triple that amount with the support of dog lovers internationally. Visit us to learn more and to enjoy a 100% joyful photo showcase of the rescued dogs.
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