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After 8 years, Dr. Jeff’s spay-neuter events canceled as state funding evaporates

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“Dr. Jeff” finds more problems than he bargained for with one dog at a previous vet clinic in Yucatán. Photo: Animal Planet.

Mérida, Yucatán — Two smaller-scale spay-and-neuter clinics are being held the next two Sundays in place of a massive weeklong mobile pet hospital that would have treated thousands of animals.

The ninth Mass Canine and Feline Sterilization Campaign — which was to sweep through three cities — has been canceled because the state withdrew its financial support. The campaign needed about 800,000 pesos (US$43,000) from the ministry of health.

In its place, two smaller clinics will help a few hundred animals in Mérida, funded by individual donations.

Planned Pethood International has been fighting the dog and cat overpopulation in Yucatán for eight years, and has sterilized more than 25,500 animals.

Television’s “Dr. Jeff” and his colleagues made the announcement today at Restaurante Amaro.

“Through this press conference, we would like to inform you that the ninth Mass Sterilization Campaign that would have taken place from Jan. 20 to 27  2018, in the municipalities of Mérida, Progreso and Valladolid, will not take place this year, due to the lack of funding for surgical material supplied in the previous campaigns by the Ministry of Health of Yucatan (SSY),” according to the group’s official statement.

Dr. Jeff and his colleagues announce the end of the mass sterilization campaign. Photo: Courtesy

“I, Dr. Jeff Young, initiator of this activity and founder of Planned Pethood Mexico and AFAD together with the help of other governmental, private, educational institutions (UADY), social, animal protection groups, medical veterinarians and local, national and foreign volunteers, as well as the foreign community that resides here, with the aim of promoting the responsible care of companion animals have taken the initiative for eight years in promoting and reducing the number of abandoned dogs and cats in various municipalities of this state.
Some world statistics affirm that in seven years a pair of dogs would have an offspring of 50,000 … and a pair of cats of 420,000; that being said, in its eight years of effort, this work has prevented the birth of hundreds of thousands of animals that would be in a street situation, causing a numerous amount of environmental and public health issues.”

Young is also known as star of Animal Planet’s television program, “Rocky Mountain Vet.”

“It is a pity that this year the Ministry of Health has not been able to help this campaign,” he continued. “Due to the support provided by them and the collaboration of various non-governmental organizations during these eight years, overpopulation has been controlled after sterilizing about 25,500 dogs and cats, representing a great benefit for Yucatán.

“On this occasion, as every year, Planned Pethood Mexico, The Franciscan Shelter of the Unprotected Animal (AFAD), as well as many private companies and the foreign community in Yucatan join efforts, however, this year the coordinators had to make the difficult decision to cancel the campaign upon notification of lack of sponsorship by the SSY.

“It is regrettable that after all the effort and work by so many people in the last eight years and the establishment of a public policy an annual fund has not been assigned for this project which is in favor of the health of the community and the development of the state, and not only has benefited more than 25,500 families, but has promoted education and responsible ownership of companion animals in the last decade.”

Planned Pethood boasts of holding the Latin American record for sterilizing the most animals in a week. Young hopes that under the next administration, the large-scale drives can return.

Last year, 38 vets and assistants from Mexico City, Mexicali, the U.S., Spain and Portugal mobilized to volunteer their services, aided by over 100 expats and local people volunteering their time, money and supplies to supplement the government stipend. They set up temporary operating-room facilities in borrowed spaces. Each weeklong visit costs about US$60,000.

“I appeal to the authorities; local and the SSY in the most attentive manner, to consider supporting this type of initiative again next year, which are both in favor and benefiting to both local and state,” he said.

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