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Spay-and-neuter clinics carry on despite funding challenges

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Dogs recover after treatment at a rescue clinic in 2017. Photo: Amigos de Rico

A few years ago a little rescue dog started a chain of events culminating with two upcoming spay and neuter clinics.

His name was Rico, the “unadoptable dog in a wheelchair.”

But then, little Rico died. Out of the grief of Rico’s passing, Amigos de Rico was born,
a foundation established not to reinvent animal welfare in Yucatán, but to enhance and support programs already in place.

The Rico Memorial Foundation mission is to “Educate, Sterilize and Assist.”

The group works closely with Dr. Jeff Young of Planned Pethood International and star of Animal Planet’s television program, “Rocky Mountain Vet.” It follows his vision of taking free spay-and-neuter clinics to areas with great need and few resources.

Amigos de Rico, Planned Pethood Mexico and AFAD are conducting two consecutive spay and neuter clinics.

The first is Sunday, Jan. 21, in Col. Amapolita/Chenku, a neighborhood in Mérida. In just five hours, the clinic booked 200 appointments, with many more animals turned away.

“With no government contributions for surgical and medical supplies, at this time we have not reached our goal to pay for the 200 animals with appointments. The need is far greater than the resources,” said Sara Bateman, of Amigos de Rico.

“However, we are so grateful the local and expat community have been very generous with sponsoring one or more animals at 400 pesos each and providing donations of food, beverage, incidentals and providing housing and transportation to the visiting veterinarians,” she said.

Dr. Jeff Young, Dr. Tony Rios with veterinarians from the Philippines, Mexico City, Villa Hermosillo, Quintana Roo and Merida along with an army of volunteers are very happy to be working so closely with the neighborhood.

Lidia Saleh of AFAD and her committed volunteers have acted as liaison to the neighbors of Amapolita to set appointments in Spanish.

AFAD volunteers also use a children’s book to educate about animal care. They will be on hand during the clinic for registration.

The second clinic is Sunday, Jan. 28, in Flamboyanes, with a goal of treating 100 animals.

To volunteer or donate, contact Sara Bateman at sara_bateman@hotmail.com or visit the Facebook page for Amigos de Rico.

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