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Spay Yucatán has a ‘one neighborhood at a time’ approach to crisis

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Russell Staines, left, and Steve Katz, of Blood, Sweat & Tears fame, perform in a small fundraiser to support Spay Yucatan. Photo: Courtesy

Mérida, Yucatán — An umbrella organization has emerged to respond to the loss of state government support for an annual mass pet-sterilization effort.

“We may have been knocked down this year by the lack of government support,” reads an announcement from Spay Yucatan: One Neighborhood at a Time. “However, the local and expat communities rallied in a grassroots effort resulting in over 400 animals being sterilized in two one-day clinics, fully funded by individual donations and the piñata quilt raffle.”

The ninth Mass Canine and Feline Sterilization Campaign was canceled after the ministry withdrew an expected 800,000 pesos (US$43,000) for supplies and medicine.

The new organization was unveiled at a private fundraiser at the home of Karla and Benny Miller. Steve Katz, the musician from Blood, Sweat & Tears, joined friends to sing and share stories. Katz and his wife, artist Alison Palmer, divide their time between South Kent, Conn., and Mérida.

A live art auction raised additional funds for the organization.

Spay Yucatan is partnered with Dr. Tony Rios of Planned Pethood Mexico and Lidia Saleh of AFAD, the Franciscan Shelter of the Unprotected Animal.

The fledgling group’s announcement continues: 

Stepping back from the annual clinic brought to light the true vision of Dr. Jeff and his no-nonsense approach to animal welfare. By taking small clinics into neighborhoods and committing to that neighborhood for one year it truly addresses the pet and stray animal over population and builds relationships through education. This is the most effective longterm approach and offers ways to monitor the effect on the community with quality data. Better health for the animals equals better heath for the people.

What began with the two recent grassroots spay-and-neuter clinics will put the organization of future spay and neuter clinics in Yucatán in the hands of committed sponsors and volunteers. A new program unaffected by the whims of political powers, but by the power in our hands, in your hands, the power to make a difference in the lives of animals and our local neighbors.

An umbrella organization, Spay Yucatán, will work together with individuals and groups to coordinate activities and pool resources, providing a hands-on approach and an identity to the individuals and groups who want to sponsor neighborhood spay-and-neuter Clinics. Anyone who is interested in helping make Yucatán a better place can sponsor a clinic. Groups of friends, businesses or individuals. Organizing a clinic is exhilarating, exhausting and rewarding to know the work echoes into the future.

Spay Yucatán will provide the information and support to conduct neighborhood clinics, which would be more difficult to accomplish alone.

Spay Yucatán has an experienced pool of veteran volunteers and Coordinator Consultants. Our pooled resources will provide information for efficient and effective neighborhood clinic organization, tailoring the clinic to your needs as a sponsor.

While we are hopeful a large spay-and-neuter clinic will still take place this year, the focus is on one-day clinics. Surgical and medical supplies average 330 pesos per animal, a small amount to invest into animal welfare.

We are excited about the future of spay-and-neuter in Yucatán and hope you will join us. Addressing animal overpopulation seems like a daunting task, but together we can change the future “One Neighborhood at a Time.”

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