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August 1, 2012

HSI Makes a Difference for Dogs in Mexico

Humane Society International

  • Seniso (right) with his buddies. Alex Rothlisberger/HSI

  • Seniso awaiting surgery. Alex Rothlisberger/HSI

  • Seniso being prepped for sterilization. Alex Rothlisberger/HSI

  • Clinic intake. Alex Rothlisberger/HSI

  • Cats lined up recovering after surgery. Alex Rothlisberger/HSI

  • A puppy with mange. Alex Rothlisberger/HSI

  • Clinic patrons. Alex Rothlisberger/HSI

  • A local resident with her dog. Alex Rothlisberger/HSI

  • Humane education. Alex Rothlisberger/HSI

by Alex Rothlisberger

Seniso is the epitome of the Mexican roaming dog. His ears are covered in ticks, he looks thin and dehydrated, and he has a gash a few inches wide on his back full of pus. Every day, he wanders the streets of Mezcales with two other male dogs, left to fend for himself. But appearances can be deceiving: Seniso actually belongs to someone.

And one morning, something remarkable happens. Seniso’s owner brings him and the other two dogs to PEACE, an organization that provides free spay/neuter services to low-income residents of rural, economically depressed towns around the famous tourist destination of Bahia de Banderas, Mexico. HSI has been supporting PEACE for three years.

Evidence of change

The fact that this woman has brought her dogs to PEACE, rather than the organization's having to go to her, represents a whole shift in attitude and behavior. After years of efforts to educate the local citizens, people are finally recognizing the benefits of sterilization and requesting the group’s services.

You can help: Become an HSI Street Dog Defender.

Heartening progress

HSI partners with organizations like PEACE to bring much-needed veterinary services to underserved communities. Where once the benefits of spay/neuter had to be a sales pitch to convince pet owners that sterilization would help their animals live happier, healthier lives and prevent unwanted litters, today people are actively seeking help from groups like PEACE.

As a result, Seniso and the other dogs and cats of towns like Mezcales have the chance for a better life. Give now to support our work.

Alexandra Rothlisberger is Program Manager, Latin America & Caribbean, Companion Animals and Engagement, for HSI.

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