Senorito Beauregard reporting. As a rescued dog, I try to keep up to date with all the important news about organisations in Yucatan saving the lives of dogs and cats through sterilisation and education.
I was excited to hear about a fantastic group in Telchac, Yucatan, the place where I learned how to dig in the sand, doing some excellent work for the dogs and cats in that area. I got my human to do some digging of her own, and this is what we found out.
Who are Programa Animales Al Rescate?
Programa Animales Al Rescate, known as PAAR, was started over ten years ago by Mexican animal lover Fidel Crispo, in cooperation with Christel Galachiuk, from Canada. They had been rescuing animals locally but knew that they had to do something to tackle the problem long-term.
They found volunteers in the community and made a plan to start a spay and neuter clinic. That is how PAAR was born. At that time, there was not even a veterinarian in the town, and they were facing a population explosion of animals with no one able to care for them properly. Seeing so many injured and ill dogs and cats was heartbreaking, and this group of caring humans knew that something had to be done.
What are PAAR doing now?
A decade later, they have seen a considerable improvement in the situation, and the population of homeless companion animals is much smaller. Still, PAAR understands that much more work must be done. The local community has been hugely generous, allowing them to provide low-cost sterilisation in Telchac. Holding clinics locally is much more cost-effective than bringing animals to Merida, and they are rightly proud that they have spayed and neutered over 4000 animals. That is a heroic effort and has effectively saved thousands of lives. It has also made Telchac a happier place for people and pets.
While they continue to focus on reducing the population of dogs and cats with no one to care for them, they understand that for their work to have a long-term impact, education is a necessity. Supported by the kind donation of 30 educational books by United States author Marti McGinnis of Happyart.com, called Dos Perros-Dos Vidas, they have been using the book to teach children in schools about the importance of spaying and neutering.
Education about sterilisation
One of their incredible volunteers, Maria VanDeMark, a past PAAR president, also uses the book as part of the English classes she offers. She has also developed an educational brochure promoting the benefits of pet sterilisation, which also addresses the myths and legends, or “Mitos y Leyendas,” about dog and cat sterilisation. Many of these myths, such as pets becoming fat or that it is beneficial for a dog or cat to have one litter, lead to many unwanted and uncared kittens and puppies. The brochure is given out during events in the community and spreads the word about spaying and neutering.
How can you help?
PAAR loves and appreciates volunteers. Fundraising help is always needed, but if you have a talent or skill that you can contribute, your help will be appreciated. For example, Henry Casten, a guitarist from the United States, plays at events, drawing in crowds and bringing more attention to the work they are doing. If you want to help, let PAAR know. You can find out how to contact them at the end of this article.
PAAR is working towards becoming a registered NGO, allowing people to write off donations, which will help them to raise money and sterilise even more pets in Telchac.
The most important way to help is to spread the word. Tell them about PAAR if you are in Telchac, and if you live in other parts of the Yucatan, let them know about sterilistaion campaigns and clinics in your area. You can learn about those by following me, Senorito Beauregard, Sterilisation Ambassador, on Pet Friendly Yucatan on Facebook.
As a rescue dog born to a mother, left pregnant and abandoned in the streets of Mexico, I know more than most about the critical, life-saving work groups like PAAR are doing. So, please take this opportunity to support them or learn more about grassroots organisations in your community. Come on, humans, if you love dogs and cats, show it. Be part of the solution.
For more information:
You can find out more about PAAR and their very important work in the Telchac, Yucatan community by following their Facebook page.
You can also get further information or make donations by emailing them.
Oh! And, don’t forget about the upcoming clinic.
PAAR has a big sterilisation clinic coming up that they are organising in collaboration with one of our favourite sterilisation groups, Ester y Liza, on the 21st of June, 2023.
Photos provided courtesy of Programa de Animales Al Rescate