So let’s bring the blog back around to my life in Oaxaca for a minute, and away from the rants I go on when religion makes me mad. 🙂
Most of you know that Oaxaca is a picture of poverty (if you leave the city center, of course). With that comes an ignorance and ambivalence towards animals. There are literally tens of thousands of dogs on the streets throughout the state. Tens. Of. Thousands.
It gets hard to see suffering all around. People living in shanties made out of steel and wood and curtains, with no electricity and no running water. Kids as young as 3 working on the streets until as late as 11pm to make extra money for their families. There’s not a huge emphasis on the importance of education because money today is more important than a better future for everyone. And Oaxaca doesn’t exactly have a booming economy, unless you can break into the tourism scene and make a name for yourself (but then you’re living seasonally, and hoping political uprise doesn’t deter your tourists from coming back).
It’s strange. I guess I’ve always imagined that people are generally good and kind and willing to help the best they can, especially when they understand what it is to struggle and suffer themselves. But you see a lot of animal abuse here. I mean more than I have ever seen in my entire life. Torture (a man mutilated a dog and chopped her paw off in broad daylight!), cultural beliefs (like embedded collars made of local plants as a contraceptive for female dogs), poisoning, kicking, beating, the lighting of puppies and kittens on fire… People won’t spay/neuter their pets even though they dislike the packs of strays roaming the neighborhoods. You can park a spay/neuter truck in front of their houses and they still won’t come. You can pay for it, and they STILL won’t come. So, we have to go collect them, pay for it, return them, and explain how this helps reduce generations of animal suffering, as well as dog packs roaming the neighborhood.
And you wonder why I want to help?
So for those of you who have donated to my pleas for funds to help us make just a little more of a difference, I wanted to just make a quick list of the money we’ve spent and on what, so you can see the difference it’s making (and the faces of the animals you’re saving).
In like…March we raised $120 which we used for a spay and a neuter, 55 lbs of dog food, and paying off the vet bill for a chihuahua/dachshund who was abandoned to die in the road, but was rehabbed and now uses a wheelchair.
In addition to that $120, we’ve raised another $765 (which just blows our minds and we’re so grateful). About $100 of that is sitting in my wallet to pay for the rescue related things that come up unexpectedly, and $305 is in a special “Dog Fund” savings account.
The other $360.00 has been used to purchase 865 lbs of dog food (to date), the parasite treatment of 12 dogs, the vet care/grooming of the matted dog with the busted eye, the continued vet care and special diet of the skinny rooftop dog, the vet care (8 nights at the vet), flea bath, and ointment for the skinny with the flea infestation/allergies, the flea treatment of 6 additional dogs, a handful of spay/neuters, and “pop up” animals that suddenly need vet care or they’ll be put down by their owners.
We’d like to use a good portion of what we have in the bank to do more spay/neuters. Of course, we’d like that process to be as efficient as possible, so we’re going back to the drawing board with our spay/neuter clinics to figure out the best way to get it done.
Anyway, I’m throwing some photos below so you can see the animals you’re saving and the differences you’re making!
And don’t let this deter you from visiting Oaxaca. It’s a lovely place with a rich cultural heritage, amazing archeological sites, delicious food, and the perfect climate.