Rescuing Animals Left Behind by Snowbirds

There is a constant problem with a surplus of pets here in Mexico.  And although some snowbirds come and provide help by offering finances, food, even paying for medical attention for those animals that need it (particularly spay/neutering) it seems that others are part of the very problem.  Animals left abandoned on streets, and even in vacated condos and houses.  Realtors frequently enter a recently vacated resident to find a dog, cat or birds left behind by another seasonal gringo.

Spring time, the weeks right before and right after Easter, is the time that Snowbirds start heading back north.  And in their wake there is an increase in abandoned animals.  Likely very much like our own Epic.  Dropped off in the upperclass Racquet Ball community west of Ajijic she found refuge at a construction site.  Neighbours discovered her, looking healthy enough and checked daily for weeks that she had drinking water and food to eat, while they were attempting to locate an adoptive home for her via some online communities.  However, once somebody discovered that she had a gash in her leg that needed attending, John coaxed her into a vehicle and got her to the vet from whence we stepped into the story and decided to foster her until a fur-ever home was found for her.  But then besides opening up our home to her, we decided to open up our hearts to her, too.  And so she became family.  (Maret informs me that I never actually did an adoption story on our Epic.  Hmmm, we’ll have to see about correcting that)

Its fairly obvious when the animals have been taken care of, like they had their family until recently.  Then one day their family leaves them behind.  Alone.  What makes people do this?  Come for wintering in Mexico and serve themselves by getting a cute cuddly pet to feed some part of their ego or emotional need, to turn around and abandon them?  Cruel.

I’ll bet most of those people have mean$.  Yet they abandon creatures that then become a burden to those locals that are less fortunate.  Because many less-fortunate have bigger hearts than those with plenty.  Just seems the way it often is.  Those with less give more.

And so there is Alvaro, near Chapala MX.  He pours his money and love into caring for animals.  Doing the best he can for them, like many other people (both Mexican and northerners) do, too.

Tina here at Perico was made aware of Alvaro, of his struggle to provide some basic comforts for the animals he had rescued.  So her and her friends raised funds and accepted donations of things like mats for the dogs so that they wouldn’t have to sleep on the cold cement.

Everette volunteered (well, actually, our kids volunteered one of their parents and the van!) to drive the donations and a slew of kids along with Tina to deliver it all and get a little tour of his place.




I heard (I wasn’t there) that Alvaro was sooo moved by the generosity of strangers that he was teary-eyed when the kids unloaded our van of dog/cat food, beds, toys, etc.  Money was also available as Alvaro had made appointments to get some of the dogs spayed/neutered…a procedure often offered with a 40% discount by the local veterinarians.

Alvaro showed the group around to see all the animals he currently was taking care of.  And no, the possums weren’t previously somebody’s pets.  Their mama had been killed on the highway.  One of the babies is blind so he’ll keep that one long-term.  The other two he hopes to return to the wild.

Checkout Laars with a baby possum.

He has many varieties of birds and has a constant turn-over of cats, dogs and their offsprings.

Instead of embedding all the videos here I decided to just add links here so you can check them out on my YouTube if you want.

Big Heart

Holding a Possum

Anders gets peed on.



One thought on “Rescuing Animals Left Behind by Snowbirds

  1. I had a pet possum when I was a kid. Raised in a little sleeping bag, fed with a dolls baby bottle and released to the wild over the back fence when old enough to fend for it’self. It visited for years and brought it’s family to introduce to us to them. Thanks for the memory

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