Helping the Helpless - A Mexican Animal Shelter Mission
Updated: Nov 21, 2019
As you may have seen on facebook or instagram, I recently went on a trip to Mexico! This was a dual purpose trip for me; 1. A little bit of holiday and some time for adventure! 2. To take part in some commercial photography workshop time and to head to the Magic Makers retreat.
As a dog lover, it was hard not to notice the number of street dogs as they wove through traffic and scrounged for scraps under tables while I was enjoying my holiday. Some are obviously well fed. While some, are not so much. I came across countless lost souls, and was left incredibly sad not being able to help them beyond giving them some water, scraps of food or a little bit of love.
At the retreat, I ate WAY too much guacamole, delved into my marketing plan, finances, and goals for 2019 and met a group of incredible entrepreneurs from around the world- both within the pet industry and not. Amongst those magical people were some fellow photographers- Amy, your Friendtographer from Amelia Soper Photography, Bill and Nat- the amazing duo who make The Labs and Co, Craig - my kiwi neighbour from Furtography, Mindy- the mastermind and organiser behind the entire Mission from Dogs I Meet , Jill from Playful Paws Photography, Lenora from Lenora Stein Photography, and dog trainer, Laura, who runs The Dog Spot Training Centre. I joined this group for a trip organised by Mindy, into the middle of the Mexican jungle to visit two dog sanctuaries. (A big thanks to Mindy from Dogs I meet for organising this!) Through the Dogs I Meet mission, our photos have now been donated to the two rescue organisations so they can spread the word about these dogs, and their missions to help them. This will hopefully help with their fundraising, ultimately saving more lives. In addition to this, the Dogs I Meet mission has made a monetary donation to these two, and an additional 3 local rescues; Playa Animal Rescue, SOS el Arca and the shelter in Holbox who are all working to better the lives of these street dogs. Mindy is going one step further, and will be working to provide Riviera Rescue with a basic website using our photos and video and will pay for the first year's hosting fee. So please follow along with her amazing work there!
Riviera Rescue AC
Our first stop was to Riviera Rescue AC.
Riviera Rescue AC was founded by Matteo. He started as an independent rescuer and cared for the dogs with money raised through sales of his art. Naturally, he paints portraits of animals! This was the birth of Riviera Rescue ART Project (at the beginning Playartepop), which was then transformed, with the help of many people, into what is now known as Riviera Rescue AC. A formed Non-Profit association, dedicated to Rescue, Rehabilitation and Rehoming abused dogs in extreme cases of neglect or disease.
It was obvious how much he loved all his dogs, but his mission is to rehome as many as he can, so he can help even more who need him.
(Thanks to The Labs & Co for this shot of me! )
Puerto Morelo Cause 4 Paws Our second stop for the day was Puerto Morelos Cause 4 Paws. Cause 4 Paws is a dog and cat shelter. Puerto Morelos Cause4paws was founded in 2005 with the discovery of a starving puppy who had been born on the beach. She had survived Hurricane Wilma in October, a two day, Category 5 storm, by sheltering in a box of clean cat litter. Close to death, barely enough strength to walk, she was scooped up, taken for a vet check, and started on the road to recovery. PM Cause4paws began collecting donations to help other unfortunate animals, treating medical problems, providing spays/neutering, finding homes, and raising awareness about animal care. They exist solely on donations from local and international sources, Canada, United States, Europe and the Americas. Their dogs and cats are adopted locally and internationally by working with reputable rescues in other countries. Health requirements are strictly followed for all adopted animals. Cause4paws also has a small local outreach program that provides food and health care, flea, tick and parasite treatment to street dogs or to owners who are financially challenged, and also sponsors spay/neuter clinics during the year in association with other groups.
(and thanks again to The Labs & Co for the two behind the scenes shots above.)