Our Team consists of eager volunteers, local residents, capable medical staff, concerned visitors, involved city officials, and so many more. We are everyone who cares about our animal population and are striving to make a positive difference.
Isla Animals started informally in the year 2000. There was already a group on the island, Amigos de Animales, that was taking in and adopting out puppies. With Alison’s help they did the very first Spay and Neuter clinic on Isla Mujeres, sterilizing over 200 animals.
As tourism grew the wild dog population was viewed as a threat to vacationers so Isla Animals instigated a system of trap, sterilize and release. This program WORKED! Within a few years, the wild street dog population was ELIMINATED. However there was still an overpopulation of strays and unwanted litters of puppies. Alison’s house became the unofficial humane society for Isla Mujeres from 2000 to 2013. She registered the rescue as a non-profit in Colorado in 2009.
Isla Animals organizes and sponsors 1 or 2 large Spay and Neuter campaigns each year where hundreds of dogs and cats get sterilized. Today, we are lucky to have the facility the government has provided as a shelter and an arragement with a local vet clinic where we continue to offer free spay & neuter surgeries once a week, as well as free or low-cost vaccines, de-wormer, flea & tick medicines for dogs and cats.
Alison won the Doris Day Kindred Spirit award for her work with the animals. She has also been featured in Good Housekeeping Magazine, People Magazine, and many well-published animal magazines, and has also been interviewed for several radio and television programs.
To provide free spay/neuter clinics to help control the animal population on Isla Mujeres
To provide free or reduced cost veterinary services and vaccinations
To offer animal foster care and promote adoptions in Mexico, USA and Canada
To educate pet owners about humane animal treatment, care and responsibility
And to do all of the above in the most humane, compassionate way possible
When Alison moved to Mexico in 2001, there was no animal rescue on Isla Mujeres. The street dog population was out of control and there were packs of wild dogs on the beaches. With no veterinarian services available on the island, there were puppies EVERYWHERE. Most female dogs were either pregnant or nursing their babies.
Alison decided that she could make a difference. She started by taking puppies into her home, but at that time did not considered herself as a rescue. She built kennels out of anything she could find…old doors, windows, blocks, etc.. As word spread, people started to tie unwanted dogs to Alison’s front door. At this point, she was unavoidably considered a “rescue”.
Keeping on top of the growing numbers of animals was a monumental task. In 2015, the government recognized the value of Alison’s work and offered her a space to continue her rescue efforts. Since then, Isla Animals has grown with more volunteers and donations. Isla Animals has a highly-educated vet, Dr. Arturo Dzul Leon, that comes to the Island 1-2 days per week providing free spay and neuter surgeries and low-cost consultations. The rescue has also expanded their efforts into Rancho Viejo, a very poor area on the mainland, which is included in the municipality of Isla Mujeres.
Meet The Team
Alison Sawyer Current started Isla Animals Rescue at her home on Isla Mujeres, Mexico. Since the year 2000 she has organized spay & neuter campaigns, recruited volunteers, promoted government involvement, and pushed for vaccinations, education and wellness care.
Trina Noakes is the owner and operator of CARM. Her energy and dedication to Isla Animals has made her the partner that Alison has always needed. She also donates her vans and drivers to take every dog that we rehome to the airport.
Dr. Arturo Dzul Leon is the official veterinarian for Isla Animals. His medical skills are unsurpassed and his love for the animals and generous spirit make him our all-time favorite animal doctor.
Letty Garrido is a native of Isla Mujeres. She is now the clinic manager and does such a great job keeping things running smoothly as well as being a gifted dog handler.
Marcelino Arjona Velazquez is a native of Isla Mujeres. He has worked with Alison and the rescue since 2005. He has a great heart for the dogs and has picked up medical skills that are invaluable.
Steve Ferree and Marrien Neilson have recently moved to the Island. They are wonderful volunteers, often bring lunches to our clinic and foster dogs that need extra TLC. Plus Steve is the man of your dreams, he can fix anything.
Carmen Flatz is our in-house nurse who takes care of the health and well-being of all our doggies. She manages to get them healthy and ready to go to their FURever homes, plus she’s the to-go person for tiny kittens!
Ceci Knopfler is the adoptions coordinator who deals with the logistics of dogs going from Isla to their FURever homes. She also manages Isla Animals social media, website, and email.
Jeanette Ray Laurence is our master organizer. She’s allergic to the animals but really wants to help so she’s the first one to step forward to do projects away from the clinic.
Jeannie Johnson is our dog whisperer for shy pups as well as a fabulous foster mom and she also feeds every dog in her neighborhood.
We enjoyed visiting with the dogs and taking them for a walk today. We hope the dogs enjoy the goodies we donated today. We will definately be back this week, Jersey stole our hearts.
The Martin Family
Pookie Belles aka Deliliah adoptors
In March we adopted our Rowan
We are so grateful for the opportunity we had to work with Isla Animals during our stay and bring the most special gift back home and into our family. He was 8 lbs when we first got him and he’s about 22 lbs. now! He’s settling in and growing up! He’s our fabulous Mexi-Pup!
On January 11th, 2017, on our last day vacationing on Isla Mujeres we spotted Isla Animals rescue, we stopped by and well, the rest is history 🙂 My husband and I brought home (Toronto) our new fur friend. We named her ISLA because of where she came from 🙂 Isla is doing very well as she adjusts to Toronto living. Everyone she meets loves her and she is getting bigger every day. We are so grateful for Isla Animals and the work they do, we love our new family member very much!
Wellness Care for Local Pets80%
Want to get involved?
If you have any questions or comments, please fill out the form below and we’ll reply as soon as possible or you can email us directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your interest!
Our clinic is located mid-island on Isla Mujeres in La Gloria nestled into the Hacienda Mundaca Parque. You can’t miss it – there is a HUGE thatched palapa roof over an open space.