About Isla Animals

Who are we?

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.

note 2023/2024: we DO NOT have that facility any longer by no fault of our own and it was a blessing in disguise… as out of desperation Isla Animals Oasis was born and today we have an amazing huge, efficiently designed space that, while unfinished, no one can take away from the abandoned and street animals!

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.

Our Mission

To provide free spay/neuter clinics to help control the animal population
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

The Story

When Alison moved to Mexico in 2001, there was no animal rescue on Isla Mujeres (THERE ISN’T ONE STILL!). 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. Sadly, in 2023 the local government decided we had already solved the problem (as if) and reclaimed the space… without having any other options for animal welfare, spay and neuter or Centro de Bienestar Animal, which by law they should have. Disappointing doesn’t even start to explain what it feels to have 24 years of work thrown away by greedy politics.

Isla Animals has a highly-educated vet, Dr. Arturo Dzul Leon, that has created all our medical protocols and guarantees our animals get the best possible vet care. 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. And since those days, it has actually grown to help in areas as far as Merida and Tulum.

2024 and what the future brings?

At the end of Feb 2024 we made the big move into Isla Animals Oasis. The place is still very much a construction site but it was time. We are doing a lot of the painting, building, fixing, and setting up… in our eyes we can see what this place is gonna look like in the near future. While we cannot receive volunteers at the moment, please stay tuned… So many projects coming soon!!!!!

Meet The Team

Our Goals

Spay/Neuter Programs 93%
Animal Protection 79%
Humane Education 60%
Adoption Services 90%
Wellness Care for Local Pets 80%

Want to get involved?

Contact us

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: info@islaanimals.org

Thank you for your interest!

Contact Us

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.

WE ARE CURRENTLY HOMELESS. We are working on an immediate and very temporary solution to welcome you, as well as a PERMANENT future for Isla Animals.