The aftermath of evicting an animal rescue….
We thought it was past time to break down the rippling effect of how a tiny decision made in some office of someone completely ignorant of the work we do, has today.
Isla Animals was evicted from the space we used as a shelter on April 14, 2023. It was a government-owned building that was granted to us over 8 years ago, however the current government officials did not see, nor care about, the work that we have done there. We were given 3 to 4 weeks to vacate the premises.
At the time of the eviction… 4 months into 2023, we had already adopted out over 100 dogs, done over 500 sterilizations, and rescued over 180 dogs from the streets (and some kitties too!).
In these few months, we assessed our situation and considered all options. Honestly, we thought about closing the rescue completely. How would we continue without a shelter space?
And then things started to align. We were blessed with a piece of land, we made a plan to build a shelter with exactly the features and facilities that we need (using our 23 years of experience to guide us). And we started officially building in June. We have shared the building progress weekly on the new Isla Animals Oasis Shelter Project. While we are often positive and smiling, but if you look beyond our welcoming façade you may see what’s behind…
Passion, yes, always. We believe in what we do. But also extreme frustration and exhaustion fighting 24/7 against the million challenges from such an unexpected turn of events.
The aftermath of evicting an animal shelter is heartbreaking when looked into detail:
- Before, we could have 80 dogs, now we can have max 25 (and you all know we have 40)
- Before, our location was easy to find and we had 10 to 80 visitors a day. Now we have maybe 2 or 3 visitors a day, some days no one at all comes to visit the doggies 🙁
- Before, people could interact with all of our dogs. Now we can only hold puppies in our location, leaving our older dogs with much less exposure and chances to socialize.
- Before, we had enough donations at the shelter to cover food (and if you remember we did Pet Food Project during COVID, offering free food…. Hundreds of kilos a week!). Now we can barely cover the costs of food with the donations at the temporary location (not to mention rent, electricity, water, wages).
- Before, we were 100% dedicated to the animals. Now we are spread thin between building a shelter, buying materials, finding a plumber, supervising construction work, and also building our social media, so we can still share what we do with the world.
- Before, we did every spay and neuter we could. Now we are forced to analyze each case and make sure it’s something we can afford to do.
We know this is temporary. We know this will pass and things will be better. But the road to get there is excruciating. It’s full of obstacles, lack of understanding, and unrealistic expectations we battle daily. Our souls are drained having to say NO to animals in need.
We are to the point where we need to make some tough decisions. We have raised funds for less than half of what we need to complete Oasis, yet we have built about 60% of it. We should be celebrating such an achievement. Instead, we are worried about being forced to slow down the construction work at Oasis. We are worried about the impact that reducing our spay and neuter projects and outreach programs will have.
The ripples go beyond us, our pride, and our tiredness. The ripples affect the community, as we cannot support their animal’s food and medical needs, the dogs that will not become part of IA family after being abandoned, and the people we used to help on Isla Mujeres and beyond. It deeply saddens us, however temporary the situation may be.
We are still far from our fundraising goals for Oasis, but this is what we have achieved. We hope it’s an attestation of our passion and love for the animals, and a true representation of your love for them too. If you want to lend a paw to the project, it will go to the building, without ever disregarding the wellbeing, needs, and medical care of our rescue doggies.
Thank you for your support, understanding, and donations. Together we will get through this!