We want to be as transparent as possible with this process. We are sorry if during the week we weren’t able to update our followers as quickly as we wanted to. We sent out 15 dogs (a massive logistic endeavor!) this week and have started packing, moving, and reorganizing…. But this is basically what’s happened so far…
Friday April 14
In a very informal meeting, our team was told by the government that we needed to leave the shelter in Mundaca in “a few weeks”, 3 or even 4 if necessary. During this brief meeting, we presented our major challenges and concerns.
- Moving the dogs in just short notice with no alternatives or options apart from our own homes.
- MOST IMPORTANT: Lack of answer regarding the clear question of what relationship the municipality envisioned with Isla Animals in the future.
Clearly, their only concern was clearing the building and have us gone. Maybe under the misconception that Isla Animals has money to spare, they assumed that we can rent/buy another shelter space. We would love for them to see the vetting costs and bills we deal with monthly and how, if we ever do have extra money, we go out and help more animals!
Saturday April 15
The team is in overdrive, considering many options in the very short term, but also in the long term. We don’t want Isla Animals to cease to exist and all the good work done for years to be for nothing.
Sunday April 16
We went public to our followers, donors, and audience on social media. We started a petition on Change.org and a GoFundMe. We received massive support from our followers and touched a nerve with the government as they begged us to take the post down and agreed to a meeting (on Tuesday). We were humbled by how many people showed their support for our cause. There is still a long road ahead as whatever solution we come up with will represent an expense that we never considered… we spend every cent on the dogs with very little in savings.
Additionally, the government promised us an amazing solution that would “leave us happy” and everyone would be satisfied. While we wanted to believe this, we are fully aware of the many struggles Alison faced over the years through many different government administrations, to retain the space at Mundaca Park. And regardless of the incredible work and changes we have achieved on Isla, we were not surprised about their disregard for our contribution to the Island.
Monday April 17
We prepared for our meeting. We attempted to make the officials aware that the dog overpopulation is still a CURRENT problem. On our weekly free spay and neuter days, we are always full with street animals and owned animals alike. We still rescue dogs from the trash on the island (3 just last week), and we still deal with cases of severe abuse. No, things are NOT resolved yet.
Tuesday April 18
10am: the meeting took place as planned. This is briefly what we took from this meeting:
- We HAVE TO empty the shelter and move out.
- We will NOT be coming back to the same location after the renovations (they consider this space a cultural gem of the isleños and must preserve the local culture…).
- We were offered a small temporary space (a space to be seen on Wed 9am)
- Isla Mujeres is struggling to find space even for the gov officials’ offices, so space is a rare commodity. Even if they were to offer us space, the agreement would have to be renewed with every change of administration, meaning that every 3 years we would have to dedicate endless energy to bureaucratic procedures and always the risk of the gov’t claiming back the space.
- The government’s idea for the future is to build a much-needed, and by law necessary, Centro de Bienestar Animal (something between a pound and a humane society), and they would like us to fundraise the funds to build it (again… completely unaware of how much we do with the little we have). We have declined this collaboration, obviously.
- They were not able to give us any time frame whatsoever.
- It was mentioned to be relocated to the mainland, at least in some capacity. No details were given to us.
Wednesday April 19
9am: we went to see this temporary space offer. As much as we can appreciate the last-minute scramble to fit us somewhere, and we know they have other plans for this building (it would only be available to us for 18 months maximum), we are still unclear on how we could use this space, if at all. The building is about 10 x 10 feet.
Saturday April 22
We have started moving things from Mundaca shelter into our office/storage/foster home space. As this place was filled to the brim with our supplies for Rancho Viejo Spay & Neuter campaigns and other things we use on a daily basis, we have spent the whole day moving things that will be relocated in Cancun, and trying to decide what we need to keep here to continue our work, and what we can store in Cancun. There is still a lot to do in this space if it can be used as a temporary shelter.
This is our IMMEDIATE solution. We cannot hold as many dogs in our storage space, and we are still to decide how we are going to receive volunteers and visitors, if at all possible. This is NOT a long term solution. We are still working on that.
But this space, if we can reaccomodate it properly, gives us HOPE. It will allow us to continue with the rescue program that we made explode this year….
Please keep us in your hearts, if you have adopted recently, this may not have been possible without our shelter, a space to offer dogs safety and love, and care. Help us Save Isla Animals.
And stay tuned for more news. Our team is strong and committed to the cause, whatever obstacles and challenges kick us down, we are determined to save Isla Animals…. but we can only do it with your help!