Since our recent decision of leaving the island, we have had so many people asking us why. We have a variety of very important reasons!
The trigger to push us towards this situation is obviously the government evicting us from our shelter on the island at the end of April 2023. While renovations were past overdue, the work of Isla Animals is no longer welcome in whatever new installations are gonna be made there. The lack of viable alternatives and future projects from the government, except the vague idea of us fundraising to build a pound (project in the works for over 20 years now on Isla….) and fight to run it every 3 years… it all made it easy to see that we need to go independent. (More news on why we decided to go independent: here).
We NEED a shelter, a solid institution that will last as long as Isla Animals is needed. As an organization that knows how much it can do to help the cats and dogs in need, breaking our own records in just 3 and a half months in 2023 (with 140 dogs rescued, a hundred dogs sent home in a hundred days, and almost 500 spay and neuters done), reducing us to an immediate but very temporary space, it’s heartbreaking, as we alone know how many animals will NOT be helped due to our forced limitations.
Initially, our main priority was to find options on the island. We looked and looked and we quickly realized that the island is running out of space. Prices of land are beyond whatever we would be able to afford, and we are faced with the moral principle of thinking that we could spend all that money on the animals… treatments, vaccines, sterilizations, surgeries, food… our passion and commitment to the animals would never let us waste money on land that is overpriced, it would be unethical.
Plus, there is the added fact that even if in the island the issue of dogs is not resolved, it’s also a very particular issue. You may see dogs in the street but there are very few street dogs. Truth is that most dogs we find are abandoned. We came to the realization that the work needed to be done on the island is about education and responsible ownership. Our free and spay and neuter are no longer dedicated to street dogs, but to owners, many of which are actually able to afford the cost but rather not. We wonder if our work is developing some negative consequences… We want to go back to the basics.
We want to help the dogs that REALLY need it, the street dogs that were left without a chance, those that were thrown in the jungle unable to defend themselves, those that are at serious risk. We already do that: a large percentage of our intake comes from the mainland, mostly Cancun. These are dogs that were born in the streets and tend to have more puppies in the streets.
So… it wasn’t a leap to think of moving to the mainland.
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What we want to build?
On the mainland, we CAN afford to build our own shelter, up to our international standards. We can have isolation areas for sick dogs and mommies with puppies, a surgery room, enough space for in-site spay and neuter campaigns, we can have a space for cats and the outdoor area that we have dreamt of for so long. We can have volunteers come and stay and help run the place. We can welcome visitors and we are planning events in the new land.
This would have never been possible on the island.
What we want to achieve?
Being on the mainland opens a million new doors for Isla Animals as a rescue. There is a massive need for us there. And around there, where we will be set up, there are uncountable dogs with literally no help at all.
We have gotten comfortable on the island cause it was easy with the shelter. Without it, we were left scrambling to see how to continue. And the cases keep coming. Being there, in the middle of the storm, we can go back to do hands-on work more often than we ever were on the island. We can make a massive difference!
It’s all about the dogs and cats. Isla Animals is lucky to count on an incredibly committed team that’s willing to achieve greatness for the wellbeing of the animals. Here or there, it’s just a matter of a pin on a map. We want to help more, and there is where we are needed.