A Desperate Situation…
SayulitAnimals was originally founded to provide medical assistance, population control and protection for street animals in Sayulita, Mexico. Originally a quiet fishing town, as Sayulita’s local, ex-pat, tourist and transitory population began to grow, the numbers of unwanted dogs and cats rapidly increased, creating needless animal suffering, damage to jungle, river and beach ecosystems and unhealthy living conditions for both humans and animals alike.
To moderate the situation, people began poisoning animals, throwing unwanted litters into the river and the jungle, and even leaving animals tied up without food or water to slowly die alone. In retaliation, dogs became packs and controlled entire streets. People became fearful of dogs, and no longer viewed them as companions, but as threats instead. Due to a lack of options and education, the situation had become a deadly crisis.
THE COMMUNITY RESPONDS…
A concerned, lifetime animal lover, Sara Briner was already running a small assistance program — Perritos Merecen Mas (Dogs Deserve More) — with the hope that one day it could assist more animals than just those she could house at her home and business. In order to realize this vision, members of the community joined with her to envision an organization that would have a truly, large scale impact on the lives of street dogs and cats. This alliance and hard work produced what is now known as SayulitAnimals.
The beginning years were wrought with challenges: including very little funding, the lack of a stable pool of volunteers who could lend hands-on support, and the educational resources needed gently and respectfully reverse the view of animals as disposable annoyances. Little by little, however, a difference became evident.
In its first year of operation, SayulitAnimals neutered 360 animals, found over 40 animals loving, new homes, and placed nearly 30 animals in foster care as they awaited their fur-ever homes. There was also a visible difference in the health of unplaced, street dogs and cats, and community awareness of the operation began to grow as well.
SayulitAnimals has, at its heart, a mission to eliminate animal suffering and to educate people about animal welfare, in order to create an environment of compassion and respect. Through dedication, tenacity, tears and laughter, the mission has evolved. SayulitAnimals has grown to become a force for animal welfare that is recognized and respected beyond the bounds of our tiny pueblo.
The needs of street animals have shaped the organization into four key programs: Free Spay + Neuter, Adoption + Foster Assistance, Medical Aid For Street Animals and Community Education. The programs are now well-established and running full-force, fueled by donations of the time, skills, medical supplies and funds from supporters from around the world.
HOPE FOR THE FUTURE: WHAT’S NEEDED MOST NOW
In order to provide high quality medical care to the dogs and cats of Sayulita, we need up-to-date x-ray technology as well as automated lab-testing equipment, which will allow us to give immediate and precise treatment to animals in emergency circumstances. Training on the equipment will be required as well.
We also need a vehicle that would work as an animal ambulance for collection of injured street animals and unneutered cats and dogs. So often, an animal disappears before we can get to them and does not get the care it needs, due to not having transport in its moment of need.
We are also trying to gain support from the local government. There are laws in Mexico regarding animal rights and welfare, however, enforcement is a challenge. We need legal assistance to begin to take action in the most serious of cases, in order to put a stop to violence and abuse and save lives.
Ideally, we see an organization free from limitations, where SayulitAnimals has the resources it needs to successfully continue and expand programs, and assure that all cats and dogs in our area are healthy and situated in loving homes, free from suffering.
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
Whether you are a visitor to, or a resident of our lovely town, please join us in helping fulfill our mission to make Sayulita a world where dogs, cats and humans can all live healthy and happy lives!