I am the official volunteer photographer and a board member of CANDi International. I travel to Mexico 3-4 times per year to document CANDi’s spay/neuter clinics and the street dogs.
I find it difficult to put this experience into words in a way that would truly say how I feel. This has been a life changing experience. The dogs of Cancun have deeply my heart and taught me about: the power of giving, suffering, compassion, cruelty, love, hard work, and taking action for a cause.
These images are from my July 2013 trip. The plan was to document street dogs for the week. However, those plans changed when I found a horse that deperately needed our help. Click here to read Esparanza’s story and recovery: Esparanza’s Rescue
About CANDi International:
CANDi International is a non for profit organization. CANDi believes the answer to reduce animal overpopulation is sterilization and education and promotes these solutions through the support of tourism industry corporations and pet loving travelers. “100% of all donations to CANDi go to the animals to end their suffering in this vacation paradise,” says Darci Galati, founder of CANDi.
Our Mission: “To save the lives of stray cats and dogs in Mexico and the Caribbean through spay, neuter, adoption and educational programs, supported and funded by the tourism industry, travelers and pet lovers.”
One unsterilized female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in just six years and one unsterilized female cat and her offspring can produce as many as 425,000 kittens in seven years.
As the average wage of workers in Cancun is approximately $300 a month, allocating funding to the needs of stray animals is out of the question. Free sterilization clinics organized by CANDi and its partners are the only resources available to locals to control the stray animal population in their community. And unlike the U.S. and Canada, there are no animal protection laws or national animal protection organizations like the SPCA to promote animal welfare so the estimated millions of stray cats and dogs in Mexico are left to die starving in the streets or killed by inhumane methods such as electrocution, poisoning, and drowning.
About the clinic itself(representative from CANDi International):
We hold a free spay/nueter clinic in the poor community of Bonfil. There are thousands of streets dogs and no humane treatment to control their population. Bonfil is about 10 minutes from the Cancun airport. Hundreds of animals weresafely sterilized during these five days, saving thousands of unborn puppies and kittens from lives of starvation, disease, and inhumane treatment. Thanks to monetary CANDi and its humane partners to date have spayed and neutered over 10,000 dogs an cats on the last 7 years. “CANDi clinic’s are the most trusted by the people of Cancun.” The local community support and the support of the local rescue groups is incredible and we could not have done this without their help. We are currently in the process of raising $15,000 for this clinic.”
To donate to this great cause, or to volunteer, please visit their website: CANDi International