Operación Amor put another dent in lakeside’s household pet population with 232 cats and dogs undergoing spay and neuter procedures at the free clinic held March 2 through 5 at Chapala’s Esceuela Secundaria Técnica 83.
The organization’s key to success can be largely attributed to a proven ability to build a strong multinational team of volunteers and supporters who work in harmony to operate and promote the program. The growing participation of Mexican residents as both clients and helpers is a major feather in the group’s cap.
For the latest clinic the medical team spearheaded by Chapala veterinarian Daniel Borrego included Antonio García, José de la Cruz and Adolfo Reveles, veterinary surgeons sent from Mexico City as on previous occasions under the sponsorship of the Fundación Antonio Haghenbeck y de la Lama.
A growing number of local residents who are active in promoting animal rights and protection, pet adoptions and canine training are jumping aboard to assist in attracting families of limited means who can’t afford to pay for private sterilization services. Some spread out in the community in the days and weeks prior to the clinics to knock on doors, hand out promotional materials and explain the program. Others offer free transportation and pet handling to people who may be unable to get to the clinic on their own.
These efforts not only bring in new clients, but also foster greater understanding about the benefits of pet sterilization, counteracting negative concepts still held by many folks. The end results have been the steady reduction in unwanted breeding and the number of strays wandering the streets or landing in shelters.
Operación Amor head honchos Amalia García and Cameron Peters say they are actually pleased that the clinics are bringing in fewer families living in Chapala’s Plaza de Toros barrio, where the school is located, calling it a sign that the program has essentially covered that area’s needs. More and more people are coming from more distant parts of the municipality and other nearby communities. The ladies are now working on plans to offer two-day mini campaigns in other towns next fall.