By Dale Hoyt Palfrey
Educating younger generations on the humane and responsible care of animals and the benefits of pet sterilization is one of the goals of Operación Amor, the volunteer organization that operates free spay and neuter clinics for Chapala area residents of limited means.
During the latest clinic held December 8 and 9 at the campus of Chapala’s Secundaria Técnica 8, 227 cats and dogs underwent surgical procedures carried out by five highly skilled veterinarians. Since 2011, Operación Amor has ended the reproductive capacity of more than 3,000 domestic animals, thus preventing the birth of thousands of unwanted offspring.
Students enrolled at the secondary school play an important role in advertising the program among friends and neighbors. Some even show up to assist the vets and the team of volunteers who keep the project running like clockwork.
Children who accompany their families at the clinics are encouraged to actively participate in caring for their household pets during the pre- and post-operative process.
Guardianes del Planeta, a separate NGO dedicated to teaching young people about principles of non-violence toward all living beings, collaborates with Operación Amor, offering art workshops to keep kids entertained while learning values applicable to their daily lives. Appreciation for the humane treatment of animals translates into greater respect for fellow humans and deeper understanding to break cycles of domestic violence that may occur in family circles.