Just a few years ago the concept of birth control for household pets was practically unknown among the residents of the Lake Chapala region.
Now, the Pet Taxi program is making inroads to the most isolated and impoverished communities along the north shore corridor, offering free animal sterilization surgeries to low-income families while educating people on the multiple benefits of ending the reproductive cycles of their cats and dogs.
Pet Taxi is an offshoot of Operación Amor, a grassroots initiative launched in 2011 to sponsor periodic spay-and-neuter clinics geared for pet owners of limited means who cannot afford to pay standard veterinary fees for the procedures. The need for Pet Taxi emerged as organizers became aware that many people had no way of transporting their four-legged companions to the clinic sites. A practical solution was to provide a special service to pick up the animals from their homes, take them to a local vet for sterilization and return them after surgery, free of charge.