As of 2019, Soledad de Graciano Sanchez, a city in Mexico, has begun taking steps to help ensure the health and wellbeing of all its animals. And this just isn’t applicable to the pets in homes, this extends to the strays as well.
As estimated by local officials, there are about 300,000 stray dogs in the city who are in need of basic care. Rather than ignoring the problem, the city’s government is starting to work with animal-loving locals in order to provide care for these strays.
One of the city’s first initiatives they’ve undertaken is a program called “ComeDog.” Working with the local citizens’ response group Respuesta Ciudadana, City Hall has placed 15 food dispensers in public areas in order for stray dogs to access food and clean water. The dispensers are created out of a simple PVC pipe and then filled with dry food, which comes as donations from people across the city. Respuesta Ciudadana is in charge of making sure the dispensers are regularly filled, as well as offering a helping hand to any dog in the area that might need it.
Mayor Gilberto Hernandez Villafuente reflected on the importance of people cooperating in order to provide a safe, caring environment for strays.
He said, “Today I realize how many people appreciate this program, we have been congratulated by different means and, well, I am going to ask you to participate and help us to have a very successful refuge.”
The city has also introduced a pet ambulance, which will provide care to both street dogs and family pets. The Ambudog, which was recently unveiled, is Mexico’s first ambulance dedicated to the care of animals. Veterinarians with Ambudog offer free healthcare to the city’s cats and dogs – whether or not they live in a family home or on the streets. The care provided includes vaccinations, as well as spay/neuter services that will hopefully help curb the number of homeless pets.
Dolores Elisa García Román, Director of Municipal Services Soledad de Graciano Sánchez, is hopeful to end the spread of deadly diseases amongst stray dogs and said, “There is an infectious picture when the puppy is born and if a month and a half is not vaccinated mainly by distemper or parvovirus, there is a contagion, both in people and animals, then this ambulance will be taken to all the suburbs to attend to all the puppies.”
These two programs are only the beginning of what officials in Soledad de Graciano Sanchez are hoping to become a stepping stone to a brighter future for the dogs of Mexico. It is even inspiring other cities throughout Mexico to follow their lead and introduce similar programs to benefit their homeless animals.
Way to go Soledad de Graciano Sanchez!