“At The Yucatan Times we believe in providing all our readers with the ability to speak their mind, to challenge, discuss or respond any article, editorial or news released on our online publication, we provide all the parties involved with the opportunity to present their story, no editing from us, as long as this response is signed by the author”
The following letter was sent to us by Mr. Jeff Damon, a well know, respected authority in the subject of animal care.
What is your number?
Warning, the content at the end contains graphic images but I feel it is necessary that you read it in its entirety and then please comment with a number.
That number represents how many animals you feel it is OK to neglect and abuse so that others can find homes. It is this philosophy that I struggle to understand. My number is Zero. What is yours?
For this reason myself and Dr. *Jeffrey Young (read more about Dr. Young here) are forming an organization that will come up with a set of guidelines we feel is a minimum requirement for shelters and rescues in the Yucatan to adhere to. We are currently in the formation process and will be adding people to the board who we feel can contribute to helping the organization draft up a set of guidlines that are ethical and attainable. We hope to have a retired veteranarian on the board as well as someone from the health department.
To read more about Jeff Damon posts click here:
Grew up on a small farm and have been around animals all his life. Jeff is a certified dog trainer as well as a certified groomer with “Honors”. He started helping rescues in 2007 and have fostered many dogs since that time. Moved to the Yucatan in 2011 and have been actively involved in many organizations that seek to improve the lives of companion animals.
This is the story of Sara and Ty Bateman also to be found on their blog
It Is Personal To Us
Long before Ty and I called Merida home we became aware of a dog sanctuary in the nearby community of Uman. We found them by chance while scouring the internet for information about Merida. On Evolucion’s website, we saw the pictures of rescued dogs, and decided because we were in Texas and could not physically volunteer, to offer financial donations to help the dogs of Evolucion.
As human beings who domesticated dogs, it is our responsibility to treat companion animals with respect and dignity. We must be advocates for those who have no voice. We believe this is the reason many of us have in the past and many still continue to support Evolucion. We want to be part of the solution to improve the lives of dogs. We simply love dogs. We believe the hearts of the local and expat communities are sincere in this.
Here is our personal story. His name was Panque, he was an adorable little ball of black fur, wheeling around in a doggie wheelchair. In June of 2012, the Evolucion Facebook post asking for a “forever home” for Panque tugged at our heartstrings. At the same time, we responded by fully funding a plea by Evolucion to cover amputation costs for a dog named Paty who had a severely deformed back leg. A friend and volunteer offered to bring Panque to us for a meeting; she was certain we would be perfect parents for the little dog in a wheelchair. However, we continued to decline this meeting.
While reviewing the “Panque”post one more time, I phoned Silvia Cortes to ask for the address of the foster home where Panque was staying. The strong order of urine and feces filled the air as I approached the house and knocked on the iron protector. The door opened and I was greeted by a dozen or so large dogs and little Panque in his wheelchair. I realized this was not a “Foster Home”, but rather a location with a hired male worker where dogs were being housed.
Seeing the conditions this little dog was in, I decided to phone Silvia and let her know I was taking Panque directly to the Veterinarian for evaluation. We committed to adopt Panque although there were never any adoption papers. I was unsure what would be found under his feces matted fur. When we arrived at the clinic, I was surprised the Vet knew Panque, Dr. Tony of Planned Pethood made it clear to me after his initial examination of Panque for Silvia Cortes he had informed her his birth defects were untreatable and he should be euthanized. At my request, Panque was given another exam, grooming and new X-rays. In my desire to help this dog, it was hard to accept the hopelessness of his situation. We changed his name to Rico which means “Noble Ruler”.
For the next four and a half months we loved and cared for that sweet little boy. He had no use of his back legs and required around the clock care. While under the care of Evolucion he been allowed to drag himself around which had worn the tissue on his legs down to the bone (in fact the bone was worn flat), being left in the wheelchair for extended periods of time, the straps had left lesions on his legs. Once he had the matted coat removed it was obvious he was malnourished. He was incontinent and slept in diapers. Every time he urinated we removed his dirty bandages, washed the urine off his legs, dried him and wrapped his legs with new bandages. We consulted two local veterinarians, one in Cancun and another at A&M University Veterinary School in Texas about Rico’s condition.
We requested a meeting with Silvia Cortes and three volunteers of Evolucion. During this meeting, Silvia and the volunteers agreed Evolucion did not have the facilities, staff or finances to care for a dog such was Rico. No explanation was offered as to why Silvia had not followed Dr. Tony’s recommendation.
Many ideas for improvement were discussed. The volunteers and Silvia met later and an outline was created to implement necessary changes. Records would be kept, and Veterinarians recommendations would be followed. Dogs too sick to be cared for properly or deemed not adoptable would be euthanized. We were assured by Silvia and the volunteers that changes in Evolucion policy would take place. Rico passed away with dignity in my arms on October 12, 2012; we were broken hearted.
Amigos de Rico was founded in memory of our little Rico simply to help dogs. In the last three and a half years we have learned much and have needed to change many of our original beliefs to be more effective as we faced the overwhelming task of neglected and abused dogs in Yucatan. The one thing that has not changed and will remain is our desire to support organizations and individuals who work tirelessly to improve the lives of dogs in Yucatan.
A little history:
I could go on as many more cash donations were made as well. Please do not misunderstand our public disclosure of contributions as boasting, I have only included this information to make it clear that in the past we have been avid supporters of Evolucion and have a long history with Silvia Cortes, Patricia Holland and Evolucion.
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