The Secret Lives of Pets in Juluchuca

Publicado por Playa Viva el diciembre 23, 2019

Update:  Dec 2019 – A Lasting Gift to the Community

In May our first spay and neuter clinic was a huge success.

We surpassed $3,500 in funds raised, and brought a group of volunteer veterinarians to Juluchuca where they performed 113 successful surgeries, and activated a new generation of animal advocates through a new local youth education group Los Amigos de los Animales.  

From similar campaigns in other areas we know the magic number to see a real reduction in the unwanted pet population and break the cycle of kittens and puppies are born into a life of suffering is to have three consecutive sterilization clinics within two years.  

So we know that we need at least 3 clinics to make a generational impact.   Our next goal is to raise another $3500 to fund 100+ sterilizations in our 2nd clinic, scheduled for March 2019.   Thank you all for your generous support, at this season of giving and throughout the year!

To contribute to this lasting gift, please follow this link to our GoFundMe page. 

Colleen Fugate es Gerente de Impacto Social y Ambiental en Playa Viva. Ella vive en Juluchuca. Aprenda más sobre su trabajo involucrando a nuestras comunidades locales a través de nuestros programas de impacto social.


Update:  June 2019 – Thank You For Your Support!

To all that have donated – thank you! We are thrilled to announce that we have surpassed our fundraising goal for Juluchuca’s first spay and neuter campaign. With over $3,700 in funding, we can now ensure that no animal will be turned away from the clinic on June 8th and 9th.

Playa Viva volunteers have spent five weeks leading animal welfare classes in the schools and canvassing Juluchuca with a group of youth dedicated to the cause – Los Amigos de los Animales. Together, they have now registered over 100 animals for the upcoming clinic.  Our original goal was 80, so your generosity has translated directly into a larger impact at this first clinic.

That’s right, we said FIRST clinic.  There will be follow-up clinics to come.  Our GoFundMe campaign is still active for those who wish to contribute.  Any additional money raised will be saved for follow-up clinics over the course of the next two years. It has been shown in neighboring towns that three consecutive sterilization clinics are necessary to have a long term impact in reducing dog and cat populations. Please consider supporting this multifaceted program either by donating or by sharing this link.

We would also like to give special thanks to Rosanna Tavarez, a Playa Viva guest, and yoga instructor in California, Rosanna held a donation-based yoga class and a raffle that together raised $900 for the clinic.  The support of Rosanna and her community was an inspiration to us all and led directly to us sterilizing an additional 25 animals next weekend.  

Help Juluchucans make real impact on animal welfare in their community today! (Published May 2019)

You may know “The Secret Lives of Pets” as a happy kids movie with a sequel coming out summer 2019.  The movie imagines the unseen daily life of pets which are beloved and celebrated members of the family.

But in many parts of the world, the REAL secret in the lives of pets, and especially stray animals, is that they lead a difficult and unfortunate existence suffering harsh conditions and mistreatment.  Spaying and neutering of animals is often too expensive or not available, and with animal populations uncontrolled, street cats and dogs reproduce quickly and are often seen as pests. When a beloved family pet becomes sick, families without money for treatment have no option but to abandon the animal, leaving them to suffer on the streets.

we are raising a new generation of animal advocates in Juluchuca

The repercussions from not sterilizing pets is staggering: just 1 female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 dogs in only 6 years. Sterilization programs are the only sustainable answer to solve the animal welfare issues caused by unwanted litters.

Here in Juluchuca many residents wish they could do something about stray animal starvation, suffering and overpopulation, but don’t have the funds to properly address the issue. Playa Viva’s environmental impact team, spearheaded by Valentine Reiss-Woolever, has connected with Playa Viva guest Nikki Borodi to launch a series of initiatives to help the community reach their goal.  

For a donation of as little as $30, you can make a significant contribution towards breaking the cycle of suffering for these animals

Our first spay and neuter event will be held June 7th.  As of early May 2019, we have already raised over $2,400 towards our goal of $3,000. This is the cost to bring in a local team of 6 veterinarians to conduct spay and neuter programs in Juluchuca and surrounding villages.  Please help us reach that goal, it will be one of the most impactful ways you can help animals in the local community. With your help we can sterilize over 80 dogs and cats in one weekend. For a donation of as little as $30, you can make a significant contribution towards breaking this cycle of suffering for these animals by spaying or neutering a street dog or cat.

we are offering educational classes on animal welfare targeted at local school children in the community.

This campaign will not only help us curb our pet population problem, but it’s also a fantastic opportunity to work with local residents to raise awareness about animal wellbeing. In April, May and early June we are offering educational classes on animal welfare targeted at local school children in the community. After their training, they go door-to-door with our international volunteers to spread the word about animal welfare and the upcoming sterilization event.  In addition financial support, Valentine, Nikki, and the Playa Viva community including Radiant Spiral Retreats are committing their time and hard work to making this event a success.

Through this work, we are raising a new generation of animal advocates and creating a community movement around animal activism in Juluchuca. If you would like to support our efforts, please follow this link to contribute to our campaign or contact us directly to find out how to get involved through your next stay at Playa Viva. Thank you for your support!

About Nikki Borodi:

Nikki came to Playa Viva first to lead a yoga retreat at Playa Viva. As a lifelong animal advocate with Rocket Dog Foundation, she leapt at the chance to meet some local residents, and learn more about the animal welfare issues facing the community.  Working closely with Valentine, Nikki helped with a full weekend of puppy bathing, deticking, and vet visits, and gained a deeper understanding of how to run a targeted campaign for animal welfare and sterilization in Juluchuca. From there she began taking an active role in our campaign after her first-hand experience working with animals in Juluchuca. Through an act of passion and luck, Nikki was able to facilitate the transfer of four homeless puppies to the United States.

In her words:

“It has been an incredible gift to support Playa Viva’s mission to improve the lives of animals and people in Juluchuca. I went to Playa Viva with the intention of having a relaxing yoga get-away, but got so much more than just a beautiful private beach. Unexpectedly, I was able to transport four puppies out of a life in the streets of Juluchuca… After coming home, I’ve continued to work alongside the team at Playa Viva and am honored to help foster a happier and healthier community for all species.”

About Valentine Reiss-Woolever:

Valentine serves as the La Tortuga Viva Sea Turtle Sanctuary Coordinator in addition to working on environmental education programs in Juluchuca.  She grew up in Dusseldorf, Germany.