Expat on Isla Mujeres famed for her work with dog and cat rescue

Published:  26 Apr at 6 PM
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As with the majority of countries worldwide, Mexico has its share of unwanted stray dogs and puppies, but one determined expatriate has been doing all she can to care for them in her island home for two decades.

Alison Sawyer Current and her husband had visited the little fishing village island of Isla Mujeres several times before they decided to make it their forever home, building a beachside property and living their expat dream. The only nightmare for Alison was the number of starving stray dogs roaming the beach until being rounded up and electrocuted by the local authority.

One day, she’d already rescued a litter of five newborn puppies from under a stack of logs, when instinct told her to return and search further. Reaching under the logs again, she found another puppy. This was her first rescue and became an inspiration for Alison and a group of her friends to start a dog rescue initiative based in a storage room above her garage. Once the word got round, she’d wake up to find street dogs tied to her gate, soon making the room too small to house the numbers arriving.

By the time she was caring for 65 rescued dogs, she realised it was time to ask for help, setting up a website and social media outlets in order to spread the word about the project. The response was so strong it enabled her to organise free spaying and neutering services, starting with 50 dogs and cats and later expanding to the mainland. Their annual campaign last November resulted in the neutering and speying of 1200 cats and dogs over a five-day period.

Nowadays, the stray dog and feral cat population on the island is mostly under control, with Alison admitting her work has cost much, both emotionally and financially, adding it can be heartbreaking and hard but it really makes a difference. She now has expat volunteers including veterinarians coming back year after year, the donations keep coming and she still believes there’s a rescue for every dog. ‘Dogs ask only for food, water and love, and live to make humans happy, so we owe it to them to make them happy and healthy in return for the comparatively short time they’re with us’, she says. It’s no wonder Alison is now known as the ‘Dog Lady of Mexico’.
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