By Jackie Kellum
When this column is published, unless some kind of miracle occurs, the new 16% IVA tax on all pet food is in effect in January. This will affect the majority of people who have family pets, but it will have the hardest impact on Mexican families who have a very restricted income and budget. Those who have a cat / dog, or more, take pride in their pet and consider it an integral part of the family unit. Research has shown that adults who have a pet gain a positive effect, both physically and mentally. Families that have both children and a family pet usually gain a positive learning experience for their child as pet ‘ownership’ usually promotes self-worth, a sense of pride, compassion and responsibility which leads to good citizenship. If you have staff who takes care of your house, garden, etc., ask if they have a family pet. If they do, consider a holiday gift of some pet food for that pet family member – I know they will be touched by your thoughtfulness.
We are upon a normally happy time of year, with celebration of many holidays, feelings of joy and gathering of friends and family. At this time too, there are many cats and dogs that are living in a variety of ‘shelters’ at Lakeside, waiting for their chance for a forever home and happiness. Might I suggest that in lieu of giving a holiday gift to a person who really does not need another scarf, knick-knack or . . . that you consider a donation to your favorite rescue group in that person’s name. Maybe even create a holiday party and ask those attending bring some pet food as a “hostess gift” which then can be donated to a rescue group. If you do not support a particular rescue group, please then consider one of the groups that help with spay-neutering of pets belonging to Mexican Nationals of limited economic means. At present time, there are three groups with this specific goal of trying to reduce pet over-population. These groups are: Lakeside Friends of the Animals – www.lakesideanimalfriends.org For the Chapala Municipality, is Operacion Amour – Cameron Peters – email@example.com., which holds regular three-day spay-neutering events in communities at the east end of the lake. A newly formed sister organization in the Jocotepec Municipality is called Operacion Compacion – Operacioncompacion@gmail.com. It will be starting with a spay-neutering event in San Juan Cosala on February 7, 8 and 9th.. They will have other spay-neutering events in SJC and other towns at the west end of the lake. When spay and neutering is supported, it might hopefully reduce the need to have so many unwanted, abused, starving and neglected cats/dogs waiting in shelters. Your support of adopting from a shelter and not buying a pet will also help stop perpetuating the ugly business of puppy mills. This enslaved breeding is solely for profit at the expense of perpetual breeding of a dog, unknown health conditions, and the creation of cruel inhumane living conditions. Certainly there are enough available pets at our shelters to pick from for adoption, rather than buying a puppy.
Anita and her volunteers would like to express a special Thank You! to those un-sung individuals, heroes/heroines actually, who go out of their way in their busy lives to provide assistance to animals in need. It is easy to walk by a problem and figure someone else will take care of it. Happily there are many un-named individuals who do take the time and effort to make a difference in a needy animal’s life by providing food and water, rescuing from an abusive/hazardous situation, providing foster care and adopting. Happy Holidays to All!
For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com