Advice from a Veterinarian with Erika Flores

Erika Flores

What does a happy dog look like? My guest, Veterinarian Erika Flores, offers advice to visitors of the Riviera Maya area about the local dog and cat populations.

Erika trained in Mexico City, where she worked for the Mexican Government Wildlife Division. The stress of the city was getting to her, and she welcomed the opportunity to move to Quintana Roo with her partner. For the last six years, she has worked for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), focusing on humane management of the dog and cat population in the Riviera Maya. The IFAW partners with local veterinarians and animal protection groups, including Coco’s Animal Welfare.

Travelers Take Note

The culture regarding dogs and cats is different in Mexico. If an animal is roaming the streets it doesn’t mean they need to be rescued.

Dogs have a different life than dogs in other places but they can still be happy. An animal needs exercise and social interaction.

Going to a vet can be expensive for the average Mexican worker. It can even be more costly than human care.

There is no shelter big enough to hold all the street dogs.

How Travelers Can Help

Find a local organization that works with needy animals and see if they need a donation for food or someone to walk the animals.

  1. Coco’s Animal Welfare – They sterilize community animals and is nearly free for those who cannot afford it.
  2. S.O.S. el Arca – Visitors can volunteer to work at a shelter and play with the animals.
  3. Become a Sponsor – Sponsor an animal or the cost of a surgery.
  4. Don’t Put Wild Animals at Risk by Taking Pictures.

*If you complain to the government about street dogs they may try to clear the streets, and it may not be in the best interest of the dogs.

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