My guest today has a history of assisting animals in need. As a little girl growing up in Wales, Laura Raikes would rescue and adopt cats and dogs to bring them to her family’s farm. She first came to Playa del Carmen 14 years ago on a holiday, and loved it so much she ended up staying. Her love for animals has made a big impact in the Riviera Maya community.
Laura’s Animal Welfare organization is named after a kitten she named Coco. Coco was hit by a car on the road and much to Laura’s surprise people joked about the travesty. It was then Laura decided she wanted to change the way people saw animals, and to keep them off the roads. Her first project was to trap cats, have them spayed or neutered, and then released.
As many as 7 local veterinarians started donating two surgeries a week. As the need grew, Laura hired her first vet, Edgar, who helped to spay and neuter thousands of animals. To complete the idea of animal welfare, Laura realized educating the local community about animal care would also go a long way in helping local animals.
In May of 2016, Cocos was able to build a state-of-the-art facility, which features a multipurpose room to function as a classroom for education, a training room for volunteers, and on Saturday mornings, there is even yoga with cats!
Tips for Travelers
If you are visiting the Riviera Maya, and would like to help the animals of the area: