Currently I'm on a trip of a life time for the next year - living and travelling around Mexico and Central America with quick stops to Kenya and UAE helping those in need and trying to make a difference one step at a time. Please follow me while I take my journey to places such as Nairobi, Dubai, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua to show you inside a world that many of you never knew existed and recognize individuals and Organizations that sacrifice so much in order to help animals and human beings. I will be volunteering mainly with Animal Rescue Groups, Orphanages and Women Shelters along the way - posting stories, pictures and videos of my experiences throughout. There is so much to the world outside of North America, please follow me in my journey...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Its Been Awhile......

To all of you who have been following my blog - Im extremely sorry that I have not updated my profile in nearly 5 months. So much has happened since the end of March. Not only have I been to Africa and back as well moved on from Mexico, but our beloved doggies, Katya and Carmen have found their loving homes in Canada (stories to follow).

Currently Im on my journey throughout Central America (visiting Guatemala at the moment) already ticking Belize off the list of places visited. My trip around Central America is scheduled to finish the end of Aug in Panama where I will then be jet setting to the UK. Please bare with me this week as I update the last 5 months of my travels and bring you back up to speed with my current status.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

RIP Oscar & Houston of The Peanut Pet Shelter


Sadly, regardless of the great efforts the Peanut Pet Shelter made to help save the lives of these two very special animals - it is with great sadness that both Oscar and Houston passed away this month. Out of all the 70+ animals at the shelter - these two dogs made such a lasting impact on me. Here are their stories: 

Oscar came to the shelter back in Jan after Jen and Andy found out about him from a man named Oscar - whom had been feeding him. The state Oscar was in at the time was worse than awful - from the look of it - this poor pitbull had a devastating past. Down in Mexico - pitbulls are greatly used for fighting. Andy and Jen suspected that Oscar was a fighting dog who had been discarded when he was of no further value, as is the way with many fighting pitbulls. They are either killed or left to fend for themselves on the streets. We know for sure that the life of a fighting pitbull is a harsh one and they are subjected to horrific mistreatment in order that they achieve the required level of aggressiveness. Oscar came to the shelter having no emotion - instead he would look blankly at everyone and had sadness written all over his eyes. By the end of his short lived stay at the shelter - Oscar completely transformed (due to the love and kindness he received) - instead of sadness filling his eyes - he was filled with hope and happiness. Oscar learned how to play, jump and give kisses - in return he got so many well wishes from PPS supporters and most of all love from Andy and Jen as well as all the other visitors of the shelter. Everyone was praying that he would get his fur back - esp around his face and finally be healthy enough to be adopted into a loving, forever home. Sadly this was not the case - recently Oscar started to take a turn for the worst - Andy and Jen started noticing that he couldn't keep his balance and he was getting aggressive with the other dogs. After collapsing one afternoon they took him to the vets to get examined - unfortunately he never returned to the shelter - instead he passed away at the vets. Did his heart fail? Did he suffer a stroke? Liver failure? Was there perhaps a blood clot/scarring/fluid causing pressure on his brain? Sadly, they don’t know what happened to poor Oscar that day and will never know. On the brighter side - the last two months of Oscar's life was probably the happiest day's he had ever seen. He was finally shown the love and care he so desperately needed and deserved. The Peanut Pet Shelter tried everything for poor Oscar and created this video in his memory. RIP Beautiful Oscar

Houston was probably one of my favourite doggies at the shelter. Despite being hit by a car and breaking his pelvis enabling him to walk at the time - he made a full recovery (thanks to Andy and Jen) and ran around the shelter full of life. A lot of care went into his rehabilitation and he was soon good enough to run, jump and play with all the other doggies. Due to a blood related issue (that seems to happen in many dogs down here due to ticks), Houston never seemed to gain any weight. He was very skinny even though he liked to eat, eat, eat! Because Andy and Jen wanted to keep a closer eye on him they decided to bring him to their house where they could take better care of him. It is with great sadness to report that earlier this month - Houston experienced a very long, violent seizure that lasted almost 45 minutes. The only thing Jen could do at the time was protect him from hurting himself before his little heart stopped. Unfortunately due to the severity of the seizure there was no way any animal could survive it. After already going through so much in his short life - it is devastating that Houston's life had to end this way. Houston was so sweet and full of life at the shelter. Thank god he finally received the love he deserved (even if it was only for a short while) while at PPS. RIP Dear Houston 

Monday, March 15, 2010

Katya is looking for her forever home.........

How could one just drop their two dogs off at the Beauty Salon and never come back for them - sadly this happens alot and thanks to The Peanut Pet Shelter - that afternoon when two sisters - Katya and Sara were dropped off at the Salon to get groomed and their owner never came back - Andy and Jen came to their rescue. Katya has been at the shelter for over six months - and although many of the dogs have been at the shelter much longer than her - Katya was in need of some one on one care so I asked to be her foster mommy. The orginal plan was to only foster her for a short period - however of course that plan changed once I spent only a few moments with her outside of the shelter. Katya is indeed one big sweetheart. We think she is about two years old and is a Shepard Mix, weighing in at about 40 pounds. She loves other animals and is very affectionate with people/children. Katya does not need a leash (even though I put her on it from time to time just to be safe) as she stays by my side our entire time on walks. Katya never whines or barks and loves to play and look up at me with her big eyes and give me kisses. Katya is in need of wonderful home since she is such a wonderful girl. She will be spayed in the near future and up to date on her shots. This girl is full of love and is looking for the right person/family to give it to. Katya, as well, has managed to worm her way to my heart. Katya is so loyal and affectionate and deserves to be spoiled rotten. If you are interested or know of anyone who may be interested in Katya please email me at - Cross Boarder adoptions are so easy and everything will be arranged to get this little girl to you!!!!!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Carmen Update!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm so sorry that this post has taken so long - I know many of you are anxiously awaiting the update on Carmen and her progress. Thanks to her vet, Diageo of Playa Pets, Carmen has healed 100% after the removal of her front, left leg. I'm really not sure where Carmen came from - as she is out of this world - despite having gone through everything she has in her short life so far - Carmen proves time and time again that she can overcome anything without a single whine. After her surgery, just over a month ago, when I picked her up from the vet clinic - she was already trying to jump and wag her tail anxiously with excitement.

Within a day of her surgery she was back to her old self - actually correction - she was much better than her old self - she seemed so much happier and had so much more life to her - without her front leg that she must have been dragging for over a year - she was finally free of pain. Carmen walked so much better on only three legs and had no issue whatsoever hopping up stairs. She seemed much more confident and her personality finally started to shine through. Carmen is one of the happiest dogs that I have met - not only is she full of life but she loves everyone and everything. Ever since she became a 3 legged dog - she gets more attention than I have ever gotten in my entire life - and she is loving it!!!!!! Two weeks after her surgery, thanks to Laura from Coco's Cat Rescue, Carmen was taken to get spayed!!!!!!! Below are some images of Carmen's life in the last month:

Carmen can move just as fast as any other dog and can jump just as high. Currently right now I am foster a dog from The Peanut Pet Shelter (will be posting her story shortly) - and Carmen is in heaven! They sleep together, eat together, play together and love each other like crazy!!!! Carmen loves other animals (both dogs and cats)! As I mentioned in her first story - anyone who adopts Carmen will be the luckiest person/family. She is full of joy and has so much love to give. This street dog that once was so sad and in so much pain as well as used a dirt pile as her bed has touch my heart so much that I will be forever greatful to her. I have had a few people interested in the possibility of adoption but nothing is 100% as of yet. I will be bringing her back to Toronto in the middle of June (I will NOT be leaving her in Mexico) - she has been spayed, de-wormed, updated on all her shots and tested for any tick related disease. Her flight will be paid for - the only thing she needs is a home that will love her as much as I do. Carmen would be the perfect pet therapy dog (my doggie, Chanel, in Toronto is a Certified Therapy Dog) and it would also be a great way for people to see just how well adjusted a dirty, flea/tick infested street dog can turn out to be :) 

If anyone is 100% interested in the possibility of adopting this wonderful dog please email me at: - my heart breaks just thinking about having to give her away :( Thank you for all that have been following Carmen's story - more updates and pictures will be posted shortly.


For All You Cat Lovers..........

Laura Jonguitud Raikes, founder of Coco's Cat Rescue in Playa Del Carmen, started Coco's just over a year ago. Coco's started the TNR (trap spay/neuter return) program in Playa where it is designed to decrease the feral cat population in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. On top of that she takes in sick/abandoned feral kittens to her home - nurses them back to health, tames them and finds the kitten's forever homes. Many of the kittens are sent off to Canada or the States where Coco's has many proud supporters. Cross borader adoption is extremely easy to do - however unfortunately many people are unaware of this. Laura helps local residents with their pets (many of which cannot afford proper vet care for their animal) and provides free or low-cost spay and neuter surgeries, as well as vaccinations and basic animal care. In just a year of Coco's operating - here are their satistics: Feral trap neuter return- 354, Owner assisted cats sterilized-288, Owner assisted dogs sterilized-95, kittens rescued 232, kittens rehomed 215 and 12 kittens are still up for adoption. Coco's is now working with 5 local vets here in Playa del Carmen who offer services free of charge.

Woohoo give it up for Coco's!!!!!!!!

Coco's has been involved in a number of events recently - one being - they took part in International Spay Day 2010. In one day alone they managed to have over 120 cats neutered/spayed as well as 2 rescue dogs (including my Carmen). Although to some, 120 cats do not seem like too many - if you think about how many babies alone could have been produced by these cats - in reality 1000s have been saved from a potentially awful life on the streets.

Last week - Laura, myself along with other volunteers spent the day along 5th street in Playa Del Carmen sitting at a booth with some featured kittens to promote Coco's to locals and vacationers. The purpose of this was to raise awareness of the feral cat problem in Mexico and sell  merchandise to raise money for the relief efforts of Coco's. All in all - the day was a huge success. We had many people stop to ask questions, buy merchandise and donate a few dollars. We managed to raise well over $200US dollars, sell lots of items and most importantly educated those who were unaware of the increasingly large overpopulation problem here in Mexico.

Below are a few pictures of our day on 5th:

For those of you that are interested in finding out more information about Coco's or their featured kittens available for adoption - please visit their homepage at or become a fan of theirs on facebook. Furthermore, for those that are not able to donate but would like to help them in anyway please invite your friends on facebook to become fans of Coco's or donate $2.00 with just a simple click on the computer - Subscribe (its free) to the Pet News Plus monthly email newsletter and Coco's will receive $2 in your name! Make sure to click on the verification link that comes in your email to make it count -

Lastly, on March 21st Coco's is having its 1 year anniversary party at Blue Parrot. Because the owners of Blue Parrot (best nightclub - along the beach - in Playa) are such animal lovers they have donated an open bar and food of up to 400 people for this event - this means that ALL proceeds of ticket sales go to Coco's. Amazing!!! Tickets are $250 pesos (approx $20US) for a night out at Blue Parrot with open bar, hugee silent auction, appetizers and live music from famous Mexican singer Saul Hernandez. If you are in the Playa area during that time please let me know so I can provide you with more information. I'm sure this night will be a night to remember - especially since a great cause will be supported.

Thank you Laura (Coco's) for doing all you do - her amazing dedication to animals is helping decrease the Mexican animal overpopulation one step at a time!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A NEW concern that is approaching quickly in Mexico

The affordable drug used to safely and humanly put the dogs to sleep (at the Perrera) has recently been deemed illegal in Mexico. EVERYONE is greatly concerned about this. It will be very expensive to use a different type of drug to continue the humane Euthanasia. For the time being, Peanuts Pet Shelter managed to locate some of the needed drug. Together with the municipal vet the founders of the Animal Organizations are trying to find a solution to this! Please stay tuned for updates on this situation...

Review: Food Drive Fundraiser for the Perrera!!!!

To most - the word Perrera does not mean a sinlge thing - however to the people of Playa Del Carmen - the Perrera is a place that many of us would never like to visit as it is too heartbreaking. The Perrera is the City Pound - The Municipality has the unfortunate job of trying to control irresponsible pet ownership, dog over population problems and animal cruelty cases. It is against the law to have your dog running loose in Playa. It poses a health risk for humans and other animals alike. Their job is to gather dogs on the street and take them to the holding area at the pererra. The pet owners have 72 hours to retrieve their pet with a fine. If no one claims the dog, the sad truth is that they will be put to sleep.

The problem in Playa (and most of Mexico) is that owners treat their dogs like cats - they let them run free on the streets. Because it is against the law to have your dog run free - regardless if the animal has a collar on or not - if an employee from the Perrera sees a dog roaming free ('The Dog Catcher') - he/she will pick up the animal and take it back to the pound with the notion that it has three days to be claimed or it gets put down.

Another sad truth about the Perrera is that they have very little food to feed these animals during their three days in the cell awaiting their fate. The new Municipal Vet Carlos is very interested in changing the conditions at the pound that he invited the founders of the main animal organizations in Playa to take a tour around and see first hand the conditions - as well ask for their help! Malix Pek, Coco's Cat Rescue and The Peanut Pet Shelter came together and decided to host a Food Drive event at a local bar in town to raise funds and have the attenders donate food to the dogs at the Perrera!

Thanks to the people who attended the event and those that could not (but donated money online instead) - the Perrera raised over $600 and over 80 bags of food!!!!!!!! The event ended up being a hugee success - amazing work!!!