By Jackie Kellum
Yes, there is an Anita of Anita’s Animals. Anita Strehlow came from Germany to Mexico in 1966, and has been involved in cat/dog rescue for the last 20 plus years. For some readers this is new information, for others it may be re-familiarization of things you already know.
Anita’s Animals is a small cat and dog no-kill sanctuary, situated half way up the road to the Raquet Club in San Juan Cosala. It is not a fancy place, but it is a safe haven full of love and caring for cats and dogs that are brought to Anita. Her unspoken mission in life, although it may not have started out that way, is to provide shelter, food and medical care for those unfortunate cats and dogs that were abandoned and/or abused by human society. On any given day, there may be 30 – 40 kittens/ cats, and 30- 45 puppies/dogs in residence. This past “puppy and kitten season” has been particularly high and extended, creating a higher population.
Anita currently has approximately 120 kittens/cats and about 70-75 puppies/dogs. Anita strongly believes in cat/dog population control via spaying & neutering. However, she will not turn away a pregnant mother that is close to delivering her young, so the rescued mother will not have her babies alone and in harm’s way. Anita will spay those mothers at the right time so they will not perpetuate more unwanted off -spring. A cat or dog that comes to Anita’s will be cared for until adopted into a loving family and forever home.
Anita is not a person who has a sanctuary and only spends several hours a day there – she lives there. The cats and dogs she cares for live at her house in their own rooming accommodations, right next to her unpretentious living quarters. The cats/dogs have indoor housing at night time to keep them warm, dry and safe. In the daytime, they spend their time in a communal setting. Anita has a few modestly paid dedicated helpers who work six days a week, 4 -6 hours a day, providing her assistance with the general work such feeding, kennel cleaning, transporting to Veterinarian appointments, picking up donations when requested, responding to a phone call for help in rescuing and picking up a cat or dog, etc.
Anita is at the Wednesday Ajijic open-market/tianguis each week, rain or shine. When most of us are turning over in our beds at 6AM, Anita is already set up at the market ready for work. Her stand has available donated used paperback books, clothing and a variety of other things. Please consider Anita when you are “spring house cleaning.” Donations obtained from the “sale” of these items pays for this cat/dog rescue work. Anita frequently has kittens and puppies with her that are available for free adoption. Older / larger cats/dogs are not allowed at the market, but they can be seen when visiting her sanctuary, 7 days a week: 9A-2PM and 4P – 6PM. Phone # 387-761-0500. Adoptions are free with the expectation that the new “parents” will give them a loving home and care for life. If new parents offer a donation, it is gladly accepted and will be used for the next cat or dog that no doubt will arrive shortly.
Stop by and meet Anita at the Ajijic market or visit her sanctuary. Better yet, go home with a life long companion, who will never stop rewarding you for your decision.