By Jackie Kellum
Who is Anita’s Animals? Anita Strehlow is many different things to various people. She is an educator for the young and some adults, instructing them about proper respect and care for animals. She sometimes is a family counselor/ confidant when a person is having a difficult time dealing with problems at home. Anita is a “battery recharger” for the human spirit and soul. She acts as a source of animal care information or resource as to where that person can go to seek help, if not from she herself. She is the international gathering place at the Ajijic tianguis for conversations, spoken in German, English and Spanish. Most view Anita as their “safety net” to take in a rescued cat or dog. Some liken her to a type of Mother Teresa of animals, as she has a gentle, open, endlessly giving, non-judgmental heart for all living things – animals and humans alike.
At times a small act of kindness has a loud resounding impact on the heart. Each week or so, a woman named Ellie comes to the Wednesday Ajijic market to deliver a small plastic bag to Anita. Ellie is on a limited monthly budget. She delivers this package faithfully with a brief statement, saying she wished she could do more. This bag contains frozen accumulated “left-over” food that she has collected from her meals and an occasional outing to a restaurant. This treat is relished by those puppies and dogs that enjoy this great [defrosted] treat mixed in with their food. For them it creates another weekly Thanksgiving meal. Each of us who help, do so within our ability to help. Some people have more available finances to offer, some, more time than money, but there is no “scoring system “ as to which is the “ better” help. In life, one makes a choice to be a by-stander or a participant, which also applies to helping others in need that we encounter in our life’s pathway.
A reminder, please: even though you believe it may never happen, or it has never happened before – keep a collar on your dog with its ID. It provides assistance in the recovery of your escaped family pet. This is a sad and staggering mathematical fact: One female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 dogs in six years. One female cat and her offspring can produce 20,736 cats in four years. Anita and her volunteers wish to acknowledge and express gratitude to the local volunteer groups who support free spay-neuter clinics for Mexican Nationals of limited financial means at Lakeside.
If you think the food bill for your pet family is high , imagine having to get the money for, and buying 210 Kilos / 462 pounds of dry dog food and 130 kilos/ 286 pounds of dry cat food, each month. This dry food is supplemented with purchased or donated canned pet food and fresh meat. Speaking of money, it costs about 210 pesos to vaccinate each new in-coming cat or dog, if they do not arrive with a vaccination record.
Everyone is aware of these difficult economic times we are all dealing with , and sadly, many more people are “ turning-in” or abandoning their animals due to finances and at times because of their own personal health problems. Due to the dramatic influx of in-coming adult animals, the need for donations has also increased. Donations that Anita receives in the form of pet food, items for “re-sale,” and money, is especially appreciated. Anita also has PayPal donation available on her website. Thank You for your help and for caring!