By Jackie Kellum
What would a week without Anita’s Animals be like? First, there would be a blank spot at the Wednesday Ajijic tianguis. This would be very unusual as Anita has been there faithfully for many years during the summer heat, winter cold, some days with [rain] down-pours and on all holidays. People will not find a better place to gets used books, and a wide variety of clothing and household items at very reasonable prices. Besides Anita being there, it is a place that has knowledgeable, caring volunteers who help people who might have questions about pets, community resources, etc. or who just want to chat – a sort of meeting place. Anita works 365 days/ per year and takes a three week vacation every 5-6 years.
More importantly, where will the rescued, sick or injured kittens, cats, puppies and dogs go that she would normally take in? Yes, there are other shelters who share the on-going work of taking in abused - abandoned animals. The hard reality is that all the lakeside shelters generally operate ‘at capacity’ during the entire year. To gain perspective of the loss of Anita’s presence even for one week, a head-count was made during a typical week. During the count week, these were the numbers: In-coming: 43 kittens, 12 adult cats, 31 puppies and 30 dogs! Now you may ask, why take them in? If she does not take them in, the choices will remain: stay on the street and starve, continue abuse, die of illness or injury or get killed – not good options. During this same week’s count, there were adoptions, that count was: 25 kittens, 12 adult cats, 15 puppies and 16 dogs.
Local town people or those who find an injured animal on a near-by road, who do not have transportation or the financial means to pay for Vet care come to Anita seeking help for animals. These animals require immediate care, transportation to a Vet, or a safe and caring place during an animal’s recovery period. One such example was a sad one. Some drunken sob took a machete to a large female dog. She had a huge deep gash in the middle of her back from her neck to her tail. The person who found this wounded dog along the road brought her to Anita for help. Anita got her to the Vet for immediate care, and paid for these services. This girl remained with Anita for many months while Anita administered the necessary medications and provided wound care three times a day. The dog recovered physically and her soul was healed, so she would trust humans again. Anita then found her a loving home and caring parents.
Anita coordinates with a Jalisco State Vet who makes somewhat regular visits to Anita’s facility. During these scheduled visits, Anita contacts those people who ask for Anita’s help who live locally or on the far end and the opposite side of the lake who do not have access or finances for spay-neutering surgery for their animals. Anita helps with the animal’s transportation and pays part of these medical costs. Anita acts on the long view solution of the problem of pet over-population and the burden it places on all shelters. If you can help avoid unwanted animal births, there is less of a crisis placed on the shelters. Sterilization is a more humane approach, rather than facing the harsh reality when some people use cruel abandonment, poison or other horrifying means to eliminate unwanted animals in their community. Before rumors start – Anita is not sick, she is not closing her sanctuary nor is she stopping her animal rescue work. This is just a reminder that Anita’s Animals needs your continued support via cash donations in person at the Wednesday tianguis or web site www.anitasanimals.com - PayPal , so she can continue to help this community with its abandoned-abused animals. Thank you!
Column: Anita’s Animals
Born and lived for 24 years in New York City. She became a Registered Nurse and then moved to San Francisco, CA. Her life and nursing career continued there for forty-one years before retiring to Lakeside in 2006. She and her husband live in San Juan Cosala with their eight dogs, and several cats. Shortly after arriving, Jackie began fostering infant motherless kittens and puppies, some as young as a few days old. She volunteers with Anita’s Animals, including the weekly Aijic tianguis, monthly Pet Food Drive, and other charitable events for humans as well as animals.