A massive, roving veterinarian clinic makes its eighth return to Yucatán in February, bringing Dr. Jeffrey Young, who since coming here has become a cable TV star.
The 8th annual Planned Pethood Sterilization/Spay and Neuter Clinic starts off in Progreso on Feb. 4 and 5 on Calle 80 between 37 and 39, across from Immigration. It then heads to Mérida Feb. 6-8 at the Parque del Paseo Verde in Col. Juan Pablo II; and finally Valladolid on Feb. 10-11 at the Sports Unit in Col. Fernando Novelo.
Planned Pethood has been known locally for years, but more recently has reached a new level of celebrity since “Dr. Jeff: Rocky Mountain Vet” became Animal Planets’ most viewed program. averaging nearly 1.3 million viewers each week. Dr. Jeff’s travels to Progreso, Mérida and Kanasín last year was the focus of one of his episodes.
This year, Planned Pethood brings this enormous undertaking to Progreso, Mérida and Valladolid.
This free program helps reduce the dog and cat population explosion in the area by sterilization rather than euthanasia. For local people, the cost of sterilizing a cat or dog can equate to a month’s salary, says Young. If the vet finds other problems with the furry patient, costs would only escalate. And the volunteer vets address other medical issues — such as wounds, kidney stones and infections — as they find them.
In 2016, the Planned Pethood temporary clinics sterilized and treated 2,500 cats and dogs in Yucatán.
This year, 38 vets and assistants are arriving from Mexico City, Mexicali, the U.S., Spain and Portugal to volunteer their services.
They are joined by over 100 expats and local people volunteering their time, money and supplies to supplement the local government stipend.
To set up temporary, sanitary and safe operating-room facilities in borrowed spaces, and to register the hundreds of pet owners who arrive, requires support from the community.
It also takes money. Each weeklong visit costs about US$60,000.
Organizers thank those who have already made donations; they say they already have enough pledges of bunwiches and pizza.
But they still need the following, which can be given to Sue McDonald or brought to the Progreso site on Friday, Feb. 3 between 3 and 6 p.m.:
- Monetary donations
- Five 20-liter bottles of water
- Five 20-packs of 500-ml bottled water
- Forty mixed pop-in cans
- Ten cases of small bottled pop such as Sprite, Orange or ginger ale
- Thirty bottles of Gatorade
- Fifty probiotic drinks
- Three Costco-sized boxes of breakfast bars
- Forty each of bananas and whole apples
- Six trays of baked treats such as brownies, cakes or muffins
- Six large bags of potato chips
- Six large bags of Doritos and similar snacks
- Two bowls of bean salad; one each for Saturday and Sunday
- One large vegetable platter for Sunday
Also needed are cleaning supplies:
- Two mops
- One long squeegee
- Two buckets with wringers
- One broom
- One sleepy time barf bucket
- Forty poop bags/barf bags
- One large Fabuloso
- Four 500ml dish soaps
- Six containers of hand sanitizer
- Four liters of bleach
- 150 8-oz coffee cups
- Latex gloves, medium and large
- Eight rolls of masking tape
- To borrow, three large coolers
Statistics show people benefit when companion animals are healthy and their population is controlled.
That’s what drives this army of volunteers to work long, exhausting days. Dr. Young has been battling cancer, but dedication to the cause has not wavered. Aside from Yucatán, Young has set up roving clinics in India, Slovakia, Panama, Hungary, Poland, Turkey and on Native American reservations.
Planned Pethood Mexico, led by Dr. Tony Rios, is not a temporary entity. From its offices in Col. Gonzálo Guerrero, Mérida, Planned Pethood Mexico offers low-cost services six days a week.
Yucatán Expat Life is a proud sponsor of this year’s Planned Pethood clinics.