Mexican cat sanctuary wrestles with anti-cat sentiment
Guest Blog: Linda Wasche
The 100 or so cats at Pet Heaven sanctuary outside Puerto Vallarta, Mexico seem to have it made. They get to lounge around in the shade of graceful palms and flowering shrubs. Or they can escape to a variety of terraces and small out buildings to get away from the hot Mexican sun.
On a recent trip to Mexico’s west coast, I had the opportunity to visit Pet Heaven with founder Julie Bunker. The cats rescued by Pet Heaven are strays or are dropped off, usually at night, in front of the large iron gates. A veterinarian donates his services and a team of volunteers cares for the cats and kittens.
The only bad part – there is nowhere for these cats to go. As I learned, cats are not considered pets in Mexico; but instead viewed as undesirable pests. The chances of any of Pet Heaven’s cats finding a home are slim unless they are fortunate enough to be adopted by expats, tourist or guests. Now I know why my two friends who treated me to this trip have cats with names like Pedro and Emilio! It’s hard to resist bringing home “one more” and easy to do – all you need is proof that the cat has been examined and vaccinated by a veterinarian before leaving Mexico.
Pet Heaven is doing a great job caring for homeless cats. They are going to need a lot of help finding them homes. The sanctuary is on the outskirts of Puerto Vallarta, but definitely worth a visit. You can email founder Julie Bunker at email@example.com. But you may just be coming back from Mexico with more than souvenirs.Linda Wasche is mom to 6 cats and 5 rabbits. She can be emailed at Lindaw@LWmarketworks.com