Two Abbotsford women have started a charity to address the overpopulation of cats and dogs in Mexico.
Neetu Gill, owner of Legends Academy (a cosmetology school), and Jane Schneider, a retired teacher, have formed Forgotten Souls Spay/Neuter Aid (FSSNA).
The charity provides free and low-cost spay/neuter services to people in Mexico who otherwise might not have the financial resources.
Gill and Schneider say an estimated 16 million cats and dogs roam the streets in Mexico, facing various challenges such as disease, injury, abuse and starvation.
It took almost six months for the pair to find a bilingual representative who lives in Mexico and who would be capable of organizing monthly sterilization clinics.
Each FSSNA spay/neuter clinics requires the collaboration of five to nine specially trained veterinarians, one anesthesiologist and 30 to 45 volunteers.
Schneider recently returned from Ensenada, Mexico, where she participated in FSSNA’s ninth sterilization clinic. A total of 194 animals underwent spaying/neutering operations over an eight-hour period on Jan. 28.
“The demand for these services was evident as clients began lining up as early as 7 a.m., eager to secure a spot for their companion animals,” she said.
The cost of the procedures ranges from free to approximately $25 Canadian.
Many people attending the clinics have rescued their companion animals from the streets.
FSSNA also assists individuals who bring in stray cats/dogs from their neighborhoods. Following sterilization and proper aftercare, the animals are returned to their familiar environments.
Now that the clinics are up an running, FSSNA also plans to provide an educational component to its work.
Visit forgottensoulssna.org for more information or to make a donation, or visit the organization’s Facebook or Instagram pages.