Bend’s Street Dog Hero honored by Mexican government for spay and neuter campaign

Posted on in category Positive News tagged Activism , Local , Mexico , Pets , Positive News , Street Dog Hero

Bend’s Street Dog Hero has been honored by the Mexican government for their efforts in spaying and neutering. Learn more here.

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — Together with the help of local rescue partner Planned Pethood International, Street Dog Hero organized a free spay and neuter clinic in Puerto Morelos, Mexico. Over two days, they performed 265 free sterilization surgeries for owned and street dogs and cats.

For this work, Street Dog Hero was recognized by the local municipality and was awarded a certificate from the Puerto Morelos Department of Health and the Department of Animal Welfare and Protection.

Puerto Morelos is a small Mexican port town on the Caribbean coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, with a population of less than 27,000 people. The small fishing town is located between the populated cities of Cancun and Playa del Carmen so very few tourists make the trek out to this area, which means very little help for their street dogs.

Traveling through the secluded neighborhoods of Puerto Morelos, the glaring truth of the disparity of wealth and poverty is impossible to ignore. Many locals live in tiny, thatched-roof, one-room houses that lack indoor plumbing and trash-strewn streets.

Because of how secluded this town is, many street dogs from this area are not able to get the help they need. This is because of the lack of resources available to them, therefore, this community is in desperate need of help and change.

Local families brought their dogs and cats to the free clinic where their pets received not only free sterilization, but also free wellness exams and treatment of ailments including rabies vaccines, flea and tick preventatives, nail trims, ear cleanings, and tick removal.

Each dog that came was also provided a new collar and leash, which were donated by SDH supporters in the United States. Many families and pet owners dedicated tremendous time and effort to accessing these services for their pets. Many spent all day waiting and sitting with their pets. And, they expressed much gratitude to the volunteers for providing these services to them and their pets.

Planning and executing  this international spay and neuter clinic in Puerto Morelos was no easy task. In addition to a dozen staff and SDH volunteers who traveled to Puerto Morelos from across the United States to help, others involved included 15 veterinarians and technicians from Planned Pethood International Mexico and dozens of other local rescues and volunteers. All worked endlessly to make the two-day campaign a tremendous success.

Most excitingly, five SDH Junior Heroes, aged 11 – 15 years, played a vital role in the clinic. Accompanied by guardians and supervised by SDH, the Juniors were involved in nearly every aspect of the clinic – from surgical prep to recovery. Learning more about veterinary medicine, the community of Puerto Morelos, and working as a team, this volunteerism provided a tremendous educational opportunity for the Juniors.

“We are so excited to provide international educational opportunities such as this to volunteers in the Junior Hero program,” said Diana Fischetti, Street Dog Hero’s executive director. “Our dedication to, and focus on, education is a huge part of our mission. The Juniors are eager to participate and their efforts are invaluable to the communities we serve. It’s a true win-win!”

All was made possible by Tito’s Handmade Vodka, based in Austin, Texas. Through their Vodka for Dog People program, a program dedicated to better the lives of pets and their families far and wide, Tito’s offered a $7,500 campaign sponsorship donation match. That meant that for every dollar someone donated to the Spay and Neuter Clinic in Puerto Morelos, Tito’s matched that with a dollar up to $7,500. With contributions from Tito’s, and donors from Central Oregon and beyond, Street Dog Hero raised just over $19,000 to cover the costs of the campaign.

Street Dog Hero plans to return to the impoverished community of Tepic, Mexico in October to continue international spay, neuter, and wellness services. While abroad, Street Dog Hero works in collaboration with rescue partners who are local to those areas to rescue street dogs and bring them home to Oregon. Here, they are fostered in homes and then adopted by loving “Furever Families.” Through this work, Street Dog Hero makes a lasting impact on owned and street dogs and cats and the families that surround them.

About Street Dog Hero

Street Dog Hero serves dogs in need around the world and their communities through rescue, adoption, wellness, spay/neuter, and education. Rescue efforts are in collaboration with partners across the globe. Rescued dogs are fostered in loving homes until adopted. Since its inception in 2017, SDH has rescued over 2,000 dogs from neglect, hunger, and abuse locally and from around the world – providing them with wellness, sterilization, transportation, fostering, and adoption. In the U.S., SDH has rescued and adopted dogs from Central Oregon, California, Texas, Ohio, and Puerto Rico. And abroad from Afghanistan, Albania, Armenia, British Virgin Islands, China, Guam, India, Mexico, South Korea, St. Thomas, and Thailand.

SDH envisions a world where all dogs are healthy, safe, cared for, and wanted. Through this work, SDH makes a lasting impact on owned and street dogs and cats and the families that surround them.

To learn more about SDH and the Junior Heroes program, foster, adopt, volunteer, and donate, go to