Volunteer at Animal Shelter

by Steve @, Tuesday, April 05, 2011, 22:10 (3900 days ago)

I've seen numerous posts about volunteering at SPAZ, Zihua's animal shelter and would like to encourage vacationers to do this.

I've been coming to Z for almost 10 years, a couple times each year and occasionally donated to the shelter but never volunteered. After all this procrastination, on my last visit this past March, I finally decided to donate my time to walk the dogs. I am so sorry I didn't do this much earlier because it was a very satisfying experience. My first dog was very rambunctious, and pulled vigorously on his leash but after a few minutes of my gently snapping his leash he calmed down and quickly acted like he was leash trained for years. We walked for an hour and he was very affectionate and a real sweetheart despite not being in good health with every rib showing. I took him on a long walk for an hour to La Noria and back through all of el centro. I enjoyed it so much that I took a second dog out who reacted the same way and we walked for an hour as well. I repeated this again the next morning because the dogs clearly were starving for attention and a kind touch.

This is a wonderful way to help our animal friends, but the real surprise was that I got more out of it than the dogs. We stopped and sat a lot on our way and mid-morning without crowds was a perfect way to get a little leisurely exercise, meet a lot of locals, practice my Spanish, talk to other tourists along the way (and tout the shelter). One afternoon I volunteered to help sell shelter merchandise and extract donations from the cruisers on the sidewalk outside the shelter, another way to help the animals, meet people and give the shelter staff some help. They do great work. I plan to make this a regular part of future trips and would like to extend my participation and even my vacation. There are plenty of cats to help out as well.

So, add a little something different to your usual touring and beach time and visit the shelter. You'll be glad you did. It's located on the corner of Calle Jose Alvarez/Calle Cinco de Mayo, on the roof of the clothing store, Casa Marina, in the block of buildings right between the basketball court and Restaurante Porto d'More.

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