Mexican animal shelter in crisis


Isla Animals Rescue space reclaimed by government impeding its efforts to save homeless animals that may be cruelly euthanized

Since 2001, Isla Animals Rescue has made significant strides in rescuing and sterilizing street dogs and cats on the island of Isla Mujeres, Mexico, providing free and reduced cost services to a community that desperately needs them. According to an organizational release, just this year alone, it has rescued 140 dogs and performed nearly 500 free spay/neuters.

Pavlo /

Pavlo /

Isla Mujeres was overrun with starving, neglected dogs and cats that were at risk of instant electrocution, which was the island’s way of animal control, before Isla Animals was established. However, now the government has reclaimed the space inhabited by Isla Animals, upending all the efforts the organization has made in animal welfare.

“Without the space, we are forced to take a step back, rethink and regroup. We are absolutely devastated! We’ve had to stop bringing these poor animals into safety, and leave them starving and diseased on the streets while we try to figure out what on earth we are going to do,” said Alison Sawyer, founder of Isla Animals, in the release.1 “Definitely, we will not be able to work at the rhythm we have so far, and it breaks our hearts to know that regardless of the passion our very small team of volunteers puts into our work toward the cats and dogs of this region, our hands are tied.”

The government offered Isla Animals a small, 10 x 8 foot building, which is far too small to even meet the storage needs of Isla Animals. The rescue group had to take quick action to find makshift space.

“We have found an immediate, small and very temporary solution to keep working toward the wellbeing of the animals,” added Trina Noakes, director of Isla Animals Rescue. “But there’s just not enough room — it’s someone’s house! Our numbers will now be reduced to approximately 20% of our previous capacity. Even the moving has put us in a terrible financial strain that we had not contemplated, and we are so worried for all the dogs and cats.”

“Twenty-two years and tens of thousands of dogs and cats saved — passion, sweat and tears — all of that will not be thrown away at the whim of an ungrateful government that doesn’t appreciate how we have taken care of their problem,” emphasized Sawyer.

Isla Animals is in critical need of the public’s help. To donate or learn more go here:


Animal shelter in crisis: help needed to save critical rescue operation. News release. Isla Animals. May 5, 2023. Accessed May 8, 2023.

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