Raffle funds will help strays in Mexico

Local veterinarians travel to help deal with stray animals

What began as a mid-life crisis for one Victoria veterinarian has spread to Sooke.

In 2010, Dr. Malcolm McCartney, of McKenzie Veterinary Services decided he wanted to make a difference in the world. Partnering with PEACE Mexico and the Jaltemba Bay Animal Rescue, he created the Mexi-Can Veterinary Project in Canada. Twice a year, a party of veterinarians and support staff volunteers pay their own way to rural areas in Mexico to help with public education, medical care and spays and neuters for close to 200 animals over a three day period. The project has been so successful in fundraising, two fall clinics will be run and the project is reaching out from La Penita where it was traditionally help.

Often the overpopulation of dogs and cats in Mexico has been dealt with through poisoning. It is hoped that in surgically sterilizing the strays, this practice can be abandoned. Further, the project provides medical care to those who would not usually receive it and brings to Canada a selection of lucky pets for adoption. Although returning tourists to the area have remarked on the improvement, the work has not ended.

Last year, Saseenos Veterinary Services veterinarian Dr. Carla Bell attended the clinic (and came home with a few furry friends) and this year Dr. Deborah Lambert of Sooke Veterinary Hospital is heading on the same trip.

To raise funds, Sooke Veterinary Hospital has organized a raffle. And since the volunteers cover their own costs and the prizes have been graciously donated by Sooke businesses, every penny of the sales go to the animals. For a chance at over $200 worth of prizes, including a free spay or neuter from Sooke Veterinary Hospital, a Sooke gift pack containing treats for the whole family, a duffle bag of products from Village Foods, and both human and dog toy packages from Whiskers and Waggs, pick up a ticket from Sooke Veterinary Hospital before Oct. 31.

Contributed by Deborah Lambert