Animal Activism Has No Borders
How one weekend in Mexico made a huge impact for animal welfare
An animal activist named Janice Overbeck who is based out of Atlanta, Georgia recently traveled to Mexico in April with her husband and children in hopes of creating the first Homeless Pets Club internationally. Instead of finding pet homelessness and overcrowding in animal shelters like we see in the United States, she found an over population issue in the impoverished areas of Ensenada and Tijuana where residents do not have the income to spay or neuter their pets. Janice became connected with locals and other Americans who work tirelessly to alleviate the population issue of pets and street dogs and cats by offering free spay and neuter clinics to the town locals. She went back to her non-profit, JO Gives, Inc. in Atlanta and started fundraising and planning for a return trip that would make a big impact on raising awareness for this crisis that many knew nothing about. Janice immediately began outreach efforts, gathering supply donations of collars and leashes, and fundraising events for the next round of clinics. In 10 short weeks, she raised $5,000 and collected over 500 leashes, collars, and harnesses for the working poor and their pets. She returned in June with her marketing director, Kathryn Ruff, friend and local veterinarian, Michael Good, and teamed up with Johnny Gearhart of BirdHouse/DogHouse Rescue Foundation, based out of L.A. California. They were also accompanied by Winnie Goh, a photographer from Kong Veterinary Products (KVP) International, who donated veterinary supplies for the events, to document the crisis. During the four day trip across the border, two full days were spent holding spay and neuter clinics in Ensenada and Tijuana, Mexico. Between the two events, 495 dogs and cats were successfully spayed and neutered. Studies have shown that an unaltered female dog can produce 67,000 puppies over the course of six years through her lineage. For cats, that number is a staggering 317,000 kittens over the course of six years. In just two days, the 495 spay and neuters that were completed will prevent a whopping 20,033,000 dogs and 63,717,000 cats from contributing to the overpopulation issue over the course of six years. Janice is planning a return trip to Mexico for another weekend of clinics this September. In the meantime, she is raising awareness of the overpopulation issue and urging animal activists in both Mexico and the United States to get involved. To learn more about this project and follow along on social media, visit www.JOgives.com.