Sterilization – Addressing the over-population of dogs

Rescuing dogs is not for the faint of heart. It takes money, a lot of work and determination but most of all it takes love and compassion. Besides that, it is heart breaking to see dogs on the street that you know have been abandoned mostly because the owners fell on hard times.

As a rescuer, it is impossible to walk past these dogs and pretend they don’t exist or that they are not suffering. Yet all our efforts are simply a drop in the bucket, yes  there is a ripple effect, but it is short lived.

Here in La Paz, Facebook is clogged with posts of abandoned dogs. You see posts with pregnant females ready to give birth. There are puppies that people are looking for someone to take because they can’t keep them.

Reports have it that the number of abandoned dogs has ballooned to over 100k from around 15k since the Covid lock-down.  Of course, that statistic is anecdotal since there is no census data to reference.

Families get Covid relief to feed their dogs.

It is especially hard right now. People are still not back to work as they were before Covid 19. Money is tight and the animals are often the ones who suffer.

There are not enough rescuers to even think about taking all these dogs off the streets. The puppies given away at one or two months of age are too young to be sterilized. Chances are that these puppies will be creating future litters adding to the persistent problem of over-population.

Puppy waiting for surgery

Rescuers always believe that our clouds have a silver lining. We search for glimpses of change in the collective minds of everyday people. Looking for common ground among the grassroots, those people on the front lines who are sending messages that sterilization is the first step to gaining control of the problem.

Conversations are started about putting a stop to females producing 4, 5 or 6 litters of puppies.

Starting a dialogue that includes the need to sterilize males to reduce the problem of aggression and the spread of TVT (transmissable venereal tumors, cancer) during copulation with the hope that this would become standard practice.


Young man waiting with his dog.

Chihuahua before surgery.

Baja Dogs La Paz and our many rescuers are becoming more vocal and together with other like-minded groups are sending a message that the suffering must end.  We are working together to setup sterilization campaigns in neighborhoods with the greatest need.


Chihuahua after surgery

Volunteers making the sterilization campaign happen.

Volunteers go door to door in a neighborhood and talk to people about the over-population of dogs and the problems that are caused because of it. They talk about how sterilizing their animals would benefit the family. The message is making an impact on families who truly love their pets.

It is the first step but not the last. Baja Dogs has started a voucher program so that those who cannot afford to get their dog sterilized can now do so. They take their dog and a voucher to one of three vets who will perform the surgery. The vet bills Baja Dogs. Supporting this effort means $25 USD will cover a sterilization surgery and prevent so many births.


Future of animal welfare.

It is so heart- warming to see children with their dogs who are waiting for their turn. These children, the next generation, are the ones who will make the problem of over-population go away. They seem to inherently know that animals need to be protected.

These are the future leaders in animal welfare.


Young girl with her two puppies doing her part to reduce the population