Gatos Olvidados is run by writer and environmental activist Claudia Vázquez Lozano. Claudia has always had an affinity for cats, and it pained her to see so many abandoned and abused feral cats living around Taxqueña.
Claudia’s journey of taking in feral cats began when she found Blanca, an abandoned cat that she rescued in the middle of the night by a metro station in Taxqueña. She combed the streets around Taxqueña, single-handedly capturing sick, abused, and abandoned cats. Over time, she started running spay and neuter campaigns.
People came and went with support for Claudia’s work. However, Claudia has been the only person there during all these years to care for the cats that she brings to the sanctuary of her countryside home.
After countless hours of time and money spent caring for these rescued animals, on December 4, 2009, Claudia legally formed the association Gatos Olvidados. Not only was this a huge step to helping the public see her efforts as a legitimate organization to donate to, but it was also the first association in Mexico to focus on cats.
Claudia chose the name Gatos Olvidados, which translates to “forgotten cats,” because she can relate to its meaning and feels it sums up how people see feral cats—or perhaps better put, their inability to see cats as beings deserving of a home and care. Claudia’s passion and love for the cats she’s rescued is evident in the way she speaks, and she says that they’ve helped fill a void that she had felt during her life.
To this day, Claudia continues to run and fund Gatos Olvidados entirely on her own. Claudia’s goal for the animals at her countryside sanctuary is that they have a safe, loving place to live where euthanasia doesn’t exist.
Although cats are the majority of animals at Claudia’s sanctuary, she also rescues and cares for chickens, ducks, rabbits, and a pig, among others. In addition, she cares for fruit trees around her property so that wild animals have a place to eat and live. While Claudia loves all creatures, her cats have an extra special place in her heart, saying that they raise her instead of her raising them.
Address: There isn’t an address for Gatos Olvidados since it’s located deep in the countryside, so you can coordinate with Claudia directly for how to arrive there.
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
English Spoken? Claudia studied English years ago, so she can speak a little. She also has a strong foundation in Russian.
Below are the areas where Gatos Olvidados needs the most help:
Claudia has two rooms in her home that she can rent to foreigners who would like to stay at her animal sanctuary and spend more time with the animals and in nature. Given that she lives outside of Mexico City, this is a wonderful opportunity to see the Mexican countryside while supporting the wonderful work that Gatos Olvidados is doing. You would have access to common areas in Claudia’s home, including the kitchen, as well as WiFi.
Gatos Olvidados is always in need of the following donations:
Gatos Olvidados is located in the countryside outside of Mexico City. It’s a dry area, without any ponds, rivers, or other water sources nearby. For this reason, one of Claudia’s current endeavors is to fundraise and build a pond where wild animals have access to a constant supply of water. Migratory birds pass through the area in January and February, so she wants to ensure they have a place to drink water along the way that’s out of the reach of the cats around her home.
In addition to bringing physical donations to Gatos Olvidados, you can also support the organization by purchasing raffle tickets and buying items that Claudia sells at events and markets. Claudia uses the money to care for the animals, property maintenance, and paying for helpers that come 1 – 2 times per week, among other needs at the sanctuary.
Gatos Olvidados is currently at maximum capacity, as Claudia actively seeks out animals in need whenever she has the space. So, if you find an abandoned animal in Mexico City, at the very least offer it some food and water.
If you’re able, consider taking the animal to a veterinarian and paying for it to get vaccinated, dewormed, and spayed or neutered. Even if the vet ultimately has to turn the animal back to the street, you will have helped improve its life a little and will have prevented the animal from producing homeless puppies and kittens.
Stay up-to-date on current events at Gatos Olvidados by following their website and social media page.
Leaving Pawprints connects travelers with animal shelters across the globe for free. We lay the foundation by communicating with the shelters to find out what support they need. If you want to volunteer abroad with animals in Mexico, check out the animal shelters we’ve partnered with to find out how you can help.
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