Lucky Dog is a non-profit animal shelter run by a loving group of mostly retired expats. They care for around two dozen dogs at any given time, and these animals are showered with love—they get daily walks in Chapala’s countryside, one-on-one cuddles in the afternoon, and time to run around in a large play yard.
An enormous amount of thought and organization goes into caring for Lucky Dog’s four-footed residents. Every day they move the dogs from their night kennels to day pens, changing up their scenery and giving them time to bask in the sunshine.
Lots of attention goes towards keeping the animals healthy, thanks in great part to the Ladron de Guevara Animal Clinic. They also have an on-site manager who cares for the dogs 24/7.
While some of the residents at Lucky Dog get adopted locally, many find homes north of the border. That’s due to Lucky Dog’s partnership with Bone Voyage, a dog rescue organization. Since 2018, Bone Voyage has transported over 3,000 dogs from Lake Chapala to the U.S. and Canada.
Adoptive parents, foster families, and volunteers who travel with the dogs up north can join Bone Voyage’s Happily Ever After group on Facebook. There, they can share pup “tails” and photos of their dogs enjoying their forever homes.
Thanks to Bone Voyage, Lucky Dog is able to get dogs adopted faster, opening up new space at their shelter to take in more abandoned and abused animals in need. Lucky Dog averages over 100 adoptions per year, and you can view some of the many dogs they’ve adopted on their Happy Tails page.
Address: Carretera Chapala-Mezcala #1100
Hours of operation: 9:30 am – 2:00 pm. They’d love to have the shelter open Monday – Sunday, but the days they’re open vary throughout the year according to how many volunteer shift leaders they have. You can check the footer of their website for up-to-date opening information.
Phone number: 331-300-7144 (WhatsApp, text, or call)
Email address: email@example.com
English Spoken? Yes
Below are the areas where Lucky Dog needs help:
Luck Dog welcomes volunteers of all abilities and interests. To initiate your journey as a volunteer, you can fill out an online volunteer form. Lucky Dog’s volunteer coordinator will then get in touch with you to arrange an orientation.
Ideally, you should be able to work at least one shift per week, which is from 9:30 am – 2:00 pm. Volunteers arrive at the shelter Monday – Sunday regardless of whether a shift leader is on duty, which is when adoptions and new intakes can happen.
At the moment, Lucky Dog is especially in need of shift leaders. Shift leaders should be comfortable working with the public for adoptions, receiving new dogs, and overseeing the volunteers on duty.
There’s a genuine camaraderie among the volunteers at Lucky Dog. So, be prepared to make four-footed and two-footed friends upon your arrival!
Lucky Dog’s biggest need is monetary donations. It costs them an average of 5,000 pesos per dog from the time the animal arrives at their shelter until they’re adopted.
There are several ways you can financially support Lucky Dog, including becoming a recurring donor, sponsoring a dog, or making a one-time donation. You can read about these options on Lucky Dog’s donation page, where you can make a PayPal donation.
If you choose to sponsor a dog, you can select the dog you’d like to support. Sponsorships start at $25 per month, which will cover your dog’s food and basic medical expenses. Visit Lucky Dog’s sponsorship page to start sponsoring a dog today.
There are two ways you can adopt at Lucky Dog—in person or via the North of the Border program with Bone Voyage.
Lucky Dog keeps their adoption page up-to-date with its current furry residents in need of their forever homes. While you’re welcome to visit Lucky Dog seven days a week from 9:30 am – 2:00 pm, please note that you’ll only be able to adopt a dog on the days that the shelter is officially open, as a shift leader will be present to fill out the paperwork.
There’s a minimum donation of 400 pesos to adopt a dog. All dogs available for adoption at Lucky Dog are fully vaccinated, treated for fleas and ticks, dewormed, and have a veterinary stamp of approval for being in good health.
Furthermore, all dogs over the age of six months are spayed or neutered. Should you adopt a puppy less than six months old, Lucky Dog will give you a card offering a 50% discount on sterilization for your pup at Ladron de Guevara Animal Clinic in Chapala.
In a perfect world, Lucky Dog would take in every dog in need. However, a limited amount of space and resources means that they unfortunately have to turn away dogs.
Therefore, if you find an abandoned or abused animal around Lake Chapala, it’s best to give Lucky Dog a call before making your way to the shelter. In the meantime, do what you can to make the dog comfortable. Ofter them food, water, and shade. If it’s within your means, take them to a veterinarian and foot the bill.
Please note that it’s common for seemingly street dogs in Chapala to have owners. Yes, these dogs may sleep on concrete, and, yes, it’s hard to see it relative to the standards you may be used to. However, if a dog appears well-fed and sufficiently healthy, it’s safe to assume they have a home.
Stay up-to-date on current events at Lucky Dog by following their website and social media pages.
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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