SPCA Puerto Vallarta is a no-kill shelter founded in 2007 by Janice Chatterton. Janice worked tirelessly to build the SPCA with the support of other animal-loving locals. The result was a sanctuary that housed up to 130 dogs and cats, complete with a therapy pool, quarantine area, and a spay and neuter clinic.
Janice passed away in March 2019, but her spirit of helping abused and abandoned animals on the streets of Puerto Vallarta lives on thanks to dedicated volunteers and employees.
Sadly, in August 2021, another tragedy struck the shelter in the form of Hurricane Nora. Because of so much rainfall in the mountains, the Pitillal River rose suddenly and violently, carrying away more than half of the land and facilities that formerly made up the SPCA.
Miraculously and thanks to brave volunteers who risked their lives, they moved all 66 shelter animals to higher and safer ground. Over six months later, SPCA Puerto Vallarta is still feeling the impact of the Pitillal River’s devastation.
They’re currently working with engineers to design structures that will secure their remaining land, should such a flooding event ever happen again. It’s an expensive endeavor, and on top of that, they need to rebuild the facilities they lost.
Meanwhile, SPCA Puerto Vallarta is operating on reduced capacity with the number of animals they’re able to rescue. However, the lucky dogs that currently call the shelter home have access to a large yard to play in and beautiful indoor-outdoor kennels.
Although some local adoptions occur at SPCA Puerto Vallarta, the majority of their animals travel to Canada and the United States, where either adoptive families or foster homes await them.
Before Hurricane Nora, the shelter was rescuing and finding forever homes for more than 200 dogs and cats annually.
In addition to housing animals in need at the SPCA, volunteer Luz Maria has a community cat project at her home. She transformed her roof into a cat suite where she cares for cats that aren’t suitable for adoptions because of their skittishness, age, or health reasons.
However, a couple of cats, including Gretel in the photo below, would make excellent pets and are looking for their forever homes.
You can learn more about SPCA Puerto Vallarta by watching this beautiful YouTube video that a volunteer put together.
Address: No address; it’s between the districts of San Esteban and Cristóbal Colón. Public buses don’t reach this area, so you’ll need a car.
Hours of operation: Not currently open to the public because of Hurricane Nora’s destruction.
Email address: email@example.com
English Spoken? Yes
Below are the areas where SPCA Puerto Vallarta needs the most help:
SPCA Puerto Vallarta is always in need of people flying to Canada or the U.S. to take a dog or cat with them. They’ll support you by adding the animal to your flight reservation, arranging transportation to the airport, and covering the additional costs of flying with a pet.
Another big need is foster homes. Whether you live in Puerto Vallarta or want to foster from the U.S. or Canada, doing so will allow the team at SPCA Puerto Vallarta to rescue more animals in need.
Luz Maria also welcomes volunteers to help with her community cat project. Her biggest needs are support with cleaning and spending time with the cats so they can stay well-socialized. The opportunity for human interaction is especially important for the cats that are available for adoption.
The Olas Atlas Farmer’s Market runs from November to April. It’s a wonderful way for SPCA Puerto Vallarta to spread the word about their shelter and generate an income by selling merchandise. They can often use volunteer support if you have any Saturdays free during those months.
SPCA Puerto Vallarta also runs a spay and neuter clinic from their shelter for the community. They can use volunteer support on the days that a veterinarian visits the clinic.
Before Hurricane Nora, SPCA Puerto Vallarta ran an extensive volunteer program, including Sunday dog and river walks. These programs are on hiatus while the staff focuses on rebuilding after the hurricane. As part of their reconstruction efforts, their goal is to build a room where volunteers can stay at the shelter, helping with the shelter’s needs while touring Puerto Vallarta in their free time.
SPCA Puerto Vallarta is always in need of the following donations:
The best way to support SPCA Puerto Vallarta is by becoming a donor. While they always needed monetary donations in the past, after Hurricane Nora it’s a greater necessity than ever.
Some of the many facilities the river consumed because of the hurricane include the therapy pool, playground, cat kennel, and quarantine area. Rebuilding will be an expensive process, and they’re just in the beginning stages of it.
You can find more information about donating to SPCA Puerto Vallarta on their donation page. If you donate $100 USD or more, they’ll put a plaque on their wall with the words of your choice.
SPCA Puerto Vallarta takes adoptions seriously to ensure their dogs and cats’ forever homes remain that way. If you’re in Puerto Vallarta, you can contact them to arrange a private appointment to meet your potential new furry best friend. Otherwise, you can check out their Facebook page with the animals they currently have available for adoption.
The adoption process includes an application, home visit, and an adoption fee, should you end up being approved to adopt a pet.
You can read more about SPCA’s adoption requirements here, where you’ll also find their application to begin the process.
If you find an animal in need on the streets of Puerto Vallarta, please do your best to help them on your own. SPCA Puerto Vallarta, along with other shelters in the area, constantly run at full capacity.
Therefore, at the very least, offer the animal you find food, water, and shade. But if it’s within your means, take them to a veterinary clinic and foot the bill for their medical expenses, including getting them spayed or neutered.
Stay up-to-date on current events at SPCA Puerto Vallarta 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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