Coco’s Animal Welfare is changing the landscape for the Riviera Maya’s street animals.
Currently celebrating their 11th anniversary, Coco’s Animal Welfare has sterilized nearly 40,000 animals and rescued more than 1,200 kittens and nearly 400 dogs. The non-profit organization is also a part of the State Council of Animal Welfare, allowing them to educate locals, help the government create laws and further tend to animals in need.
The organization was started by Laura Raikes who lost her cat Coco shortly after moving to Mexico after being hit by a car. With so many stray cats in Mexico, they are often viewed as a nuisance and sadly, treated cruelly. With the loss of Coco, Laura set out to help better control the Riviera Maya’s animal population, opening a spay and neuter clinic for feral cats, rescued kittens and for pets whose owners were unable to afford it. Pretty soon she was able to gain the support of seven local vets who helped volunteer their time to spay and neuter cats. Eventually, more volunteers joined in and Laura established Coco’s Animal Welfare.
Today, Coco’s boasts a permanent clinic facility along with remote clinics a few times a year throughout the Riviera Maya. The team offers low-cost and free sterilizations and helps find homes for a small number of animals in their care. While Coco’s is not a shelter, they offer a kitten rescue and dog support program. Overall, Coco’s goal is to help reduce the population of unwanted cats and dogs while challenging negative behavior towards street animals and educating people on responsible ownership.
Those looking to help can volunteer their time through a variety of ways, donate money or wish-list items, or even adopt a pup or kitten.
Check out these other organizations doing good throughout Cancun and Playa del Carmen
Fundación Ciudad de la Alegría Helping more than 47,000 people annually in northern and central Quintana Roo, the foundation provides a variety of homes for those in need including women affected by domestic violence, the elderly, at-risk youth, the terminally ill and more. ciudadalegria.org.mx
Tierra de Animales Founded May 2011, Tierra de Animales is a non-profit civil association with the goal to help as many animals as possible, rescuing them from neglect and abuse. They currently house around 500 animals of varying species from dogs and cats to birds, reptiles, goats, horses and more. tierradeanimales.org
Akumal Monkey Sanctuary & Rescued Animals Today, the sanctuary has rescued more than 200 animals of 55 different species. The organization operates under five defining pillars: environmental education; providing support to local communities; promoting and collaborating on research projects; providing welfare to animals; and offering rehabilitation, relocation and reintroduction programs. akumalmonkeysanctuary.com
Keeping Kids in School (KKIS) Founded in 2012, KKIS aims to keep kids in school by providing the tools and resources to graduate as many students as they can from high school. KKIS does this through offering scholarships, donating school supplies, facilitating connections between students and universities, hosting English conversation clubs and sponsoring education-led contests to assist teachers. kkisproject.org