International residents in Progreso are coming to the aid of the port city’s stray animals.
The effort is being spearheaded by Tracey Ginger of Alberta, Canada, who is preparing to open an animal hospital called Ginger’s Jungle.
Funds for the project have been donated chiefly by Progreso’s large international community, as well as by Tracy Ginger herself.
“We are currently already taking care of 50 dogs we have rescued from the streets of Progreso and other surrounding communities,” said the organization’s head veterinarian, Tania López Sánchez.
The grounds of the new hospital, which sits on Tracey Ginger’s property, is already home to a restaurant that also goes by the name “Gingers Jungle” and helps to finance the good samaritans animal welfare initiatives.
After receiving a health check and all necessary vaccines, the stray dogs brought to Gingers Jungle are prepped for adoption in Yucatán or abroad.
The number of stray dogs and cats on the streets and beaches of Progreso has become a public health hazard, admits Mayor Julián Zacarías Curi.
Though Yucatán’s largest port city has long had a problem with stray animals, the issue seems to have only become worse over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“During the pandemic, many people adopted animals only to abandon them after the novelty wore off. Some perhaps not feeling it safe to walk their dogs chose to just let them go instead of having them confined in their homes,” said Progreso’s subdirector of Ecology, Mabel Eugenia Aguirre Quinto.