The clinic’s story begins in a small apartment in February of 2000, where its’ “surgical theatre” consisted of no more than a plastic garden table. It became the first veterinary practice ever to open on Isla Mujeres.
During that first year, along with Genevieve Prichard and Molly Fisher, an association was formed called Amigo de los Animales. Under this premise, the practice became a Veterinary Clinic due to the expansion of medical services provided, including hospitalization. At the same time, an epidemiological study was presented to government authorities, which had long been culling strays as a method of “disease control”, where they explained that only 1% of the human population suffering disease was afflicted by conditions transmitted by pets and stray dogs. It was realised the actual problem was one of animal overpopulation, and the solution presented by the clinic was of mass sterilization.
In 2001 the first free canine sterilization campaign was held, supported by foreign veterinarians in association with RAM. The free spay and neuter clinic is sill held annually.
In that same year the clinic took the name of Clinica Veterinaria de Chipie, after Dr. Delfino Guevara’s Siamese who sadly passed away after being hit by a car.
Since 2002, the variety of clinical work broadened as contagious disease was stabilized and the clinic began treating more “complex” diseases and conditions. This evolution was due to an increase in awareness and quality of care amongst the pet-owning community. Through educating the population and providing quality low-cost healthcare the clinic was able to begin treating diseases such as diabetes, tumors, hepatitis, neurological problems and various conditions that require more precise diagnostic work.
During this time, the clinic forged a relationship with the Pierrefond Veterinary Clinic in Quebec which have supported us in our work with hospital equipment and medical and technical staff who have travelled out to help. Many more volunteers from various countries have come to support the work of the clinic since then, and in exchange have been able to expand their medical knowledge in aspects of tropical disease and parasitic disorders that the clinic treats regularly.
Between 2003 and 2005 the clinic expanded its work to diagnose zoonotic diseases and began its involvement with the local school systems in an effort to increase awareness of proper pet care and instil a respect for animal life amongst the younger populations.
In 2007 the clinic began implementing a free “trap, neuter, return” program for the local stray cats as it is estimated that 99% of the resident cat population is stray. This has become a permanent program with free surgeries being performed year round and is supported by donations from people interested in solving the overpopulation and suffering of animals.
The clinic has undergone numerous changes, expansions and relocations since it began in a constant effort to increase the range and quality of treatment available to our patients and 2013 has marked the greatest change of all. The clinic has now become a registered non-profit and, thanks to donations received, construction has begun on the island’s first purpose built animal hospital.
The clinic was designed pro-bono by Josefina Rodriguez and will be completed in three phases. Construction on the first phase commences September 2013 and will include two modern consult/exam rooms, a well equipped surgical suite and in-house laboratory as well as housing for the clinic’s resident cats awaiting adoption.
We are very excited to embark on this project under the clinic’s new name Clinica Veterinaria de Isla Mujeres A.C. and are eternally greatful to our supporters and benefactors who are helping to make this possible and improve the lives of the Island’s animals.
If you are interested in contributing please visit our donate page or visit our partner 501©3 tax deductable organization in the U.S. at www.helpinganimalslivingoverseas.org. to make your donation tax deducatable for US tax purposes.