Last month, I went to a quinceanera (15th Birthday party celebration) in Tijuana that included a clown on stilts who walked through the dance floor and did circus tricks. It was very Cirque du Soleil. Lucky, a Tijuana dog I take for occasional walks, didn’t have that kind of celebration for her own coming-of-age moment (see photo on right), but she was one of hundreds who participated in the city’s first-ever “Perroton” spay & neuter clinic that took place a few weekends ago.
There were no clowns, but outside the facility the atmosphere was very circus-like with a pet costume party, music and outdoor movies.
The “Perroton” (basically a play on the word ‘perro,’ which means dog, and ‘marathon’) was a 24-hour all-nighter that took place at Tijuana’s Universidad Autonoma de Baja California with a team of veterinarians and volunteers dedicated to reducing the number of street dogs and cats in the Tijuana area. It is also an example of the cross-border collaboration that one sees along Baja communities like Tijuana and San Felipe – check out what’s going on with animal activists in Felipe- where U.S. expatriates have become active in working with local activists in addressing the problem of large numbers of street animals by holding adoption services and reducing the population through spay & neuter clinics.
More than 300 animals were spayed and neutered during the first-ever Tijuana “Perroton” event that was sponsored by a number of civic organizations, such as the Tijuana Humane Society, which regularly holds smaller-scale clinics for free or reduced prices, and the Preventive Animal Brigade. People came to have their cats and dogs spayed or neutered for under $30. The money is being collected to build a new animal shelter so that dogs like Lucky (who was rescued as a puppy from the streets of Tecate) can prosper and find new homes.