Bend’s Street Dog Hero Honored by Mexican Government for Sterilization Campaign

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — With the help of local rescue partner Planned Pethood International, Street Dog Hero hosted a free spaying and neutering clinic in Puerto Morelos, Mexico. For two days, they performed 265 free neutering surgeries for owner- and street-owned dogs and cats.

For this work, Street Dog Hero was recognized by the local municipality and received a certificate from the Department of Health of Puerto Morelos and the Department of Animal Welfare and Protection.

Puerto Morelos is a small Mexican port city on the Caribbean coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, with a population of less than 27,000 people. The small fishing town is located between the populated cities of Cancun and Playa del Carmen, so very few tourists travel to this area, which means very little help for their street dogs.

Traveling through the isolated neighborhoods of Puerto Morelos, the stark truth of the disparity of wealth and poverty is impossible to ignore. Many residents live in tiny, thatched-roof, one-room houses with no indoor plumbing and streets littered with garbage.

Due to the isolation of this town, many street dogs in this area cannot get the help they need. It is because of the lack of resources available to them, therefore, this community desperately needs help and change.

Local families brought their dogs and cats to the free clinic where their pets received not only free neutering but also free wellness exams and treatment for ailments including rabies shots, flea and tick preventatives, nail clippings, ear cleanings and tick removal.

Each dog that came also received a new collar and leash, which were donated by SDH supporters in the United States. Many families and pet owners have spent a tremendous amount of time and effort to access these services for their pets. Many spent all day waiting and sitting with their pets. And, they expressed their great gratitude to the volunteers for providing these services to them and their pets.

Planning and executing this International Sterilization and Sterilization Clinic in Puerto Morelos was no easy task. In addition to a dozen SDH staff and volunteers who traveled to Puerto Morelos from across the United States to help, others involved included 15 veterinarians and technicians from Planned Pethood International Mexico and dozens of other local lifeguards and volunteers. All worked tirelessly to make the two-day campaign a huge success.

Even more exciting, five SDH junior heroes, ages 11-15, played a vital role in the clinic. Accompanied by tutors and supervised by SDH, the Juniors were involved in almost every aspect of the clinic – from surgical preparation to recovery. Learning about veterinary medicine, the Puerto Morelos community and working as a team, this volunteering provided a great educational opportunity for the Juniors.

“We are thrilled to provide international educational opportunities like this to Junior Hero Program volunteers,” said Diana Fischetti, Executive Director of Street Dog Hero. “Our dedication and focus on education is an important part of our mission. Juniors are eager to participate and their efforts are invaluable to the communities we serve. It’s a real win-win!

It was all made possible by Tito’s Handmade Vodka, based in Austin, Texas. Through its Vodka for Dog People program, a program dedicated to improving the lives of pets and their families, Tito’s donated $7,500 to the campaign. This meant that for every dollar someone donated to the Spay and Neuter Clinic in Puerto Morelos, Tito matched that with a dollar up to $7,500. Thanks to contributions from Tito’s and donors in central Oregon and beyond, Street Dog Hero has raised just over $19,000 to cover campaign costs.

Street Dog Hero plans to return to the impoverished community of Tepic, Mexico in October to continue international neutering, neutering and wellness services. Abroad, Street Dog Hero works with local rescue partners in those areas to rescue street dogs and bring them home to Oregon. Here they are raised in foster homes and then adopted into loving “Furever Families”. Through this work, Street Dog Hero is having a lasting impact on owned and street dogs and cats and the families around them.

About Street Dog Hero

Street Dog Hero serves dogs in need worldwide and their communities through rescue, adoption, welfare, neutering and education. Rescue efforts are in collaboration with partners around the world. Rescued dogs are placed in loving homes until adopted. Since its inception in 2017, SDH has rescued over 2,000 dogs from neglect, hunger and abuse locally and around the world – providing them with welfare, neutering, transportation, fostering and adoption. In the United States, SDH has rescued and adopted dogs from central Oregon, California, Texas, Ohio and Puerto Rico. And overseas from Afghanistan, Albania, Armenia, British Virgin Islands, China, Guam, India, Mexico, South Korea, St. Thomas and Thailand.

SDH envisions a world where all dogs are healthy, safe, cared for and wanted. Through this work, SDH has a lasting impact on owned and street dogs and cats and the families around them.

To learn more about SDH and the Junior Heroes program, foster, adopt, volunteer and donate, go to

Previous Floridians can add pet supplies to their hurricane tax "holiday" shopping lists
Next Lemos Feed and Pet Supply celebrates its 50th anniversary