BECAUSE EVERY DOG HAS A

PLAYA DEL CARMEN - MEXICO

THE BIG MISSION: GIVE THEM A VOICE

THE INSPIRATION

In August 2017, I traveled to Playa del Carmen, Mexico to photograph the Vidas 2017 Spay/Neuter Clinic. There, I got to know several different animal rescue organizations involved with the Vidas Spay/Neuter Clinic.

I was in awe of the passionate people, the robust rescue community, and the way they worked together, tirelessly to help dogs and cats.

At this one clinic alone, 1500 cats and dogs were spayed and neutered. Day after day, this work continues, with zero praise and minimal funding.

There are no headlines about the sheer number of dogs and cats they’ve spayed (over 1,500). If you dig deep enough, you’ll find a Facebook page and website, but there are few photos to show you the tenacious veterinarians or scrappy strays.

I wanted to give them a voice, so I decided to create a Dogs I Meet Mission to help them.

Dogs I Meet Rescue Mission Team
Image Credit: Jennifer Waters
Dogs I Meet Playa del Carmen Josie Baughan
Image credit: Josie Baughan
Dogs I Meet Playa del Carmen
Image Credit: Amelia Soper Photography
Dogs I Meet Playa del Carmen
Image credit: Amelia Soper Photography
SOS-el-Arca-dog-shelter-Playa-del-Carmen
Image credit: Dogs I Meet

THE GOAL

I wanted to connect top animal photographers and powerful animal advocates with the forsaken animals and people who rescue them.

So that we could tell the stories of Cocos Animal Welfare and SOS el Arca, we would professionally photograph the work being done within these organizations, at no charge.

Dogs I Meet Playa del Carmen
Image credit: J Nichole Smith
Dogs I Meet Playa del Carmen Josie Baughan
Image credit: Josie Baughan
Dogs I Meet Play del Carmen
Image credit: J Nichole Smith

THE PLAN

As fate would have it, I’d been involved in planning a retreat for January 2018 in the Riviera Maya.

Furthermore, I was planning the retreat on behalf of Working with Dog, a company that helps build pet brands that humans crave.

So, I recruited five of the industry’s top photographers (plus myself) and two of the most influential animal advocates to tour and document the tireless work at each amazing rescue, with as little invasiveness as possible.

**(Disclaimer: we totally snuggled and played with all willing dogs and cats. Come on. We’re animal lovers!)

We were greeted with open arms, given an insider tour of each facility, and creative license to photograph what we observed. We proceeded as professional photographers do, by interacting with the dogs, charming the cats, and getting covered in dirt and drool.

We listened to eye-opening tales from the people in the trenches, and we captured the spirit of the beautiful animals waiting for their forever homes.

THE REWARD

We donated our photography and video for each organization to utilize for their website and social media.

We made a monetary donation too, because the fact is, it helps keep the lights on and the water running. We departed knowing we’d made a positive impact - not just for the day, but for the future of every dog that passes through these rescues.

Through this mission, we created a channel of outreach. These rescue organizations now have photography to tell their story, gain awareness, and raise funds to continue their life-changing causes.

Dogs I Meet Playa del Carmen The Labs and Co
Image credit: The Labs & Co

YOU CAN HELP TOO

Cocos Playa del Carmen
Image credit: The Labs and Co

COCO’S MISSION

Coco´s Animal Welfare mission is to be able to prevent the birth of unwanted dogs and cats as well as to raise awareness of Adequate Guardianship of dogs and cats.

SOS El Arca Playa del Carmen
Image credit: The Labs and Co

SOS EL ARCA

A non-profit, no-kill dog shelter completely privately funded, with no government financial support. They rescue and rehabilitate dogs from the street and local dog pound, who catch and kill dogs in three days.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Thanks to Nichole Sears at Working with Dog for giving me the platform from which to drive this mission.

Thanks to Alan at Cocos Animal Welfare, and Rueben from SOS el Arca for opening your doors so we could share your story with the world.

Thank you to the photographers and animal advocates who gave time and talent to these animals and the people who love them.

Dogs I Meet Playa del Carmen
Image credit: Dogs I Meet
Dogs I Meet Playa del Carmen
Image credit: J Nichole Smith
Dogs I Meet Playa del Carmen
Image credit: Josie Baughan

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