Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - The Rio Cuale Island, which is accessible from the stairs that lead down from either bridge over the river in El Centro, is a beautiful and peaceful natural area in the middle of the city that is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, cultural venues - and nearly one hundred homeless cats.
For decades these cats have been abandoned by people who, without the knowledge and education of responsible pet ownership, tend to rid themselves of unwanted cats and kittens by dumping them on the island. The abandonment, the lack of sterilization, the lack of vigilance, and the lack of sanctions have created a serious social problem.
Although several local animal rescue organizations do their best to provide food, medical care and "Furr-ever" homes for these unwanted animals, due to a lack of funding, they simply cannot keep up with the number of animals that are dumped there.
When philanthropist Richard R. Reed heard about the felines' plight, he decided to lend a helping hand to two of the animal rescue organizations that are working to make a difference, Puro Gato and Purr Project.
Since founding his private charity, the Richard R. Reed Foundation, in 2015, Reed has been diligently researching charitable organizations in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and his home state of Arizona. And, since his foundation focuses on small charities that benefit children and animals, Puerto Vallarta's Puro Gato and Purr Project were a "Purr-fect" fit!
On Saturday, July 16, 2016, Mr. Reed met with representatives of both of these non-profit organizations near the Cultural Center on the Isla Rio Cuale, where he presented each of them with a donation of 95,000.00 pesos to help them carry on their good works.
Protectora Puro Gato y Perro A.C. was recently incorporated as a non-profit association, although in the 4 years prior to receiving AC status it functioned as a collaboration between many local and international volunteers. Founded by three Mexican citizens, this group has worked with the cats living on the Cuale River Island with the altruistic mission of promoting viable solutions - sterilization and adoption - in order to control the population. Puro Gato volunteers visit the island every morning and evening to feed the cats. When necessary, they provide medical treatment via certified veterinarians, who also administer anti-parasitics, flea medication, and vaccines. Puro Gato also has an adoption booth every Sunday from 5-8 pm at Plaza Caracol, and an international adoption program through the US-based 'Pause for Paws' organization. For more information, email adopcionespurogato(at)hotmail.com, or visit the PuroGatoPV Facebook page.
PuRR Project is a non-profit feline shelter just North of Puerto Vallarta that provides homeless cats and kittens a recuperative stay with the ultimate goal of adopting them out to loving homes. All of their 150+ residents have been sterilized, vaccinated and are disease free. They accomplish this through their own efforts as well as collaboratively with other animal welfare organizations. Both monetary donations as well as donations of dry cat food are most welcome – and much appreciated. For more information, visit PuRRProject.com or send an email to info(at)PurrProject.com.
Both organizations provide free spay and neuter clinics to the public on a regular basis.Heartfelt thanks go out to Richard Reed and his foundation, who have also made generous donations to other Puerto Vallarta non-profit organizations, including: PEACEAnimals, a free mobile spay/neuter program; Corazón de Niña, a shelter for girls from the ages of two to twenty; LADRA, a rescued dog sanctuary and adoption center; and Pasitos de Luz, a marvelous day care facility for children with special needs.