The Dog Sanctuary

When we went to Merida for vacation for 7 days, Karen and I knew we would have tons of time to do all sorts of things. One important thing that we wanted to do was help out a Rescue. The owner and operator of our B&B introduced us to an Expat that helped out with a dog sanctuary called Evolución. We met Allison who handles the marketing and she gave us directions to the Sanctuary. We stopped off at the local Bodega and loaded up on medical supplies and tennis balls and off we went.

Its-a-Lab-Labradors-Evolucion-Merida-Dog-Sanctuary 013

Just in case you do not know, Merida is the capital of the Mexican State of Yucatán and largest city of the Yucatán Peninsula. It is located in the northwest part of the state, about 35 km (22 mi) from the Gulf of Mexico coast.

Its-a-Lab-Labradors-Evolucion-Merida-Dog-Sanctuary-002 Its-a-Lab-Labradors-Evolucion-Merida-Dog-Sanctuary-003

Meeting a Saint

Meet Sylvia Cortés. She is the founder of Evolución Dog Sanctuary, which is not only a shelter, but a sanctuary for abused and mistreated dogs. It is a home for the “malix pek” (not pure bred or dogs that live on the streets) who have difficulties to get adopted simply because they are not pure bred creatures. In Evolución these dogs have a home. Sylvia is dedicated to all 170+ dogs that reside at the sanctuary. She also lives on the premises.

In our eyes, the Sanctuary could be considered somewhat primitive by our standards. With what resources that are available, Sylvia along with her volunteers have gone above and beyond for the dogs that live there.  Mexico’s problem is that they do not look at dogs the same way we do here in the states or I should say that Mexico just has not adopted the same philosophy of the US and other countries that look at dogs as family members. They want to get a “pet” and put them in the backyard, play with them from time to time and that is it. Another issue in Mexico is that neutering is considered taboo. We heard this from multiple people. We never really heard “Why?” it just is what it is. Sylvia and her team are trying to change that. Every week they hit the streets of the small pueblos  surrounding the city to educate kids and families about the importance of spay and neutering and making dogs a part of the family. They also have school tours where kids come and Sylvia educates the children about the dogs. She says the best way to teach the kids is to talk about the individual stories of each dog there. “Their stories resonate with the kids” she says.

Its-a-Lab-Labradors-Evolucion-Merida-Dog-Sanctuary-004 Its-a-Lab-Labradors-Evolucion-Merida-Dog-Sanctuary-005 Its-a-Lab-Labradors-Evolucion-Merida-Dog-Sanctuary-006

A Labrador Lost

Frosty is a Yellow Labrador that is full of life that immediately caught my eye. He was the welcoming committee when we arrived at the sanctuary.  The “Owners” that had Frosty had no idea the amount of work it takes to raise a Lab. So now he is at the Evolución waiting for that Forever home. It was unseasonably hot that day and like any Lab, Frosty hung out in his dunking pool. He has been there for a while and we are hoping that he can find his forever home. I only wish I had an extra plane ticket to bring him back. He would easily be snatched up here.

Its-a-Lab-Labradors-Evolucion-Merida-Dog-Sanctuary-007 Its-a-Lab-Labradors-Evolucion-Merida-Dog-Sanctuary-008

Their Stories

Dogs like Chofi had an obvious story to tell. Chofi was saved after being beat by his “owner” with a lead pipe. One eye doesn’t stop him from giving endless smiles and love.


All the dogs absolutely adore Sylvia. After all she is their Madre. She gives so much to each individual dog. The Dogs at Evolucion are separated by how they react with certain packs. She has the oldies in one section all to them selves so they “do not have to worry about the youngsters” say Sylvia.

Its-a-Lab-Labradors-Evolucion-Merida-Dog-Sanctuary-010 Its-a-Lab-Labradors-Evolucion-Merida-Dog-Sanctuary-011

Troy was left for dead after being hit by a car. He lost a leg in the incident, but you can see peace in his eyes and he is thriving regardless of his handicap.


Stay tuned

for Part 3. There is so much more to tell. We will have even more pictures of the dogs of Evolucion and talk more about their movement to change the lives of dogs in Mexico.

[box title=”See more of Evolución Dog Sanctuary”]Evolucion Facebook
Evolución Website[/box]

4 Responses

  1. Thomas Off

    Well…not this place,but Mexico in general! Dont know how many tacos I bought from street venders to feed countless of homeless dogs there! It was heartbreaking!