what we do - shelter animals

  • At the shelter, we care for 100 or more dogs and cats at any given time. Many are adopted as a result of our active adoption programs, but new animals are always coming in. We receive animals whose owners can’t or won’t care for them and animals that people find lost or in distress. We also receive dogs that were picked up by the local pound and were not retrieved by their owners.
  • Our kennel staff stays very busy keeping the shelter clean and presentable. They also feed, bathe, walk and play with the animals. Volunteers help out too, so if you’d like to spend a few hours with us, it would be greatly appreciated!
  • Our staff and volunteers also perform rescue operations in a variety of situations. Many times we get calls reporting abuse or neglect and we do our best to provide a solution to the problem and even provide rehabilitation to animals in need.
  • Our medical staff takes care of all our resident animals’ health, spending several hours each day dedicated to sterilization surgeries. We also provide veterinary services to the public, which covers some of our costs and allows us to give information about responsible guardianship.
  • The shelter is open to the public, so please stop in to visit us and perhaps meet your new best friend!


what we do - spay and neuterSpay/Neuter is the most important step we can take to reduce the amount of unwanted pets entering shelters. This is a large part of what we do. Our medical staff spends several hours a day dedicated just to sterilization surgeries.

In the spring and fall we are overwhelmed with litters of kittens and puppies that were either found abandoned or surrendered by their owners. As we receive them we do our best to educate the owners on the importance of spaying and neutering their animals. Our goal is to make spay/neuter more familiar and available to the all of Cozumel Mexico.
Your donations will help us continue this important service.


what we do - international adoptions Thanks to the generous support from many caring people and organizations in the U.S. and Canada, we have been able to relocate many of our animals to other shelters abroad. There, they are fostered or rehabilitated as needed, and then placed into loving homes.
Getting these animals to their final destination takes quite a bit of coordinating on both ends – from arranging transportation and getting the required paperwork to recruiting volunteers and finding escorts for the flights. Teresa Mentzer and Andrea Sekula devote much of their time coordinating these transfers, which sometimes requires flying out of Cancun. And that usually means a trip on the ferry, then a ride in the truck to the Cancun airport. It’s quite an adventure for the animals…not to mention our dedicated volunteers!


what we do - fundraisingFundraising is critical, so considerable time and effort is spent on this. We have several major annual events, such as our Mardi Gras bead stand, Art Exhibition and Auction, Sunset Sails and the big Christmas Dinner Party. In addition, we have garage sales, raffles and other activities throughout the year.  Click here to learn about our upcoming events!

Our monthly expenses average about $60,000 to $80,000 pesos (approx. $5000 to $7000 US dollars). The largest expenses include:

  • Salaries for the Vet, Vet Tech and Vet Assistant plus 4 full-time kennel workers
  • Medwhat we do - donation boxesicines and vaccines
  • Food and general supplies for the shelter
  • Maintenance

Only a small portion of our costs are covered by veterinary services provided at the shelter. The rest comes from active fundraising, donation boxes in town, donations through this website and sales of t-shirts and pet accessories with our logo available at our stores.

Taking Care of Business…

In addition to running the shelter and clinic, much of our work involves answering emails, ordering supplies, contacting other organizations, fundraising, acquiring equipment, supplies and veterinary help, as well as networking for adoptions abroad. And, of course, there’s bookkeeping, making reports, running errands…we happily do all this and more for the animals in our care.


We have been fortunate to be directly involved with many heartwarming success stories of animals that virtually received a “new life”, thanks to the tireless efforts of our staff and volunteers. We will regularly feature these Success Stories to share with you. Please read on to discover “Ricky’s Story”. It is quite moving and reminds us all that what we do is absolutely worthwhile!

The story of Ricky “The Box Dog”

what we do - Ricky the Box Dog

The makeshift doghouse above is where Ricky lived… a small wooden frame wit black cardboard sides and roof covered with a black curtain. Above is the way we found him… chained inside that box. He lived in the dark… for 6 years.

The photos below show Ricky the day he arrived at our shelter. This was in September, the day Monica took him out of the wooden box he had been living in for 6 years. Never let out or receiving vet care in his sad life. Sick and diseased but so sweet and grateful to be taken out of the box, we decided he needed a chance.what we do - Ricky's condition

Ricky is a large, white dog, probably a Labrador mix. By the time we knew about Ricky and went to rescue him, he was emaciated. His platelets were extremely low from Erlichiosis and his penis bleeding from more venereal tumors than we have ever seen in one single dog.

what we do - fostering animalsNora Hernandez stepped up and fostered Ricky. He is learning not to be afraid of new experiences and is still quite shy around men; we are certain that a man abused him and this continues to be worked on. He is not aggressive, just becomes shy or freezes. Small places also scare him and he was quite hesitant to get into Nora’s VW bug, but once he crossed the line he was OK. Nora took Ricky for nice long walks, taught him about life outside of a box and gave him the love he never had. Thank you so much Nora! 

Below is a picture or Ricky today – strong and beautiful. He has come a long, long way. We were so lucky to have found a placement that can work with him a bit more to make him perfect for adoption. He is now in Canada near Toronto.

A HUGE thanks to Nora Hernandez for fostering him and to all the Humane Society staff for pulling him through all his medical issues!

what we do - Ricky at the Beach

what we do - Ricky with his escort and shelter staffRicky’s transition was costly and the Humane Society of Cozumel absorbed the entire bill for his rehabilitation. We had a few people help with food but the meds alone were in the thousands of pesos. If you haven’t made a donation to the HSCI in a while, now would be a great time. If you have never made one, search your heart and see if it’s the right thing for you to do.

We need help! We need money to keep going!

The HSCI is funded by donations and the last 2 years have been extremely difficult.
You can make a tax-deductible donation in the U.S. or click on the PayPal link.

Thank you to all of our volunteers and sponsors for your year-round support!
Ricky thanks you too!

what we do - Ricky today