Chelem Project

Primary Objectives

  1. Test the hypothesis that humans are hard-wired to care for and show compassion to companion animals.
  2. Enhance the human/companion animal bond.
  3. Enhance the health and welfare of companion animals and their caretakers.
  4. Decrease the surplus companion animal population while helping to increase the overall health in the companion animal population.

Chelem is a small village near the town of Progresso in Yucatan, Mexico. Planned Pethood Plus, Inc through Planned Pethood International will build a veterinary hospital that will test the hypothesis that humans are hard-wired to care for and show compassion to companion animals. In order to accomplish this objective we will conduct a census to determine the number of animals and assess the attitudes of the residents toward those animals.

From there, we will offer free preventative and basic healthcare for all animals, owned and non-owned. We will place special emphasis on population control via spay/neuter, disease transmission, and parasite control. We also hope to enlist a dog trainer to assist with training and behavioral issues for interested parties. We will be working with the local government, humane organizations, (specifically AFAD, and Evolution), local veterinarians, and the local “beach community”. Our goal is to conduct an annual survey for at least three to five years to gauge the health of the animals and the attitudes of the community toward the companion animal population.

Construction on the clinic began in May 2012. Projected costs for the project are $72,000, to be covered from the following sources.

  1. Planned Pethood International – $12,000
  2. Planned Pethood Plus – $12,000
  3. Dr. Jeffrey Young – $12,000
  4. Planned Pethood Merida – $12,000
  5. Donations – $24,000

We will be soliciting donations of supplies from several companies and hope to be able to obtain certain items at cost in order to defray long term expenses. We will be offering other non-elective and non-preventative services at a reduced cost in order to fund the primary project. Additionally, we are seeking the assistance of a graduate student from the Institute for Human Animal Connections Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver to document and publish our results. Furthermore, we hope to enlist Dr. Ortega from the University of Yucatan and Dr. Lappin from Colorado State University to help us document and report the diseases present in the animal population. We have already recruited several veterinarians who will help with the project.

Our belief is that by impacting the health of the companion animal population we can also impact the health of the human population. We believe we can bring about positive change in the attitudes toward both owned animals and non-owned street animals. Ownership is defined differently throughout the world. People, children specifically, tend to try to interact with companion animals in positive ways. Fear of disease, bites, and lack of knowledge about how to live with companion animals all play a major role in how we interact with them, yet people are still drawn to do so.

If we can make animals healthier and friendlier while educating people about the care of these animals, can we help improve negative attitudes toward these same animals? The Chelem Project seeks to gain insight into what we at Planned Pethood International believe is fundamentally ingrained into humans: to show compassion toward animals.

We further believe that it is this compassion that makes us more human. What better way to help bring out compassion than to interact in more positive ways with the companion animals that have evolved alongside us for thousands of years. Above all we believe that human beings have a special kind of social contract with our companion animal friends that requires to care for and show compassion to them.

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