click here —> Foster and Adoption Form

Why adopt a dog from Mexico?

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAThere are many animal rescue groups in western Canada who import dogs from shelters in the southern USA and Mexico. So many Canadians have discovered that these, once homeless, dogs from down south are simply the best pets they have ever had! To us it doesn’t matter what part of the world a rescue dog comes from, they all deserve homes. The problem is not just homelessness in pets as much as it is “petlessness” in people.

“If you save one dog…you won’t save the world….But to that one dog ….It’s world is changed forever.”

The main goals of the Mexi-Can Vet Project are to fund and participate in sterilization clinics and improve animal welfare in Mexico; however, after each clinic we do return to Victoria with anywhere from 6 to 14 dogs for adoption in Canada.

Nearly every dog we select has been in the care of Senora Celia Brambila (see below), who for many years, has devoted herself to running the JBAR animal shelter out of her home in La Colonia. Celia spends a lot of time with each dog she fosters and so most are socialized young dogs of small to medium mixed-breed types. Each dog we select has been assessed for health and disposition by our team, and has received a physical exam, vaccine against Distemper, Parvovirus and Rabies and deworming before coming to Canada.

Are there any health issues?

We do a rigorous assessment of a dogs personality and physical health when we select a dog to bring home for adoption in Canada. Bear in mind that we do not have the luxury in Mexico to test dogs for diseases before they come here. Skin diseases including Demodectic mange  and ringworm, internal parasites are common treatable diseases that occur in stray dogs from this area of Mexico. In addition, many older dogs may have been exposed to tick borne illnesses such as Ehrliciosis or Anaplasmosis.

Once in Victoria, we do another physical exam, perform complete blood counts, blood tests for tick borne diseases, skin testing for mites and fungal infections, fecal tests for intestinal parasites on each dog. We identify any disease conditions which require treatment and start these dogs on individual treatment plans. We also administer the second set of vaccinations and spay/neuter these animals if they have not been done already in Mexico. The staff of McKenzie Veterinary Service donate their time and we covers the costs of all of these tests, treatments and hospital care, often amounting to $400 to $2,800 per dog in real costs, all so that we can confidently say that we only adopt out healthy dogs or dogs on their way to full health.

Often, we will bring home the hard-luck cases that need extra medical or surgical attention once in Canada. For example, we may choose to bring back dogs with a missing eye or three legs, dogs who deserve a good home but may not be readily adoptable in Mexico.  Some dogs need orthopedic surgery for a chronically dislocated hip due to being hit by a car, or chemotherapy treatments to cure transmissible venereal tumors. Many of these conditions in Mexican dogs  “come with the territory”. That is to say if you are homeless, you run a greater risk of living constantly with ticks, fleas, internal parasites, skin diseases, chronic malnourishment and being run over by a car. These are normal everyday conditions for Mexican dogs on the street, farms or on the beach. The great news is that nearly all these medical or surgical conditions are temporary and are generally curable from once they receive the proper medical care. Getting a new home in Canada then makes all the difference!

 How to adopt a dog from Mexi-Can Vet Project

Our adoption process requires that you complete a form which tells us about you and what type of dogs you are looking for. We generally have little control over what types, sexes, colours or ages of dogs we will be bringing back before we travel to Mexico. So when they come back, after the health tests are performed and their personalities are better understood, we start by asking potential adopters to make an appointment to view dogs that make make the best fit.

 None of the dogs may turn out to be a good fit for you or your family and to avoid disappointment we recommend you not get your hopes up that you will be going home with a dog. If you see one that you like, then it is a first come,first serve process and we strongly recommend an overnight trial at your home to see how things go. This we realize is a very short period but there may be other adopters who are also interested in the same dog and want to know quickly if they might be next in line for adoption.

After some clinics we return with more dogs than we have homes for and thus we need people to foster dogs until a forever home can be found. Foster “parents” benefit from the joy a pet brings into their life and the dogs benefit by continuing their training and socialization and treatments. Anyone who has some basic knowledge of dog behaviour and training would make a good foster family for one of these dogs. If you are interested in being put on an “I’m interested in adopting or fostering a dog from Mexico” List – send us an email;


and fill out the adoption/fostering form below.

Foster and Adoption Form

 We've been adopted!

We’ve been adopted!

What am I responsible for after adoption?

After adoption you will be responsible to the care and any further treatment for conditions which were not part of your pet’s pre-existing health issues. We are strong advocates of preventive health care and so future vaccine boosters and flea control for example are recommended. We also recommend pet insurance and you may sign your pet up for this on line, ask at Mckenzie Veterinary Services for options about pet insurance.

Like any young dog from any breed or background, you may find some common and possibly bothersome behaviours which require training and modification to correct. It is quite common see separation anxiety, fear and dominance and territorial issues in rescued dogs. The Mexican dogs are used to living out of doors so need to be allowed to get accustomed to life indoors (housetraining skills may not be developed) and our colder climate( they may be reluctant to exercise outdoors in winter).  We can help you cope with any behavioural issues.

In addition, if after adoption you decide that your new pet is not suitable for your family or lifestyle and you need to give up the pet, we ask that you return the pet to us for re-homing. We would like to know what the issues around ownership are so that if they are serious behavioural issues, we can address them before re-homing. The adoption fee is non-refundable after two weeks of ownership.


“Saint Celia”

Many of the dogs we bring back from Mexico are pre-fostered by “Saint Celia” who dedicates her life to running a shelter/sanctuary at her home for all sorts of homeless, sick or injured animals in Jaltemba Bay. They may have started out life on the street, but Celia Brambila makes sure they are well socialized with some basic training. Due to her amazing dedication, they end up making great companions who are so grateful for a loving forever home here in Canada.

The adoption fee of $350.00 is not used to help offset costs associated with spaying and neutering, transportation to Canada, vaccinations, blood tests, deworming, deflea/tick and medication for treatment of tick borne diseases. These costs are covered by McKenzie Veterinary Services. Adoption fees are donated back to Jaltemba Bay Animal Rescue in Mexico to continue their year round animal shelter and treatment costs for the sick and injured animals cared for at the shelter.



Stories of dogs we have adopted from Mexico

Each team of volunteers has brought back dogs for adoption. As many of these dogs have been adopted by staff members at our vet clinic, we have been able to watch the transition these dogs have made to adapting to their new life in Canada. Without exception these dogs have become loving, trusting companions who are easy to have around.


It took Sandee, our Pet Nutritionist, a few days to come up with the perfect name for the tiny new addition to her dog team. It took only a few seconds for her to fall in love with Pinkee who is not so tiny anymore!




Chichito was adopted by our receptionist Carrie. Carrie and her family have wanted to have a dog in their house for a long time but were unable to due to severe dog allergies in family members. Chichito has fit into their family without a sneeze and also fits under Carrie’s desk. Ask Carrie to introduce you to Chichito the next time you come to the clinic!





No one would ever have predicted that Margie would have a dog in her life! Here she is with Canela who has adapted well to a life filled with biking, kayaking, hiking and best of all…sleeping under the covers!





Karin, one of our Animal Health Technicians, fell in love with Frankie in Mexico. He was so small that he fit into her pocket, after a while he fit into her purse ….and he kept growing and now fits into her car. Don’t you think he one of the most engaging dogs ever?





A Mexican Street Dog Prayer


Dear Mexi-Can Vet Project, please send me somebody who’ll care!
I’m tired of running, I’m sick with despair.
My body is aching, it’s so racked with pain,
and oh how I pray, as I run in the rain.
That someone will love me and give me a home,
a warm cozy bed and a big juicy bone.

My last owner tied me all day in the yard
Sometimes with no water, and god that was hard.
So I chewed my leash, and I ran away.
To rummage in garbage and live as a stray.
But now, I’m tired and hungry and cold,
and I’m so afraid that I’ll never grow old.

They’ve chased me with sticks and hit me with stones,
while I run the streets just looking for bones!
I’m not really bad, please help if you can,
or I have become just a “Victim of Man!”
I’m wormy dear Doc, and I’m ridden with fleas,
and all that I want is an Owner to please!

If you find one for me, I’ll try to be good,
and I won’t chew their shoes, and I’ll do as I should.
I’ll love them, protect them and try to obey….
when they tell me to sit, to lie down or to stay!
I don’t think I’ll make it too long on my own,
cause I’m getting so weak and I’m so all alone.

Each night as I sleep in the bushes I cry,
cause I’m so afraid, that I’m gonna die.
And I’ve got so much love and devotion to give,
that I should be given a new chance to Live!
So dear Mexi-Can Vet Project, please answer my prayer,
and send me someone who will REALLY care..