Baja Dogs La Paz, Inc. has a three-person Board of Directors and key volunteers on the ground in La Paz and in targeted cities in the US and Canada. This means no member of our team is paid a salary – in fact – many of our team members reach into their own pockets to buy food, veterinary care, and otherwise help fund the needs of the rescued dogs in La Paz.
It is impossible to list everyone who helps with our program. There are many who volunteer to drive dogs to the airport, pick dogs up from the airport, provide overnight foster care, etc. We are grateful to each and every one of them for their support.
All of these volunteers are often recruited and coordinated by a core team of dedicated volunteers that we rely on day-in-and-day-out to keep this amazing work going – so let’s meet these individuals!
The Board of Directors
The Baja Dogs La Paz Board of Directors is a “hands-on” group and each member wears many hats. Our board members often serve as Pet Escorts transporting our rescued dogs to their forever homes, foster homes, liaisons to forge new relationships with rescue groups in the US and Canada, and in countless other ways to help the rescued dogs of La Paz.
In 2002 when I first visited La Paz in Baja, Mexico I was enchanted by the warm, friendly people and the unsurpassed beauty of the setting on the Bay of La Paz. But one thing I couldn’t ignore was the unbelievable number of street dogs. Most female street dogs were pregnant, some dogs were starving, and many were infested with ticks and mange. In some sad cases, dogs with owners who barely had enough to feed their own families had very little funds left over to care for the family pet.
When my husband and I bought our La Paz home in 2003 we did what we could for many of the street dogs. We always carried a huge bag of food in our back seat to share with any dog that looked hungry. We kept a tub of water outside our front gate. Many times we took dogs that were beyond help to the local veterinarian – most times to be put down. We donated money to our vet to use to spay stray female dogs – which were again returned to the streets where it was survival of the fittest. We started Baja Dogs La Paz, Inc. and became a registered 501(c)(3) in 2008 to help more of these dogs.
To contact Michelle via email: USCharity@BajaDogsLaPaz.org
When vacationing in La Paz, I started volunteering at a local refuge by walking dogs and doing anything else I could to help out. One thing led to another and I could not resist the opportunity to do something really significant to help the overpopulation of dogs in the area. It seemed the more I got involved, the more I wanted to help.
In addition to working at some of the refuges when I am in La Paz, I help transport dogs which involves providing overnight foster care when a dog is being flown through LAX and has a connecting flight for the next day. My team of volunteers and I often go to airport to help walk the dogs, give them food and water, and prepare them for the next leg of their journey. We have helped over 60 dogs get transported through LAX. In fact, during one year, we were at LAX so many times we convinced the airport to up-grade and provide a small, secured and fenced relief station for animals traveling through one of the terminals.
I have often taken dogs home with me from La Paz where I foster them until they are adopted. Of course, I always make sure that the prospective home is the right one for the dog. I am also in contact with no-kill shelters and organizations in the US that take dogs from Mexico and help find them good homes. We advocate working within the local La Paz community to find suitable homes for the dogs, educating new dog owners along the way. But there are so many strays in the area, there are just not enough homes for them all. So working with other organizations means we can rescue more. In fact, our family has adopted 3 rescued dogs from La Paz and they, are of course, loved members of our family now.
To contact Michele via email: MM@BajaDogsLaPaz.org
Looking for a second home in the area, my family and I discovered La Paz. I read about a local dog refuge in one of the English language newspapers and started volunteering. Like many others who love animals, I become heavily involved in helping with transportation whenever dogs need to come to or through the Seattle area on their way to a new adoptive family.
I am in my 25th year of employment with Microsoft and made sure Baja Dogs La Paz has been appropriately registered as a charity my company supports. This means any of the employees at Microsoft who volunteer or donate receive a corporate match and, as an animal lover, that makes my work with both organizations all the more worthwhile.
I work to champion this great cause so that visitors and part- and full-time residents of La Paz bring plenty of crates, blankets, leashes, and other supplies with them on their trips south of the border to help many of the rescatistas (Spanish word for rescuers) out.
I am also involved in fundraisers and events to promote our work and to raise awareness. I am also the primary interface with our team of volunteers in La Paz who rely on Baja Dogs to continue their projects.
To contact Michelle via email: MichMcC@BajaDogsLaPaz.org
The Volunteer Team
Our volunteer team members, similar to the Board of Directors, has a vital, primary role or function but often step in a serve in other areas as the needs arise. Our volunteers reside in La Paz, as well as select cities in the US and Canada. So if you love dogs and would like to help us out, don’t let your geographic location stop you. Send us an email at email@example.com and we will probably have a job you can do for us.
Rebeca is a certified veterinarian from the Metropolitan Autonomous University in Mexico City with over 20 years of experience. Since she was very young she has always loved dogs. In veterinary school she discovered the field for veterinary medicine is very broad and so she started her career in wildlife management. She later specialized in conservation of the environment where she worked with large animals in the wild. The Sea of Cortes on which La Paz is located (referred to by Jacques Cousteau as the “Aquarium of the World”) is rich with large marine life.
Never losing her love for the dogs, however, Rebeca always kept her knowledge and skills up-to-date volunteering wherever she could to help local shelters and rescue groups. When Rebeca and Baja Dogs discovered each other it was a perfect match!
Over the last year we have worked together to develop our Wellness Program which we were able to launch in April 2018. Volunteering in this way, Rebeca is able to continue her work with dogs, which she loves. The best part is that when addressing the overpopulation of dogs in the city, she is able to help improve the conservation of this unique environment.
Jim and Rebecca moved to La Paz from the Bay Area, CA in 2016 with their own two rescued dogs. On their first day in La Paz, a young Baja pup showed up on their doorstep, and soon became part of their family. Another soon followed, and they worked with Baja Dogs to find him a happy home. They have been volunteering ever since, since they often rescue and foster dogs for adoption. They often transport newly adopted dogs to the airport for their flights north, and Rebecca updates the web site with profiles as more dogs are rescued.
If you live in the Vancouver, BC area and are interested in helping us out by fostering a dog, you can contact Caroline via email: Caroline@BajaDogsLaPaz.org
If you are interested in helping us with our publications, you can contact Irene by email at: Irene@bajadogslapaz.org
If you are interested becoming a pet escort you can email firstname.lastname@example.org .
That means Angie often gets on a plane and flies with a dog across country to deliver it to its new owner and turns around and flies back home. Her most recent trip was from Los Angeles to Minneapolis and back again all in the same day.
If a dog is too big to fly in-cabin, Angie can arrange a discount for the dog to fly solo.
So when we have problems getting a dog to its destination from La Paz or Cabo airports – we work on getting it to LA, where it can be picked up, fostered overnight, and then delivered back to the airport for Angie to work her magic.
If all of that isn’t enough – Angie is a part of the LAX “Dog Posse” – the team of volunteers that helps travelers transporting dogs to make their connecting flights. When traveling with a lot of dogs, it can be a bit of work to clear customs, get the dogs walked and watered, crates checked by TSA and dogs, humans, and luggage all checked back in for the connection. But somehow, volunteers like Angie make it work..