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In 2016, my family and I embarked on a journey to Ecuador with the primary goal of exploring the Galapagos Islands. Little did we know that this trip would not only lead us to fall in love with the people and the country itself, but it also opened our eyes to a pressing issue – the widespread pet overpopulation in the region. Witnessing the struggles of countless stray animals, we felt compelled to take action. 

Our journey began with the organization of vaccine and spay/neuter campaigns, collaborating with both Canadian and Ecuadorian veterinarians to combat this problem. 

Fast forward to September 2023, and our latest campaign marks the fifth in our ongoing efforts. Comprised of seven dedicated members from Dundas West Animal Hospital, our team journeyed to Ecuador from September 6-17, 2023, with the primary spay and neuter campaign occurring on September 9-10, 2023. Remarkably, some of our team members have now participated in four to five campaigns, demonstrating their unwavering commitment to this cause. 

On this occasion, our campaign efforts were centered in the coastal town of Montanita where we coordinated our efforts with the local comuna (town hall). Additionally, we joined forces with dedicated volunteers from a local charity called Paws Olon. The outcome was impressive, with 86 cats and 117 dogs undergoing a sterilization surgery. 

Over the past seven years, our cumulative impact has been remarkable, reflected in the noticeable decrease of stray animals both in town and along the beach. 

We are incredibly proud of the positive impact we've made on the community and the lives of these animals. Our mission continues, and we remain dedicated to creating a safer and more compassionate environment for pets and people in Coastal Ecuador. 

Written by: Dr. Scott Bainbridge