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Recently there was a moderator rant on another board about SOS Dog Shelter

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Recently there was a moderator rant on another board about SOS Dog Shelter Empty Recently there was a moderator rant on another board about SOS Dog Shelter

Post by HarryB Tue May 31, 2022 9:30 am

Here is a more professional and balanced report


mayo 30, 2022EditorLakeside NewsSin Comentarios

Chapala municipal workman installing new cages in new dog shelter in east Chapala. Photo: Chapala official video

Patrick O’Heffernan (Ajijic).- SOS Chapala Dog Rescue announced on Facebook Monday, May 23, that it is closing its dog shelter in West Ajijic. The next day, May 24, The Chapala municipality announced via a Facebook video the construction of a new shelter for dogs in Hacienda La Labor in East Chapala.

If the new shelter is properly completed to handle up to 100 dogs, and the dogs from the SOS facility in West Ajijic are moved to it and then closes down, the Aguirre Administration will have solved a Gordian knot of technical and legal problems and competing interests handed to it by the previous administration. However, as of the close of this edition, a few questions remain unanswered.

The actions by both entities are the result of a year-long political and legal battle involving homeowners whose lives have been turned upside down by the noise from the SOS West Ajijic shelter, SOS who took on management of the facility in good faith for the municipality and invested large sums of money into it, the Chapala municipality, and the Jalisco State Pension Fund.

As Laguna reported on May 13 of this year, a group of 20 Mexican and Expat homeowners and representatives of several Homeowners Associations in West Ajijic filed a lawsuit against the SOS Chapala Dog Rescue organization, the Chapala government, and the Jalisco State Employees’ Pension Fund over the dog shelter established by the previous municipal administration near their homes.

SOS operates the shelter under an agreement with the previous administration, which established it on land originally donated to the municipality for a graveyard. However, after SOS took over the Department of Ecology’s flailing operation, invested $800,000 pesos and turned it into a shelter noted in the industry for its high standards (but condemned by its neighbors for noise), the previous administration transferred the land to the Jalisco state Pension Fund to pay a debt to the Fund. SOS was not informed of the transfer and the Fund was not informed of the existence of a shelter on its property… essentially dumping the problem in the lap of the State and SOS before it left office.

The original shelter established and operated by the Moisés Anaya Administration was built without consulting the surrounding homeowners who found themselves suddenly inundated with the loud barking of dozens of dogs 24/7. Months of negotiation to solve the barking at the shelter went nowhere so the homeowners sued. In a copy of the lawsuit obtained by Laguna, the plaintiffs charge that the dog shelter was illegally established by the Anaya Administration on land zoned for housing only, and that the agreement between the Anaya Administration and SOS Chapala Dog Rescue was invalid. The lawsuit requests that the court orders administrative action be taken to move the shelter to a site zoned for the correct use.

The new administration reopened negotiations, found a useable site, and obtained a commitment from the homeowners to pay the lease fees – $15,000 pesos per moth – and, according to a photo provided to Laguna by the homeowners, signed a lease on May 2 with Señor Trinidad in Hacienda la Labor for a former horse facility.

“The lease is for a 11,000 sq meter space with electricity and water and everything they need. It is a dog paradise, Linda Freeman, a spokesperson for the homeowners told Laguna, adding that, “ it’s $15,000 pesos a month but the homeowners agreed to pay for 2 months in advance and (all rent) for two years. The owner has been given $ the municipality, but we paid for it through a donation to the municipality. As a group we will continue to support the municipality” Freeman. They are acting in good faith.”

Jesús González pointed out the new construction at the dog shelter to Chapala President Aguirre. The concrete pad for new cages is in the background. Photo: Chapala official video

Sue Hollis of SOS sys not so fast; the site is not properly prepared and the lease is too short for serious investment.

Questions about the site remain unanswered, as well as who will manage the new shelter, but the government is not asking for any investment for SOS, according to the homeowners.

I know for a fact that the government did not expect SOS to pay one cent for either the lease or for construction of new facilities,” Nita Rudy, President of the Puerta Arroyo Homeowners Association, told Laguna.

As to the site, Hollis pointed to issues with the facility in terms of design and construction.

“They (the municipality) are not building new cages, just dividing the existing stalls, which have to be fumigated for ticks before dogs can use them, plus they have to have drainage for the needed daily washdowns. And outside of the stalls they want to put dog runs in the corral, which is not acceptable because many dogs in one run will get into fights, especially during fireworks,” Hollis told Laguna in a telephone interview.

Hollis said that she (SOS) refuses to put money into a new property with only a two year lease and that the rent after that is much too high for the group.

“We cannot afford this and it is not an appropriate site. We were quite willing to move, but it has to be the right property under the right conditions,” she told Laguna.

However, Nita Rudy told Laguna that in a meeting with Mr. Trinidad and representatives of the municipality, he indicated he would be willing to extend the lease and perhaps even sell the land.

It is currently unclear if the site under construction by the municipality will meet these requirements. It is also unclear where the monthly rent will come from beyond the funds provided by the homeowners group for the two years of the lease. The group has paid $30,000 pesos for first and last month’s rent and committed to pay the monthly rent for the duration of the lease, if the dogs are removed from the West Ajijic site. But as to who will make the payments after two years is still up in the air. Laguna has reached out to the Chapala government with these questions but at press time has not received a response.

However, as far as the facilities are concerned, the video released by the municipality not only shows the horse stalls being divided into cages, but additional cages being constructed on concrete pads installed by Jesus González of the Department of Ecology. In the video, Jesus tells President Aguirre that the facility is 60% complete and in 8 – 10 days will have 50 completed cages. The video does not reveal the sanitation system for daily cage cleaning or the septic system for handling the daily waste of 100 or more dogs. Laguna has requested these details from the Administration.

The controversy seems to be coming to a head. The Jalisco State Employees Pension Fund has ordered SOS to leave its site and SOS is closing it down. The Municipality has leased and is nearing completion of a new shelter in East Chapala and claims it can begin to take dogs very soon. The homeowners have paid $30,000 pesos to the landowner and agreed to pay the rent for 2 years, but only if the dogs and the cages in SOS shelter are removed. Secretary General of the Council Lilia Alvado Macías informed the homeowners that the SOS dog shelter lawyer had seen the site and agreed to it,” allowing the dogs to be moved and SOS to manage it.

The only questions that remain are: will the new shelter meet the standards SOS requires to manage it, will the owner extend the lease after two years so the municipality and the site manager will not be scrambling for another site, and can funding be found or guaranteed to meet the rent payments after the lease is up and a new administration takes over.

The first question may be answered if SOS closes the facility and adopts out or fosters the dogs, rather than send them to the new shelter and manage for the municipality. The second question may take two years to answer and will be handed to the next administration. The third question could come down to the ability of any operation at the new site to pay for itself either through adoption fees, municipal funds, or donations.

In the meantime, anyone looking to adopt or foster a dog, should contact SOS Chapala Dog rescue through its Facebook page,

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