The army isn’t just about fighting wars or fulfilling ceremonial duties. They are a powerful unit in our society that can accomplish monumental feats that can change the lives of many. This time, the Mexican army set its sights on street dogs.
Street dogs are often abused, looked down at, thought of as dirty and abused, but their potential shone through just recently, changing their lives forever. The project didn’t start with the intention of helping street dogs. An international airport was being constructed in Zumpango de Ocampo, just outside of Mexico City.
There was a clear problem. Workers and architects and the project noticed the multitude of stray dogs in and around the construction area. It was decided that a vacant kindergarten building in the area could be transformed into a shelter. Officially, the Doggies of Santa Lucia shelter has a capacity of 50 dogs and can provide state-of-the-art veterinary care, healthy meals, and shelter.
According to a veterinarian at the shelter, Second Lieutenant Carla Medellin, the purpose of the shelter is to provide temporary homes for the street dogs. Here, they will be trained to live with humans and become acclimated with other dogs to prepare them for adoption. Some specially picked dogs will be tasked with detecting COVID-19 at the airport, and drugs. Others will also become medical alert dogs where they will assist in the early detection of cancer, diabetes, and hypertension.
Thanks to the work of the Mexican army and everyone involved in the project, these former street dogs now have a home and a purpose.