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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkVallarta Living | March 2007 

Compassion Without Borders
email this pageprint this pageemail usBrian Hamlin - TheReporter.Com


For more information, go to cwob.org, email info@cwob.org or call 530-666-3606.

A Woodland couple is reaching across international boundaries to help abused and homeless animals.

Christi Payne and her husband, Moncho Camblor, founded Compassion without Borders five years ago and, since them, have brought 400 soon-to-be-euthanized dogs across the Mexican border for new homes in California.

The couple's organization also provides animal care education, spaying, neutering and humane euthanasia information to communities in Mexico.

Payne, a fourth-year veterinary medicine student at the University of California, Davis, said she first became aware of a huge need for animal care awareness in Mexico while she was volunteering at no-kill animal shelter in Mexico City in 2002.

"Basically, that was a kind of crash course in pet overpopulation for me. All over Mexico there are just thousands of cats and dogs. They're everywhere," Payne said. "We just started thinking about what we could do to help the animals there."

In Juarez, Payne found an overcrowded animal control facility where animals were euthanized by electrocution and frequently went without food or water.

There she adopted a Chihuahua mix dog, Rosie, and then began working to improve conditions at the pound.

"It was a very bad situation - a lot of dead animals mixed in with live animals, sick animals in with healthy ones," Payne recalled. "Just seeing the problems they had led me to begin our work."

Today, with the help from Compassion without Borders, the facility is a model for other Mexican animal shelters.

"We invite people from around the country to come and see us," said Payne.

The couple also provides training in spaying and neutering, animal health care and humane euthanasia, as well as basic standards for humane animal shelters.

Their current focus is on the state of Chihuahua, but they eventually hope to expand Compassion without Borders to other states and neighboring countries.

"We see our role as giving them a model so they can set up sustainable programs of their own," Payne explained.

In addition to outreach and education, Payne and Camblor make adoption trips to Mexico about three times a year, returning with dogs for new homes here.

"All the dogs have a one-to-three-month quarantine. They're spayed or neutered and vaccinated," Payne said. "The adoptions actually are handled through our partner organizations."

Partners include the Animal Place in Vacaville, the Center for Animal Protection and Education in Santa Cruz and Small Dog Rescue in Chico.

For more information, go to cwob.org, email info@cwob.org or call 530-666-3606.

Brian Hamlin can be reached at courts@thereporter.com.



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