“The Voices Behind VIVA” by Laurie Darroch

An article as it appears in the San Felipe News Update Nov 2016. Volunteer featured in picture is Charles Yacub our Shelter Manager.


In 1971 The Carpenters performed a song called “Bless the Beasts and the Children”, a song that resonated with me well beyond the times of my youth. One phrase from the song that always stuck with me said, “Bless the beasts and the children, for in this world they have no voice, they have no choice.”

When the words of that song came to me again recently it struck me that the people behind VIVA have become the voice for unwanted and neglected dogs in San Felipe, and the bearers of miraculous blessings to many dogs in need of care and new homes.

Taking on the task of rescuing dogs, and caring for them until they are either old enough or well enough to find new homes, is no small feat for the core members of the team of animal lovers who man the helm of VIVA. Is is a tiring job, fueled first and foremost by love for the creatures in their care. Make no bones about it, this extensive job would quickly burn out anyone who if not come equipped with that type of deep seated love for the animal in their care. It is not a job that comes with glory or great monetary reward. (In fact, when funds are short, they sometimes take on some of the financial burden of the non-ending care out of their own limited pockets.) The reward for those dedicated workers comes with the successful adoption of each animal that needs the love of a good family in a new forever home.

Beyond the love though, the time, money and dedication required to keep this 24/7 job going is at times overwhelming. Running side by side with managing their own lives beyond the dogs. They cannot simply set aside the dogs when other real life personal events become demanding. Like caring for a human child, the job is constant.

So how can you help?

If you already have a home filled with dogs, or simply do not have the room, desire or means to care for a new permanent canine member in your home, there are other ways to help the four-legged furry creatures that are in need of blessings from the human community.

Consider fostering one of the dogs for a short time, or until a full time home becomes available for that particular dog. The hard working team that is VIVA is constantly on the active search for new homes for these dogs, not only around here in Baja, but with frequent trips to California as well, to what have become successful adoption clinics there.

Check with the team to see what items they need donated to help with the care of the dogs. This service requires a great deal more than food and housing to care for and eventually find these dogs new homes.

Attend one of their fun fund raising events in support of their hard work and the dogs in their care. These events give doubly, both to the dogs and to the people who attend the spirited gatherings.

 Volunteer your time at the facility, or at any of the locations housing puppies and full grown dogs. Sometimes they need something as simple as playtime with puppies, or taking dogs for a walk.

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If all of that is still something you do not want to do but you do want to help, a simple cash donation can help feed, get any necessary medicines and medical treatment, and help restock the supplies that are quickly depleted and need constant restocking with the care of so many dogs.

To donate, simply go to their website www.vivasf.org or contact a team member in person or through the VIVA Facebook website (Volunteers for Indigent and Vulnerable Animals), to get further details.


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