Who are we?

Cortez Rescue-Adopt Trevor

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We are delighted to welcome everyone back to Los Barriles; the Cortez Rescue & Outreach team is especially happy because our volunteers and potential fosters/adopters are returning!  If you haven’t come across us before, Cortez Rescue & Outreach is a new non-profit humanitarian organization based in Las Cuevas – our Cortez Rescue Center is situated at the back of Dr Gretel’s clinic.  Our geographical region is from Las Cuevas to Cabo Pulmo/La Ribera and to Los Barriles and San Bartolo. We are a non-profit registered both in Mexico and the US which means that you can make tax efficient donations while doing a great thing for our community!

What are we trying to achieve?

Our vision is to eradicate cruelty and mistreatment of animals in the East Cape region through education and community support.  We want to achieve this by promoting responsible pet ownership in the East Cape region through supporting the existing spay and neuter network, educational and community-focused programs and the treatment and re-homing of dogs where and when required.  We can’t do this alone, and that’s why we are proud to work alongside the existing spay and neuter network that includes SNAP and Amigos de Animales.

What does Cortez Rescue do?

We have two activity streams.  On the one hand we rescue and re-home abandoned, sick and cruelly treated animals where we can.  On the other, we have designed a community program to help bring about change from within our community.  Rescuing and re-homing is just a Band-Aid; we want to prevent the need for Cortez Rescue within the next ten years. Our programs include the following:

  • Schools project – led by Sabrina (dog groomer) and Juliana (Rancho Leonero). We have designed an engaging game based on game science that encourages children of all ages to work together in order to better understand responsible pet ownership.
  • Household education – production of Spanish language leaflets / folios to educate families about the importance of spay and neuter, the law related to cruelty to animals, how to select the right pet etc.
  • Working with La Paz County – we were invited to join a wider team in La Paz led by a local Commandante to help effect policy and bring about change in Baja with regard to cruelty to animals.
  • Socialization and rehabilitation programme – we have a number of volunteers who are dedicated to rehabilitating some of our longer term four-legged residents who need love, attention and training in order to make them ‘re-homeable’. This has been led by Dr Gretel, Tracey Lewis (The Barkery), Terri Foster and members of the volunteer team.

What has Cortez Rescue achieved so far?

  • We have rescued and re-homed approximately 60 dogs and cats since we took the reins from ALMA earlier in 2018.
  • Mexican A Team – we have recruited a committed team of 15 local Mexican volunteers who are here all year round and are talking to the community about how they can get help and what they need to do in return in order to receive any support.
  • Spreading the word – our spay and neuter folios supporting the spay and neuter message are already in circulation in Los Barriles.
  • Cortez Rescue Center – our Center is ready and we are currently recruiting a Rescue Center Manager (local Spanish/English speaking employee who can help with socialization, feeding and cleaning).
  • Feeding the region – thanks to the kindness of our community, we have been distributing bags of dog food to the most needy in our community – specifically those households who have no income through the tough summer months when the tourist dollar disappears.
  • Spay and neuter – we back up the existing spay and neuter network where we can. For example, taking care of the dogs at the dump.

Where are we based?

The dedicated Cortez Rescue Center is based in Las Cuevas to the rear of Dr Gretel’s clinic.   We are separate from Dr Gretel’s clinic at Las Cuevas and our HQ can be found in the small casita between the two big walls (this is not a drop-in facility and visits are by appointment only).

Who runs Cortez Rescue & Outreach?

We are lucky enough to have some major community leaders as our founders and our board.  These include John Ireland of Rancho Leonero, Ron MacRae of QuadMan fame and Christine Dearden from the Inn at Rincon.  The day-to-day running of Cortez is handled by a group of volunteers and volunteer managers (who do not have a seat on the board).    We couldn’t do anything without Dr Gretel de la Torre and her hard working team at Las Cuevas. Gretel is simply wonderful and cares deeply for all of the animals that she deals with.  She also copes admirably, with patience and a smile with all of the volunteers who descend on her clinic on a daily basis!

Who supports us?

We are funded by you – our generous community. Because we are new, we have been getting our funding and donation systems up and running over the summer.  We are now embarking on a campaign to ensure that we have enough money to keep all of our valuable programs going.  We would also like to thank all of the great supporters that have already donated to the spay and neuter network clinics organised by SNAP and Amigos de Animales over the past few months including:  Tres Palapas Baja Pickleball Resort, Baja Awesome Sportfishing, Baja’s Awesome Beach Rides, QuadMan, Inn at Rincon, JA Custom Home, Rancho Leonero and Costa Palmas in La Ribera.

Spay and Neuter Network: SNAP and Amigos de Animales

Amigos de Animales and SNAP fulfil a vital function in our community by holding spay and neuter clinics throughout the year.  Both groups are led by a number of dedicated, hard-working volunteers such as Kathy Ice (SNAP) and Joanna Rinaldi (Amigos de Animales).  Both of these organizations work tirelessly to control the dog and cat populations from San Bartolo to Las Cuevas / Cabo Pulmo / La Ribera using Dr Cristobal Cosio (Las Iguanas, Los Barriles) as their lead clinic veterinarian.

SNAP (Spay, Neuter and Prevent) – led by Kathy Ice, SNAP is an independent Los Barriles-based volunteer group and strives to hold a spay and neuter clinic on a monthly basis – mainly in Los Barriles.  SNAP has spayed or neutered over 250 pets from January 2018 to September 14 2018. This season (2018/2019) SNAP is holding 8 – 10 clinics. SNAP is wholly funded by donations from the local community including business sponsors. Cortez Rescue assists SNAP as much as we can to raise funds from businesses and local groups. In order to ensure that the 8 clinics happen this year, SNAP requires donations.  Please see donation information below.

Amigos de Animales – has spayed or neutered over 120 dogs and cats since January 2018.  Animales members assisted in Miraflores, Santiago, El Campimento clinics for a total of 107 spayed or neutered dogs and cats. This season Animales will again provide 3 clinics in La Ribera and also assist in 3 regional clinics.  In order to ensure that the 3 clinics happen this year, SNAP requires donations.  Please see donation information below.

Where do our dogs go?

It’s a sad fact but we have saturated the local region with dogs and cats over the past few years.  People who had one pet now have two.  People who had no pets now have one.  People who didn’t even like dogs before are now adopting!  So that means we have to look towards the US and Canada for our adopters.  We mainly work with groups in Canada because they don’t have as much of a stray dog problem as the US, and Canadians love Baja hounds especially!  Unfortunately that means that we need to fly our dogs to their forever homes or new foster parents which can take some organization.

What we’re not

It’s important that the community understand that we are not considered a ‘dumping ground’ for unwanted dogs – simply because the dog has grown too big or isn’t the cat or pet that they expected.  We are working with the community to help them make better choices, to get their dogs spayed and neutered and to care for their dog for longer through the provision of short-term food and medicine.  But there are limits and we are very clear that we are not taken for granted.  When it comes to re-homing, our priority is genuinely abandoned, sick or severely neglected animals.

How can you volunteer?

At our last meeting, we were delighted to have over twenty five people step forward to help us.  This might sound like a lot, but it takes a tremendous amount of people to effectively make change happen.  Because our role is more than rescuing dogs, our community projects are extremely important if we are to bring about long-lasting change.  We are always looking for people to help us with the following:

  • Fosters – our dogs thrive in a home with love and attention. Spending time in a kennel at the Rescue Center is not ideal and we try to get our pets fostered before we consider keeping them at the Center.  If you have no dog, one dog or many dogs, can you help us out with just a week or two or three of fostering while we work hard to re-home them?
  • Puppy Cuddlers / Socialization – just an hour a week can make a huge difference to our animals. If you can spare some time to come to the Rescue Center and take our dogs for a walk or simply pet and cuddle them, you can have a positive impact in a short space of time.
  • Rescue Group Liaison team – we have some great partnerships set up and we need help in managing these and helping arrange the transportation of dogs northwards.
  • Marketing – if you can help with content creation, social media and general marketing, we need you!
  • Folio writers – can you use your creative talents in putting together our next tranche of leaflets?
  • Airport runs – taking our dogs to the airport to meet the escorts who will transport them to their forever homes.
  • Escorts – if you have flying or driving home and have room for a kennel, then please please consider helping us transport our doggies to Canada or the US! It’s very easy… Our usual destinations are Calgary, Vancouver, Portland and Seattle.  This might expand this year as we continue to add reputable rescue partners to our network. Our airline of choice is WestJet – Alaska is going through significant disruption and potentially will not be able to carry dogs in the hold on all of its planes.  (We pay for the kennel in the hold).

How can you see our dogs and cats?

Animals love routine, and we believe it is better for people who want to foster or adopt to meet their potential dog or cat in a more relaxed surroundings.  That’s why we will be holding weekly Open Days during the Fall, Winter and Spring so that serious adopters can come and meet all of our animals.  It also helps us to control who the dogs are meeting so that we can isolate them from other dogs in the community who might have diseases.  If you are serious about fostering or adopting, please email us at info@cortezrescue.org.  Otherwise look out for Open Day announcements in the Baja Pony Express.  We will not have a presence at the Saturday Market.

You can also see our dogs for adoption and foster on our very active Facebook page with almost 2,500 followers: https://www.facebook.com/cortezrescue/

How can you donate?

  • PayPal / credit card – We have DonorBox and PayPal set up for donations. This means that you can use your credit card via DonorBox or pay directly from your PayPal account conveniently on our website www.cortezrescue.org.
  • Check or larger amounts – If you would like to donate cash or check, please email info@cortezrescue.org
  • Old pesos! If you would like to make a donation when you’re in town, please drop off at Homes and Land of Baja and mark ‘Cortez Rescue’. Great if you have pesos that you no longer need and you’re leaving the country!
  • Dog and cat food – we always need any dog and cat food that you can spare to feed the locals’ animals during times of hardship. Last year we had over 70 bags donated thanks to everyone.
  • Leashes, collars, dog food, pee pads, shampoo, kennels – we also love to receive donations of these items as we go through them very quickly! Please drop off at Homes and Land of Baja.
  • Spay and neuter:
    • SNAP in Los Barriles – to donate directly to SNAP please email Kathy Ice at kathyp1210@yahoo.com or drop off money at Homes and Land of Baja in their marked SNAP donation box.  You can also call Kathy at 624-240-9347.
    • Amigos de Animales in La Ribera – donations can be made by emailing Gloria Winans gwinans@sbcglobal.net or Joanna Rinalidi – bajajoanna@gmail.comor dropped off at Homes and Land of Baja. You can also call Gloria at 624-130 0218.
  • Local Business Sponsorship – if you are a local business, then we have lots of options to sponsor us and get something in return! We have over 2,400 followers on Facebook (many in the East Cape), a large database for our newsletter, occasional events, branding at our Rescue Center, presence on our social media sites and also sponsorship of our website. There is also the option to sponsor a spay and neuter clinic organized by SNAP or Amigos de Animales.

How much can you donate?

Rescue groups always struggle for money and we’re no different.  If you can spare anything at all, we would be extremely grateful as every penny counts. If you think you can donate to us on monthly basis, then we offer $10, $20, $50, $100 options as well as a ‘one-off’ payment option on our website.  If you would like to make larger donations, then please do contact us at info@cortezrescue.org. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

What do we spend the money on?

It is extremely expensive to feed, care for and re-home a dog or cat.  Depending on their size, health and age, it can be anything from $100 – $300 per month.  When we have around 20 dogs in our care, it can get very expensive.  We try to re-home them ASAP but it’s not always possible as some need to be quarantined, receive treatment or rehabilitation.  We also have to pay for overheads and expenses such as airline fees, kennels, printing of folios, cleaning, dog and cat food…. the list goes on.  While we charge a nominal adoption fee, it only goes part-way to paying for our animals.

A quick thank you….

Over the summer, we have had some hard-working volunteers who have kept the wheels turning and they deserve to be named – whether in Baja or away.  They include Kathy Ice (SNAP), Joanna Rinaldi (Amigos), Cindy Seburn, Jenn Petitclerc, Terri Foster, Irene DeAndero, Juliana Cota Montaño, Lauren Potter, Bee Robertson, Emma Nicholson, Dr Gretel, Kenya, Sabrina, Nellie, Tish Jack, Paulina Verdugo, Sergio Pimentel Amador, Teresa Silva, Rosemary Bell, Carolyn Wheeler, Dr Cristobal, Liz and Bob Pudwill, Paul Irvine, Lisa Durban, Mary and Rick Milton, Christina Schraefel, Rebecca Cross, Bonny Stark and of course John Ireland, Ron MacRae and Christine Dearden, our supportive board.  Plus thanks to the Homes and Land of Baja team for letting us use their facilities and to Kathy Obenshain for kindly coordinating our donations. Apologies to anyone that we haven’t mentioned by mistake!

We also want to thank all of the unsung heroes in the community who quietly rescue, educate and re-home without needing Cortez Rescue.  If we all continue in our efforts, we will make a difference.

And finally, a word about Sheila Marshall…. Many of the Cortez Rescue volunteers know about or knew Sheila. Some worked with her for a long long time.  Some knew her briefly.  Some adopted animals from her not thinking that one day they would be carrying on her work and that of the original ALMA team.  Some had never met her and to them she is a Baja icon.  We all miss her on a daily basis and specifically her commitment, drive, tenacity and sheer love for rescuing animals. When it feels like the world of rescue becomes overwhelming, we think of Sheila and her boundless energy and passion and it gives us a boost.  RIP Sheila – you continue to be our dog rescue inspiration.

Contact Information

Website:              www.cortezrescue.org

Email:                    info@cortezrescue.org

Please email to be added to our database to receive quarterly news from Cortez Rescue & Outreach.

Dr Gretel De La Torre – No out-of-hours emergency support.

Clinic is in Las Cuevas, about 20 minutes south of Los Barriles on the road to San Jose del Cabo.
Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 9.00am – 5.00pm.  Saturday 9.00am – 4pm.  Closed Sunday.
Contact: +52 (1) 624-129-5640

Dr Cristobal Cosio –  Out-of-hours emergency contact: +52 (1) 612-141-4261

Clinic is located in Las Iguana Plaza (across first arroyo heading north of Los Barriles)
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday: 9.30am – 1.50pm and then 4.00pm – 7.00pm
Contact: +52 (1) 612-141-4261 and +52 (1) 612-159-1731 from a US phone.  From a local phone, (045) 612 141 4261.

Dr Jorge Bravo

The North Beach Clinic is located at the top of the North Beach RV Park.

Opening hours: Monday AND Wednesday: 10am – 2pm. Contact: +52 (1) 624-122-5925