Locals take part in international pet adoption

By Hector Trujillo

The Friends of the Humane Society de Tijuana (FTJHS) hosted an adoption event in Solana Beach on Saturday, March 28. They were hoping to find homes for the animals and to raise awareness about animal health. The event was attended by representatives of the Tijuana Humane Society (TJHS) and was held at Muttropolis.

“There is a lot of satisfaction in seeing the animals’ health and well-being improve in the neighborhoods in which we are working,” said FTJHS board advisor and Solana Beach resident Dr. Sarah LaMere.

“It takes so little effort to make such a huge impact, and there is a great deal of personal satisfaction in the realization that you are making a difference for animals, for people and for communities.”

Eight dogs and two kittens were offered for adoption after being rescued from a raid that took place earlier this year at a residence in Tijuana. Mexican authorities raided the home, rescuing more than 150 animals that were living in substandard conditions.

The FTJHS, which obtained nonprofit status last year, aims to improve the quality of life for animals and humans living in the Tijuana area.

“This really opened a lot of doors for HSTJ as we were finally able to issue tax deductible receipts for all donations,” FTJHS volunteer Michelle Grycner said. “I immediately felt a connection and began contacting the founder to see how I could help. I began volunteering at the clinics in Tijuana and posting ads on Craigslist soliciting donations for the organization.”

The Friends of Humane Society de Tijuana was established after Grycner, who works as a paralegal at McKenna Long & Aldridge law firm, convinced her employer to take HSTJ as a pro bono client and file the nonprofit paperwork with the IRS.

“Initially, I was looking for ways to get my hands back into clinical medicine and surgery, since I am a veterinarian who does mainly research for a career,” LaMere said. “I found I was quickly becoming more and more involved with HSTJ because I genuinely believe in the mission of the organization, and I feel they need much help.”

Since January 2007 HSTJ has provided care to more than 1,670 dogs and cats through its free Street Clinic [Clinica de Desparaciacion] also known as the “Itchy and Scratchy Clinic.”

Funded through individual donors and fundraising activities, the all-volunteer organization currently has about 40 American volunteers, including five licensed veterinarians and eight vet technicians.

“The impact these volunteers have had on the lives of so many pets and animals cannot be measured.” HSTJ president Leticia Coto said. “There is still no education or culture in Mexico that puts importance on the lives of animals.”

The FHSTJ has scheduled several adoption events during the month of April including two in La Jolla.

For more infomation on these events or on the FHSTJ visit