Mexi-can Vet Project

Mexi-Can Vet Project

What is the Mexi-Can Vet Project all about?


The Mexi-Can Vet Project is the creation of Dr. Malcolm McCartney from McKenzie Veterinary Services in Victoria, B.C.. He has been heading down to the West coast of Mexico (just one hour North of beautiful Puerto Vallarta) for 7 years with a team of vet techs and assistants, to volunteer at free spay and neuter clinics. Twice a year, his team joins with Jaltemba Bay Animal Rescue (JBAR) and PEACE Mexico (a team of traveling Mexican vets) to do 4 full days of spays and neuters on cats and dogs in the Jaltemba Bay area in Nayarit, Mexico. Some of the animals are strays and are rounded up on the local streets on the morning of the clinics, and brought in to be spayed or neutered. Many of the animals are owned by local Mexicans, who cannot afford to pay for the surgery for their pets. Over the past 7 years, several thousand cats and dogs have been helped, thus making a huge difference in the human and pet community.


Dr. Buxton and South Burnaby Vet Hospital’s Participation


For many years, it was a goal of mine and my team at SBVH to become more involved in charitable pet related organizations. After reading about the Mexi-Can Vet Project in a local veterinary journal, I was inspired to join this project. In April 2013, Dr. Carter and I flew down to Mexico to participate in this worthy project. It was a remarkably rewarding and interesting experience for both of us. It turned out to be a tiny bit of beach time and a whole lot of hard work! In four days, working alongside Dr. McCartney, the PEACE Mexico vets, and the 50 or more JBAR volunteers, we spayed and neutered 220 animals (cats and dogs). We also treated several seriously ill patients, by setting up our own mini-ICU under the palm trees! It was a physically and emotionally exhausting experience, but it felt so worthwhile.

We experienced first-hand the need for veterinary care of pets and strays and the amazing difference that the efforts of JBAR, PEACE Mexico, and Dr. McCartney were having in communities on the west coast of Mexico. Our experience has inspired us to return and help out in the future. We hope to participate every April and November.

In April 2013, we were joined by two filmmakers (Erin and Mike) from  May Street Productions in Victoria. They filmed the action at the clinic, including many sad and happy stories. They interviewed everyone so we got quite used to a camera in our faces. They plan to create a documentary or an episode for a possible television series. We look forward to seeing their film work. A short promo video called “Vets Without Borders”, which combines footage of our work in Mexico and that of an actual Vets Without Borders veterinary team in Todos Santos, Guatemala was made to entice producers to expand their documentary project. We wish them luck and hope to be involved in the future. To view this video, click on this link.

Donations from our wonderful clients and veterinary supply companies make it possible to have enough surgical and medical supplies to perform up to 200 surgeries per clinic and also treat many animals for infectious and parasitic diseases. Donations also help to cover the costs of running the clinics organized and run by volunteers from JBAR. We also have been able to get involved in some complex medical, surgical and dental problems of dogs and cats.

At the conclusion of every clinic, we also bring 3-5 dogs back to Vancouver for adoption. The Mexi-Can Vet Project adoption fees that we collect for each dog are passed onto JBAR to maintain their animal shelter in that area.

Here are some of the Mexican dogs who have new homes in Canada!



How you can help the Mexi-Can Vet Project

Mexi-Can Vet Project needs your help to continue to fund these free spay and neuter clinics in Mexico. South Burnaby Veterinary Hospital donates between $2000-$3000 each trip to cover flights, meals, and supplies for our staff members who volunteer their help and expertise, and give up their holiday time to attend each clinic.

Monetary donations are the most helpful way to contribute. Your donations go toward the surgical and medical supplies that are required to run the clinics. Any extra money is donated to JBAR to help pay for ongoing medical and surgical care of animals treated at local clinics in La Penita and to run their animal shelter in La Colonia.100% of the funds that you donate go to support the project.

How can you donate?

Send a cheque made out to South Burnaby Veterinary Hospital, and write “Mexi-Can Vet Project” in the memo line.

You can also donate online with 100% Secure Payments with PayPal! Click Donate below!

For more information, contact us at petcare@telus.net or call us at 604-526-0334, and we will let you know how to donate.

Note: We are still (as of November 2013) unable to issue a CRA tax receipt for monetary donations, but are negotiating to become part of a B.C. registered non-profit society which will be able to issue receipts for donations in the near future.


Adopt a Dog from Mexico


Why adopt a dog from Mexico?

There are many animal rescue groups in western Canada who import dogs from the southern USA and Mexico. So many Canadians have discovered that these once homeless dogs from down south are simply the best pets that they have ever had!

The main goal of the Mexi-Can Vet Project is to fund and participate in sterilization clinics in Mexico; however, we see it also as a good opportunity to give a better life to a homeless dog. Nearly every dog that we select has been in the care of foster mother Celia Brambila. For many years, Celia has devoted herself to running the JBAR animal shelter out of her home in La Colonia.

Celia spends a lot of time with each dog that she fosters, so most are well socialized young dogs of small mixed-breed types. Each dog that we select has been assessed for health and disposition by our team, and has also received a physical exam, basic vaccines, and deworming before coming to Canada.

Please let our receptionist know if you are interested in adopting one of our dogs – we will put you on a list. There is definitely something special about these Mexican dogs!


COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

Unfortunately, due to the ongoing health crisis, we have suspended our pet boarding services until further notice, and we are not accepting new patients at this time due to higher than normal case-loads. Thank you for your understanding.

Note: If you are experiencing respiratory symptoms, please let us know when you book your pet’s appointment. As the potential to spread to pets is still relatively unknown, it is possible that your pet could create a risk to other people who may be handling him or her. Whenever possible, please send someone who is not experiencing respiratory symptoms to the appointment with your pet.

The following changes are effective as of Tuesday, March 17, 2020:

1. We are currently operating a “closed waiting room” policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 604-526-0334. We will bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. We will then call you on your cell phone to discuss the issues with your pet, and you will have a telemedicine consult with the veterinarian to discuss further diagnostics required or a treatment plan for your pet. Following the end of the appointment, we will return your pet to your vehicle. If you do not have a cell phone, please knock on our door to let us know you have arrived and then return to your vehicle.

2. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets, as well as time-sensitive puppy/kitten vaccinations. Where possible, we will do our best to accommodate annual vaccinations; however, all other services will be scheduled for a later time.

3. We are still OPEN with the following hours:
Monday – Friday: 8:30 am – 6:30 pm
Saturday & Sunday: 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 2-4 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment over the phone. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the online store, visit our website.

Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our roles. As such, we have taken measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

In these uncertain times, please see the below link for the most recent information for the public on COVID-19 and animals from the Government of Canada (specifically the Canadian Food Inspection Agency).


Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at South Burnaby Veterinary Hospital