On the Mérida-Cholul highway, almost next to the Universidad Modelo and just a few steps from your typical OXXO, the Asociación Civil Albergue Franciscano del Animal Desprotegido (AFAD) warmly welcomes volunteers and visitors in search of a furry friend.


Upon arriving, both dogs and cats will want to get your attention and win your heart. You’ll see them chilling in their areas or playing with their companions. The dogs run around in the huge back garden and have the opportunity to enjoy a Friday spa in the Palapa area.


As the name implies, AFAD is a shelter that prepares pets for adoption. Today the place can house up to 60 dogs and 20 cats. Additionally, they also have a large quarantine area – to prevent the spread of high-risk diseases, such as canine distemper and parvovirus. Here, newcomers are dewormed, vaccinated, and sterilized; later, they will be relocated in the common areas.



Lidia Saleh, president of AFAD, proudly shares the achievements and growth of this project. She mentions, for example, the quarantine area (which came to be thanks to a donation from Dogs Trust, a British association); and the large surgery room built by Dr. Jeff Young. She also speaks of the opportunity to belong to a Pedigree Foundation program which provides part of the food for the animals.


However, Lidia recalls that “as AFAD has grown, it requires more support through donations.” Before the pandemic, they conducted sterilization campaigns at affordable costs, which represented a source of income to cover employee salaries and provide maximum welfare for the animals. They also received donations from more people and held educational events on animal care.


With campaigns suspended for the past year and waning donations, AFAD needs our help to ensure its continued existence. You can contribute with any amount you wish through bank transfers or Paypal (with the option of turning it into a monthly gift). And don’t forget, as AFAD is an authorized charity, you can make your donation tax-deductible.


Carretera Cholul Km 4.5, in front of Universidad Modelo, Mérida
FB: AFAD AC (Página)
Mon. – Sun. 11 am – 2 pm



Editorial by Olivia Camarena Cervera
Editorial Assistant



Photography by Olivia Camarena Cervera and Yucatán Today for use in Yucatán Today.



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