CANDi... saving the lives of stray cats and dogs through spay, neuter and adoption programs supported by the tourism industry, travelers and pet lovers.

Everyone has a story to tell … including animals.  Since 2006, CANDi has been helping stray cats and dogs in Mexico and the Caribbean create happy endings to their stories.  Here are a few of these stories of hope.

Forrest — A very special kitten finds love at CANDi's clinic

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Forrest is a very special kitty that came into CANDi’s Cancun clinic this December. His diagnosis is complicated — he has no femoral heads, and no knee caps due to congenital defects. It’s like his legs are completely backwards. With help from the Humane Society of Cozumel Island, Forrest was able to receive X-rays, which proved that there is no surgery to help him. 

Lucky for Forrest, Aynsley Sim, one of CANDi’s volunteers fell in love with him while working in the cat recovery room, and she decided to adopt him. Forrest is already in her loving home in Calgary, Canada!

Gabrielle and Xena: The great puppy rescue

Xena puppyrescue

Volunteer and CANDi Board Member Hector Navarro works tirelessly to rescue stray dogs in Cancun. Last week, as he was driving to help a friend transport two rescued strays to receive chemotherapy, he saw a dog in the middle of the street. 

"At first I thought it was hurt, but then I saw she had two little puppies," says Hector. "We see dogs on the streets every day and it is impossible to help them all. Right now all of my rescue friends are past their limit for fostering, so they can’t take any more dogs, but there was something about these little pups that moved me into action."

Saving Esperanza

esperanza1As part of her ongoing work to document street dogs in Mexico, award-winning photographer and CANDi International Board Member Tracey Buyce stumbled across a seriously injured horse this past July with the help of CANDi Board Member, Hector Navarro. Tracey was photographing stray dogs when she came across a run-down recycling center in the poorer outskirts of Cancun, known to be a gathering place for abandoned dogs. The horse was inside the center, in a small stall, under extremely bad conditions. She had also suffered serious leg injuries, due to a vicious Rottweiler attack a month earlier. The wounds were left untreated and the horse, named "Esperanza” or "Hope" in Spanish, was at risk of losing the infected limb—and possibly it’s life.

Lovely Luna comes home to New York


Luna was just one of many dogs facing an uncertain fate in the tourist outskirt town of Bonfil, Mexico. The difference was, she was lucky enough to be spotted by Tracey Buyce, who was on a volunteer assignment for CANDi (Cats & Dogs International), as their official photographer in 2012. CANDi is a nonprofit organization in both the US and Canada whose mission is to save the lives of stray cats and dogs in Mexico and the Caribbean through spay, neuter, adoption and educational programs, supported and funded by the tourism industry, travelers and pet lovers.

King, The Snowbird Dog

King was born on the streets of a small fishing village in Mexico. He must have been the smartest dog of the litter as he managed to stay alive while faced with hunger, traffic, animal control, disease and dog fights during the hottest days of the summer. He is a black male with short hair and has a little tuft of white on his chest like a tuxedo shirt. He is a regal looking dog who carries himself with pride. He looks like a King.

Mika—From Cancun to Canuck

MikaSome 18 months after leaving Mexico, Mika the hound-cross from the streets of Cancun has settled in nicely with her new life in Canada.

A testament to adaptability, Mika has shown equal levels of enthusiasm for both the snowy cold and sweaty heat of central Canada, as well as the wet, temperate coastal weather of Vancouver. A tail wag is always close at hand when a walk is in the works, no matter what the outdoors has in store for her. She especially enjoys off-leash time in the parks of Vancouver and Burlington, Ontario, where she can indulge the ultimate thrill of pursuing squirrels and/or rabbits. No, she is not quite fast or determined enough to catch either one, but the chase seems to be the principle payoff for her.



Whoppi came into our lives in March 2009. She had been in an animal shelter in Cancun, where she was being restored to health. Rescued from a life of ticks, fleas and abuse, with a broken tail to show for her life of despair, it was her eyes that told the tale. Even though she had been fed and had attention paid to her while in the shelter, her eyes had no spark to them, they were as dull as dry Yucatan limestone sand.

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