Cats and Dogs International, CANDi, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving the lives of stray cats and dogs through spay, neuter and adoption programs. Recently, CANDi funded chemotherapy for a cancer-stricken dog called Luna.
Cancún is a world-renowned tourist destination which is lesser known for its vast stray dog population. In Mexico, many workers earn the equivalent of $4 per day and spay surgery is not feasible, costing up to several weeks worth of pay for the average worker. CANDi programs provide the resources necessary to address the stray animal issue in situations where local governments and animal groups are not in a position to help. Thousands of cats and dogs have been spayed and neutered annually as a result.
It was during a vacation in Cancún that photographer Tracey Buyce came face-to-face with the staggering stray dog issue. She knew she had to help and discovered CANDi’s founder, Galati, through an internet search. She was back in Cancún four months later, volunteering at one of CANDi’s twice-annual free spay/neuter clinics, and soon came on board as CANDi's official photographer.
Returning to Bonfil, Mexico with CANDi again in January 2013, Buyce spotted Luna, a neglected and skeletal dog. After gaining permission from her owner to give Luna up, she had her examined and diagnosed with starvation and cancer. Luna is currently undergoing treatment and chemotherapy under the care of Dr. Leon, and CANDi volunteers in Mexico.
Buyce made it her mission to find a loving home for the gentle dog and posted Luna’s story on Facebook. She received a response almost immediately from Jenny Witte, founder of Mamatoga, a parenting website and magazine in New York, wanting to adopt her. Buyce flew back to Mexico to bring Luna back for a homecoming with her new family in Saratoga Springs on March 18th. The touching result is shown in the following video.
About CANDi: CANDi’s mission is to save the lives of stray animals at international tourist destinations through advocacy, education and humane, sustainable population management programs supported and funded by the tourism industry, travelers and pet lovers. Founded in 2006, CANDi is the innovation of CEO and President Darci Galati, an animal lover with 20 years of experience working in the tourism industry. "CANDi’s programs are viable, long-term solutions to animal overpopulation in resort areas that can be copied and applied worldwide,” says Galati, whose organization is supported by the tourism industry, travelers and pet lovers. For more information about CANDi visit www.candiinternational.org.