Isla Animals Surgery Fund for Guapo!

HELLO ANIMAL LOVERS! Thank you for taking a moment to check out a very special Holiday campaign by ISLA ANIMALS, a non-profit organization located on the island of Isla Mujeres, Mexico. Alison Sawyer Current, the founder of Isla Animals, has asked me to start this page and has provided all of the info below. Regular followers of Isla Animals will already recognize the name, Guapo. Here is the story of this brave little dog, and how you can help!....

The first time that we heard about Guapo was nine months ago, in March. Someone told us a dog had been hit by a truck "down island"....but, there was no more information. The next time was a knock on our door five days later. A fisherman, brought what looked like a miniature golden retriever to us. His front legs were scraped but the worst damage we could see was his jaw, it was a mess. He had been lying in the street in front of his owners house in the blazing sun with a horribly shattered jaw for FIVE days. And we were told that children would gather around him and make fun of him for his "funny mouth". He hadn't eaten in five days. He must have had water? But we don't know how...

He was a beautiful, sweet dog and we named him Guapo (Spanish for Handsome).

We called my vet, and told him that the dog had been hit by a truck and his jaw was clearly broken. Guapo was taken to Cancun for extensive (and of course expensive) medical testing and care and to see if he could have a life saving surgery. The vet worried about the time that had passed and the risk of infection making surgery difficult but, he said he would give it a try. He also called in his brother, who is a human orthodontist, and together they came up with a plan to save Guapo.

Guapo going in to surgery with our vet, Arturo.

As a team, they put five pins through Guapo's jaw and connected them outside with a hand fashioned device (aka "the bubble gum ring") to hold them all in place while he healed. They did an amazing job of wiring him back together.

Guapo, immediately after surgery.

One of Guapo's Xrays, showing pins holding jaw in place.

Guapo with his headgear, and cone of shame....But, still, that tail is wagging! What a trooper.

Guapo stayed with his jaw wired shut for SIX long weeks. We had to hand feed this brave dog every meal during that time. How do you feed a dog with his jaw wired shut and most of his teeth missing? Carefully. The food still went everywhere!

Feeding time.

He had the sweetest disposition the whole time. He cooperated in every way that a dog could cooperate. He had to be kept separate from the other dogs due to his fragile condition during that six week period. But, he still just tried to be a puppy all by himself, figuring out how to balance a ball with his lip and headgear!

Guapo finding a way to play.

When Guapo got his head gear off and the vet removed the pins it wasn't pretty. His mouth was askew, he'd lost most of his teeth and his tongue hung out. His jaw was still very fragile and he had some infection but, as always, he was happy! And most importantly, he could eat on his own. Although, he still preferred to he hand fed... what a diva he was! ;)

Guapo smiling after he had his pins and headgear removed.

With a lot of time, care, love and medical treatment (not to mention cost of xray's, blood testing, medications, ointments, vitamins, the surgery, follow up visits...) Guapo recovered! When he was strong enough (in May) he was adopted into a wonderful home in Canada where they fully understood his needs.

Alison saying goodbye to Guapo as he heads off to his Forever Home in Canada.

Guapo's new family loves him so much. And he has the amazing life that he deserves in Canada.

Guapo basking in the sun in Canada.

Unfortunately, in September he developed further complications with a bone infection and needs another surgery. The vets in Canada quoted a price of $7,000.00 for the surgery, which Guapo's family simply could not afford. Not knowing what to do, they contacted us. We had all of his new medical records sent back to our vet in Cancun, to see what he thought. After reviewing the records, he and his brother said they would be able to do the same surgery in Cancun for $2,500.00. The advantage of this (in addition to taking $4,500.00 off the cost, and being very skilled surgeons) is that they did the original surgery and are obviously very familiar with his case.

The hole in Guapo's mouth that need to be repaired.

So, Guapo's family has just flown with him to Mexico this week, to have the surgery. They are paying plane tickets, time off work, hotel, incidentals, and of course, the surgery (which will still altogether cost almost half the quoted price in Canada!). They just love Guapo to bits, obviously.

Our vet explained today, after seeing Guapo in person, that the bone of the roof of the palate is gone, and after of the surgery he will need a prosthesis. (Essentially, he has a hole between his gums on one side and his sinuses). They will need to hand make the prosthesis, and it will take approximately 1 week to manufacture. We are clarifying if the prosthesis is an additional cost and will update this description the minute we know.

It would be our Thanksgiving and Christmas Wish this year, for Guapo to get his surgery and get back to enjoying his Forever Home in Canada.

And Isla Animals would like to contribute at least partially to the cost of the surgery. For being just one year and five months old, we have spent nine months of his short life with him, and he is one of our little miracle dogs. So many people have been following his story on our Facebook page since March, were moved by his story, and asked how they could help. So, we started this page in the hopes that we can help Guapo! It would be the best Christmas present we could dream of.

Even a $5.00 donation would help! Every penny will go specifically towards this surgery, and every penny counts! Again, if 200 people donated just $5.00....Thank you for donating any amount you can spare. With your support, we can make this a very happy holiday for Guapo and his family! If you are unable to donate financially but, support our cause, could you please share this link on your social media? Please spread the word to your animal lover friends, local rescues, and animal shelters!

We completely encourage anyone who prefers other Donation methods to consider contributing to this fund via PAYPAL, CHECK/MAIL, or IN PERSON. (Please include a message if donating via Paypal, Check/Mail, or In Person that you would like funds to be used for Guapo, and we will add your name and/or message online here, and put those funds towards our overall goal! If you wish to remain anonymous that is ok too!) Here is how can:
---->Paypal: Go to our website: and click the yellow "Donate" button. (if you would like to choose a recurring "monthly donation" please do so only on Paypal and not on this site)
----->Check/Mail: Payable To: Isla Animals. Mailing Address: Alison Sawyer, 1750 30th St #197, Boulder CO 80301
---> In Person on Isla Mujeres:
1 - At Isla Animals. Location: Centro. On the north end there's a convention center (Centro de Convenciones) near Playa Norte, anyone can direct you. Take the brick road to the right of the convention center, you will pass Hotel el Secreto and Hotel Media Luna and then veer to the left. Keep on the same road and turn right before it dead ends. Our house is the big wooden doors, straight ahead. There is a bell to the left of the door: CASA DE LOS VIENTOS.
2 - At Barlito Restaurant. Location: Centro. On the corner of Hidalgo & Abasolo. (Open: Tues thru Sat, 8am-3pm)You may leave with owner, Tiffany Yenawine Wareing.

If you have any questions at all, you can message us on our website or Facebook page (links below)! We look forward to hearing from you!

Come learn about ISLA ANIMALS, a 501C3 organization started in 1999, 100% funded by donations. We have rescued over 5,400+ dogs since 1999 and are dedicated to decreasing the unwanted pet population on Isla Mujeres, Mexico through on-going spay/neuter programs, education, vaccinations and adoption. Our Goals:
--->To provide free spay/neuter clinics to help control the animal population on Isla Mujeres.
--->To provide free or reduced cost veterinary services and vaccinations
--->To offer animal foster care and promote adoptions in Mexico, USA and Canada
--->To educate pet owners about humane animal treatment, care and responsibility
--->To do all of the above in the most humane, compassionate way possible
And learn about how you can volunteer if you are coming to the island, or if you can bring donations (even EXPIRED medicine is useful-and we are ALWAYS in need of tweezers and good scissors!)
Please visit our web page at:
And our Facebook page:

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Sally Margolis 
Boulder, CO
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