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Concentric Circles



By Harry Burrus

Imagine a lake. I’m out there. Hovering. I have a stone in my hand. I drop the stone into the water. Concentric circles emerge, enlarge, and extend. Hold that image. Do a freeze-frame. Not of me hovering, but of those ever-expanding circles.

The SPA takes care of approximately 100 cats and dogs like Quest and Macarena. Our goal? For all of them to be adopted and become part of a family. In addition to receiving a lot of love and exercise, we give them the medical care they need, including vaccinations and sterilization. We have a lower-cost clinic and seven employees. We receive no money from the government and depend entirely on donations. Our animals come from the street and the campo, and some are born at the SPA. Sometimes we have an owner surrender for good reasons and sometimes not. I view the shelter as being emblematic of life—a mirror of existence, a drama replete with all the emotional elements.

I want you now to pull up on your memory screen those concentric circles initiated by my dropping the stone. The SPA is the stone, and the expanding circles are its influence and instrument of shifting change. The shelter serves as a catalyst to a multitude of experiences, teaching what it means to have a pet and the responsibility that goes with pet ownership. And by turns, this has impacted attitudes and beliefs of adopters, clinic patients, community service students, volunteers, and visitors of all ages. The shelter has been and continues to be an impetus toward the appreciation of these wonderful sentient beings. The impact of what is learned is exponential and unending—the circles continue outward.

Paraphrasing a quote often attributed to Gandhi: the greatness of a place can be judged by the way its animals are treated. Visitors consistently are impressed by the SPA. They see it’s a happy place and comment on how clean it is and how healthy the animals are. The circle continues to expand. Come see us at Los Pinos 7, 152-6124, Monday–Saturday, 11–2. See for more info. Adopt. Volunteer. Donate.

Please join in our effort to raise money to cover the annual cost of feeding our animals by donating to our Pet Food Money Bank fundraiser. We haven’t met our goal yet (250,000 pesos). For more info, see, call 152-6124, or write No amount is too little (or too big) and every peso/penny will put kibbles in the mouths of our animals.


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