First Ambassador for SMA Street Dogs - Rotary

Tuesday, January 24, 9:30am
Sala Quetzal, Biblioteca, Relox 50A or Zoom sign up or email

Breakfast starting at 8:30am
Meeting starts at 9:30am

First Ambassador for SMA Street Dogs—Dogs’ Lives Matter

by Elizabeth Adlung

We welcome Crystal Calderoni who will tell us how and why her group of volunteers founded Yo heart Animalitos SMA to rescue and care for stray dogs in SMA.

Crystal says, “Thanks to Vaquito, we are the “first Ambassadors for street dogs of San Miguel” with the support of Mauricio Trejo’s government and a group of volunteers.”

Who is Vaquito? The story of her beloved dog who went missing:
“I put out “lost dog” posters, visited Centro Control Canino (CCC) and made PSA announcements on Radio San Miguel. To my dismay, Vaquito was not in the CCC.

However, eyewitnesses across the street told me CCC took my dog off my doorstep!

“I went back to CCC with high hopes. Suddenly I saw Vaquito in one of the cages! Out of his prison, he circled me with 17 laps of glee while an employee watched. He said that Vaquito was so handsome, they had been walking him around the block to sell him for $400 pesos. Employees were making deals on our pets! Why didn’t they call when my dog showed up on the premises with an ID? ‘Sometimes the phone numbers don’t match up when families move to another location.’”

Further investigation revealed a sad story of neglect. Through social media with live videos, photos and testimonials, Crystal showed how our government was treating dogs. With this evidence and documented cases, she reluctantly understood that “dogs’ lives didn’t matter”.

Crystal then took action and founded Yo Heart Animales to create a better life for the dogs in the CCC, and perhaps enable some of the dogs to be adopted. In 2021, she had an interview with President Trejo, who approved the project to improve the living standard for the dogs in CCC.

Today, as a result of her efforts, the group of rescue activists are earth angels who provide walks, food, brushing, grooming, cleaning, and bedding for each dog. We protect them while showering them with TLC or just holding them while they cross the rainbow bridge.

The city provided funds to build a veterinary clinic with surgery rooms, X-ray, offlices, kitchen and bathrooms but unfortunately none of those funds reached Control Canino or the dogs. Through 100% of our donations, now the dogs have two large play pens; medical bills for foster dogs; better food; lonas/wind protectors; home-cooked meals and weekly laundering. To date, they have found homes for over 150 dogs, and they are anxious to expand this success.

Crystal will tell you her plans for the future and how she hopes that Rotary can assist her

Rotary is where neighbors, friends and problem-solvers share ideas, join leaders, and take action to create lasting change.

For more information about Rotary, contact our President, Lee Carter, at

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