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SOS is now closed, adoptable dogs placed elsewhere

July 29, 2022

It is with a heavy heart that we must announce that SOS Chapala DOG Rescue is no more. 


Several days ago, Flower Fowler, director of Chapala's yet-to-open Scruffie's Doggie Oasis, informed the Municipality of Chapala that she could take all the remaining SOS dogs (even though she had just posted on Facebook that she could not afford to feed her own dogs), and then she provided carriers to move our dogs. However, she never contacted us at SOS. Neither did the municipality. 


Thus empowered, city officials descended en masse on Wednesday (7 vehicles, including a fire truck and at least 6 police officers) to demand that we and our dogs vacate the premises immediately. (Remember, the municipality of Chapala established us 2 years ago, but subsequently gave the land beneath us away to the state of Jalisco.) 


We explained that we could not move any dogs to Scruffie's Doggie Oasis because, among other things, it lacked a proper drainage/septic system for its kennels (one of the reasons SOS could not move there, ourselves). We explained as well that, as fast as humanly possible, we 

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were complying with the city's wishes. In fact, since the announcement of our closure, we had accepted no new dogs, and had already found homes for 74 of our 95 dogs (a miracle, really). They would not listen. We pleaded to have at least a few more days to, in a sane and careful fashion, disperse our remaining 23 dogs among other Lakeside shelters. Again, officials just shook their heads. 


Desperate, we sent word out to the shelters. Like a last-minute cavalry, they too descended on us (one of the leaders, in her rage and haste, crashed her car on the way) and graciously took under their wings all of our remaining dogs. This, too, was a miracle. 


We SOS volunteers will not rest until we have enabled all these good-samaritan shelters to find new forever-homes for our dogs. And, we urge everyone else to support them as well: The Ranch, Bone Voyage, and Clicker Pets (PayPal: Jena Marie Olio,


It saddens us, to say the least, to have struggled together for so long in order to transform SOS Chapala DOG Rescue into (in the words of several dog experts) a world-class shelter, fostering incredibly healthy and well-socialized dogs, only to have to destroy what we'd so lovingly created. During our two years of existence, we sent more than 400 abused and abandoned dogs to loving families. We leave SOS crying and angry—but proud. 


Sue Hillis (who paid for and built much of SOS) with the assistance of Lakeside Friends of the Animals (which provided our dogs food and medical care) will open a new shelter in Jocotepec soon (a municipality that seems genuinely interested in supporting a dog shelter), making use of all the former SOS kennels that can be moved. 


We want to take this final opportunity to express how much we have appreciated all of your support and encouragement over the years, especially to the families that adopted our wonderful dogs; to our north of the border shelter partners; and to our staff, volunteers, and donors. And—of course—we are so grateful to those who showed up on Wednesday in our darkest hour to show support. You have our eternal gratitude.

Dogs Adopted on closing day

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Adoptable Dogs Placed Elsewhere

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