Meet Our Intrepid Rescue Leaders
Luz Maria Wong, the Director of the SPCA-PV, has been a strong advocate for animal welfare in Puerto Vallarta for many years. With her amazing energy and unrelenting dedication, she has been involved in the rescue of numerous of needy animals that were homeless or abused, and has worked tirelessly to prevent overpopulation through free spay/neuter clinics.
In 1999, Luz Maria met Janice Chatterton, who inspired Luz to get involved with animal rescue efforts. They started in a small casita, and in January 2012, opened the SPCA de Puerto Vallarta (SPCA-PV), a unique no-kill sanctuary that housed up to 120 animals at once, and found permanent homes for over 200 animals per year. Luz Maria was asked to join the SPCAPV Board of Directors in 2007.
In witnessing the immense suffering many of these animals endured, Luz Maria realized the importance of preventing overpopulation by offering free spay/neuter services. In 2016, she started the Cuale Spay and Neuter Clinic, which has performed approximately 1000 sterilizations per year since its inception. Luz Maria knew another key aspect to prevention was educating youngsters. In 2018, Luz Maria started Gatitas Calico, a creative and fun puppet show that visited schools and other arenas to increase awareness about the importance of animal welfare and sterilization.
When Janice died suddenly in 2019, many did not think the SPCAPV would survive, so they left the organization. Though not easy, Luz Maria took on the Director position and made it her mission to ensure its survival. With a core group of new board members, they reorganized staff, reduced expenses, while continuing to bring new rescues to the shelter, rehabilitate them, and find them loving homes. Along the way, there have been many challenges, not the least of which was the COVID-19 outbreak, which significantly effected fundraising and other efforts.
But not even Hurricane Nora, which washed half of the shelter and land downstream, could deter Luz Maria, who ensured the remaining building was shored up and safe, organized several spay/neuter clinics, and has now opened the first SPCA-PV clinic to provide low cost/free vaccinations, treatments and veterinary care for animals in need who are non-shelter residents.
Luz Maria has accomplished this while holding a full time job in property management and building a cat rescue sanctuary on top of her house. Starting in 1999 with her first rescue dog Maya, who passed last year, Luz Maria always has a few dogs and several cats/kittens at her house. In fact, be careful if you go to lunch with her, or you may end up with a rescue animal yourself!
Our four-legged friends need your help
We are not supported by the government, corporations, foundations, or businesses. We fully function on private donations.