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Bobby is only nine months old, but he’s already lived two lives. 

His first was as a street dog in Puerto Vallarta, digging food out of the garbage to survive. His second life began when SPCA Puerto Vallarta rescued him. 

Now, the healing red scratch on his head is the only sign that this playful puppy wasn’t always a healthy and happy dog at the SPCA animal shelter. 

I met Bobby – and other dogs from the shelter like Buddy, Moses, and Ava the Great Dane – on their weekly Sunday walks in the park, where I also had the pleasure of meeting the awesome humans who keep the shelter running. 

Dora, the coordinator in charge of the outings, explained that SPCA Puerto Vallarta has rescued and found forever homes for hundreds of dogs in the city since the organization’s inception in 2007, but they still rely on private donations and volunteers to continue their work.

This is how you can help.

PS looking for more ways to give back? Join the Sustainable Hiking Collective on Facebook to connect with an international community of hikers and take part in quarterly virtual trail cleanups!


Bobby, one of the dogs at SPCA Puerto Vallarta

No bad days when Bobby’s around 🙂


Who is SPCA Puerto Vallarta?

SPCA Puerto Vallarta began as a rescue program in 2007 and since grown into permanent shelter with 12 full-time employees. 

Right now, they provide homes, vet care, and some much-needed love and affection to 50 dogs at a time, but the building has room for up to 130… when they have the money to support them. 

Dedicated team members like Dora and Zulma answer calls and emails from concerned citizens to collect dogs in the city that are sick, stray, or abused. They rehab them, socialize them, and, eventually, send them to start their third and final lives with loving families in Canada and the US. 

The SPCA sends upwards of 100 dogs abroad every single year. But, all of this requires time and money… and that’s where we come in!


walking dogs with SPCA Puerto Vallarta

Volunteering at a Sunday walk with SPCA Puerto Vallarta


How can you support SPCA Puerto Vallarta? 

There are so many different ways to help the stray dogs in the city with SPCA Puerto Vallarta. Some of the best ways to support the organization are:

  • Donating money or products
  • Fostering a dog
  • Sponsoring a dog
  • Volunteering your time


Donate to the SPCA

The SPCA is always is need of dog toys, towels, and blankets for the pups. 

So, instead of throwing your towels and blankets out next time you replace them, swing by the shelter to drop them off for the dogs! 

Of course, donating money is always appreciated as well and can help the shelter take in more dogs off the street. You can donate on their website here.


Volunteering with SPCA Puerto Vallarta

Can you tell I’m a little bit in love with Bobby already?


Foster a Pup

Fostering a dog helps them get socialized faster so they can be adopted faster. 

Some dogs have been at the shelter for months and even years because they’re still too nervous and scared to be around people. By taking a dog into your home you provide the most valuable things a dog needs: love, attention, and affection.


Ava the Great Dane at SPCA Puerto Vallarta

Ava the Great Dane, another adorable rescue we met on our Sunday walks


Sponsor a dog 

If you see a dog in need of help in Puerto Vallarta, you can always call or email the SPCA team to rescue them. 

Their ability to do so depends on their funds at the time, though, so it’s a huge help if you can also sponsor the dog. For healthy dogs, this can be done for as little as 3000 mxn / 155 usd each!


walking dogs in the park with SPCA Puerto Vallarta

Unloading the dogs for a day at the park


Volunteer at the Sunday Walks

Volunteers walk dogs with the SPCA team every Sunday at 11 am. 

Each person walks one dog, so by volunteering your time you’re directly responsible for another dog getting an outing from the shelter and a chance to socialize. Make sure to email the organization ahead of time at so they can bring a dog for you. 

When we volunteer on the Sunday walks the team picks us up at Walmart MacroPlaza and we drive to a park down the road where we walk the dogs and play with the dogs for an hour.


volunteering with the dogs with SPCA Puerto Vallarta

Nothing better than a park full of pups!


Ready to Get Involved?

Plan something different on your next vacation to PV. The SPCA Puerto Vallarta offers tours of their shelter by appointment for those who want to learn more about the organization. 

If you’re ready to get involved, sign up for a visit, foster in a dog, donate on their website, or make the SPCA Sunday walks your new weekend tradition. I promise the happy pups will thank you! 

Ready to go?

Explore unique stays on Airbnb – like this open-air earth house with a private pool, a 66 ft. yacht, or a ranch in the mountains – and the top-rated hotels on to plan the perfect night, weekend, or long-term stay in paradise.

Then, check out more food, nature, and cultural experiences in Puerto Vallarta to round out your itinerary (or book a multi-day Mexico tour with Intrepid to finish your travel planning in one click!).

Finally, join the Sustainable Hiking Collective to connect with an international community of hikers, discover new hiking destinations, take part in quarterly virtual trail cleans ups and complete monthly sustainability challenges!


This article is part of the Puerto Vallarta Planner Series. Read the rest below:

Puerto Vallarta Travel Blog: Plan Your Trip With This Step-by-Step Guide

Where to Stay in Puerto Vallarta: A Definitive Ranking

12 Best Beaches in Puerto Vallarta: Ranked

9 Step-by-Step Guides to Hiking in Puerto Vallarta

16 Things to Do in Puerto Vallarta at Night (On Any Budget)

6 Best Cheap Eats in Puerto Vallarta (With Map + Prices)

The Complete Guide to Craft Beer in Puerto Vallarta

16 Best Instagram Spots in Puerto Vallarta 

Or, check out the complete Mexico Series for 50+ more articles on what to see, do, eat, drink, and discover in the country.


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