J.E.E.P. ~ Jaltemba Equine Education Project

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Saturday morning open house

Saturday mornings are a great time to come visit the Hilltop Refugio and a favorite day for all of our rescues because they get to interact with more humans! And it's a great way to get involved with like-minded animal lovers and meet some of our Junior Trainers and volunteers!

Our Junior Trainers and volunteers are a big part of Saturday mornings (November to April) and they are there to help you interact with whatever animals we are currently housing at the Hilltop Refugio ... dogs, cats, puppies, kittens and horses. We'd love to have you come volunteer!


A popular activity at the Hilltop Refugio is walking our rescues and helping them learn how to walk with a leash. Or if you feel like cooling off you can help give a dog a bath in our extra large walk-in tub. We hope to have the cleanest dogs in Nayarit!! There's always lots to see and do on Saturday Morning! 

If you are interested in adopting or fostering one of our rescues ... Saturday Morning Open House is a wonderful opportunity to observe the dog or cat or puppy or kitten that might steal your hearts !! We have a fenced in Dog Park area where you can interact without many other rescues tugging at your heart!!

Saturday Morning Open House is a wonderful opportunity to meet other like-minded animal lovers who want to help make a difference in the lives of these local rescues! More often than not we will have snacks and refreshments available for purchase on Saturday mornings, as well as J.E.E.P. and Hilltop Refugio shirts and memorabilia. Come join us !!


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Annual Fundraiser every January 23rd

January 23rd !!! Be sure to put that date on your calendar every year to help us celebrate our VERY important annual J.E.E.P. Fundraiser at the Hilltop Refugio from 2:30pm - 6pm.

Every year on January 23rd George & Loretta Leavitt host their Annual Fundraiser with 100% of the proceeds going to feed all these horses, donkeys, dogs, cats, puppies and kittens for the next year which is why it is SO important to have your support

The afternoon includes great company, fun music & entertainment, silent auction, live auction, 50/50 raffle and a wonderful meal prepared by our very own amazing chef, Loretta, and her talented staff. 

Come on up and enjoy the afternoon with the horses, dogs and cats .... and the spectacular view that the Hilltop Refugio has to offer!! Tickets are available from most of our volunteers, at the Saturday Morning Open House or at our Thursday morning La Penita Tiangus Adoption Booth. Or you can contact us thru Facebook. 


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Spay & Neuter Clinics

We have been excited from the beginning about having Spay & Neuter Clinics at the Hilltop Refugio ... especially since completing our small animal surgery room in 2016. For a few years prior we set up surgeries out near the horse arena which worked great ... but now it just gets better and better thanks to George & Loretta's generosity and a fantastic, air conditioned surgery room !!

We've had many wonderful veterinarians over the past few years come up and work our Spay & Neuter Clinics. Then Dra. Grethel came up ... and now we won't let her go! She's an artist and an expert in Spay & Neuter .... and for those of us that assist in post surgery followup or challenges in the days after surgery ... she definitely reduces our followup work to nearly nothing! Dogs heal without tearing stitches out or getting infections, etc! We love her and give her anything she needs to make our regular Spay & Neuter Clinics always a great success !!

If you want to bring a dog, puppy, cat or kitten to our clinic

If you want to bring dog, puppy, cat or kitten to be spayed or neutered at our clinic, please message us so we can reserve space for your animal. 

In the past pets have been brought up to the Hilltop Refugio the day of the clinic between 9-10am, and they are usually ready for pick up by 2-4pm. In our effort to continue to improve our Clinics, we now encourage people to bring their pets up a day early and leave them until the morning after the clinic. That way we are able to offer people the guarantee that their pet will not eat or drink water for 12 hours before the clinic ... as well as giving them a full night post surgery to be in a healing situation. Please send us a message if you would like to make arrangements to bring your animal up the day before the clinic. 

Bring your pet the day before the clinic and pick them up the day after

 The Hilltop Refugio is now offering people to bring their pets or rescues to us the day before the clinic. That is our first choice so we can give the animal a physical to be sure they a healthy enough for the surgery ... and also so we make sure they do not have food or water 12 hours before surgery. It's difficult for many locals with street dogs that run free secure them overnight, so hopefully more people will take advantage of our offer. And .... we would like to keep the dog, puppy, cat or kitten until the morning after the clinic for observation ... and also to rest assured that they are not out sleeping in the dirt right after surgery. It's a way of life for many dogs down here ... but at least we can help give them a much needed start to heal from surgery. Males recover quickly. Females may take about a week.  

The Hilltop Spay & Neuter Clinic is free

There is no charge to have a dog or cat spayed or neutered at the Hilltop Refugio. We always want to encourage the locals to bring their dogs to us to be spayed and neutered. If you bring a pet to be "fixed" and are in a position to do so ... please leave us a donation.  If not ...  thank you  for  bringing  that  animal  to  be fixed!   It cost approximately 500 pesos per animal.  


 If you are interested in volunteering at our Spay and Neuter Clinic ... please message us and read more about Volunteering at the Hilltop. 

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Through the help of some great volunteers, we now have a presence at the popular and historic Thursday Morning Tiangus in La Peñita. 

This is a great opportunity where we can take some of our healthy dogs and puppies that are available for adoption and expose them to hundreds of people from near and far that pass thru this large, local market. And it's a great opportunity for people to learn about the Hilltop Refugio / J.E.E.P. and how they can help us help the local animals and youth. You can also buy T-shirts and memorabilia with our logo. And of course .... we welcome your donations!!

This year is going to be the best ever with George creating an easier way to transport the adoptable dogs to and from the market which includes a cage on wheels that rolls behind an ATV !! We're excited to be a part of this historic market!

We can always use volunteers to help us early Thursday mornings to load up and transport dogs down the hill to the market, set up and assist at the booth, help monitor the animals and then transport them back up to the Hilltop Refugio. If you are interested in volunteering, please message us.


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This year we have decided to share our beautiful facility with even more animal lovers and offer Humanitarian Tours up at the first-class Hilltop Refugio. 

We are happy to customize tours for you and your friends and family which can include all of your round trip transportation in an air conditioned vehicle from as far away as Puerto Vallarta and everywhere in between. We will offer special catered lunches and refreshments at the Hilltop or you can bring your own picnic. Of course the tour would include spending time with all of our dogs and cats and soaking in the magnificent view from the Hilltop Refugio. If you have an interest in horses we can arrange to have one saddled up for you to ride around the Hilltop.

Our goal is to get you animal lovers off the beach for a day and give you an experience you'll never forget at our state-of-the-art facility ... the Hilltop Refugio ... surrounded by unconditional love!!

Please message us and let us know how we can make a magical and memorable tour for you and your friends and family !!


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Pet Cemetery

We are currently working on a Pet Cemetery so people are able to have a place to bury their pets that pass away while here in Mexico ... and have the opportunity to visit them in the future. They will be buried alongside all of our rescued horses, dog and cats that have also crossed over that rainbow bridge.