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

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Are you ready to adopt a healthy dog, puppy, cat or kitten?

The Hilltop Refugio ALWAYS has healthy and happy dogs and cats for adoption ... and sometimes puppies and kittens!! 

Saturday Morning Open House is a great way to meet our rescues and see which one steals your heart! You can also come join us on Thursday mornings at our booth at the La Peñita Tianguis and meet some of our healthy dogs that are up for adoption! Or ... if you're in a a rush to adopt right away, you can most likely catch George at the Hilltop early, every single morning Monday thru Saturday.  For photos and information on dogs, puppies, cats and kittens currently at the Hilltop Refugio, please go to our FB page at https://www.facebook.com/453921834673729

All of our rescues make their way to us due to some form of abuse or neglect. Some more extreme than others. All situations are different, but normally we initially take dogs for blood tests to check for Ehrlichia ... a VERY common tick borne disease that kills dogs ... and to understand the dog's overall health challenges. If they have Ehrlichia (which about 80% of local dogs, with and without owners have) we put them on Doxiciline pills for 28 days. 

Once our dogs and puppies are given the "green light" and are ready for adoption they will have been given all their vaccinations, been de-wormed, given Bravecto for 3 months protection for fleas and ticks ... and of course spayed or neutered .... and in general good health! Then our main goal is to find good, healthy, loving homes that are a good match.

All of our dogs and puppies are 100% pure-breed Mexican Mutts ... available only in Mexico .... and they are some of the most grateful and loving breed you've ever met because they most likely have lived on the streets ... and always hungry or starved or been abused. They genuinely appreciate the good life!!

It's very important to us here at the Hilltop Refugio to find a good match with new owners and a new pet. If you are new at adopting a dog or puppy, one of our volunteers will be happy to work with you on advise and tips for a smoother transition with your new family member! We put a lot of time and  effort into rehabilitating these helpless animals and we want to be sure they live a long, happy and healthy life with their new family!!!

Adoption Fees

George and Loretta have decided that the Adoption Fee is by donation. Many local Mexicans are wonderful new owners but can't afford to pay an Adoption Fee. And in most cases, visitors  from  north  of  the  border CAN afford a donation towards Adoption Fees. So do what you can. 

PLEASE keep in mind that it cost us about 2000 pesos ($105 USD/$138 CAD) to get a dog, without major health issues ready for adoption and it covers the cost of blood work, vaccinations, de-worming, Bravecto (3 mos protection against fleas and ticks) and spaying & neutering. 

Flying your new dog North

We're happy to help you and guide you thru this process. It will include all needed vaccinations (vaccination booklet), a Health Certificate (dated within 10 days of flying North), a new or used airplane approved dog crate and reservations for your new pet with you or an Air Angel. It's is simple process!!

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 We get this frequently from people who are visiting or living here during the winter.  We are happy to help you navigate thru this process (finding vets, flight paperwork-etc) ... but we can't do it for you. This is where we help YOU help the dog (or cat). We understand it can sometimes feel overwhelming ... but with your determination ... and our help ... you can rescue or adopt ... or even just assist a dog you come across.  It all makes a difference to that animal. 

*** 1) You must determine if the dog has an owner ***

Important to know .... you cannot take someone's dog without their permission! Just because a dog may be running loose without a collar does NOT mean it does not have an owner. Mexico has a different attitude (culture) about dogs .... and we are guests in this country ... and it's more important to respect their Cultural Diversity than to rescue a dog. Ask locals near the dog to find out if it has an owner. Although the dog may look in bad condition, they very well may have an owner.  If the dog is hanging out in the same area, it’s a good chance they are someone’s dog.  If you find the owner ask them if they will accept some help from you to assist their dog. It might be that simple! If you get their permission, then you can take the dog to the vet to  be checked out ... and returned to the owner after a vet visit. But in many cases .... yes .... it's a homeless street dog that is in dire need of help! 

And there is nothing illegal about giving a dog or cat or puppy or kitten food and water! And that may be all you can do for a few days .... but it is hopefully the beginning of their rehabilitation!

2) Take the dog to a vet to be checked out

Ideally ... one of the first things needed on a rescue dog is a blood test for Ehrlichia ... a tick-borne disease that is rampant here in Mexico. At least 80% of street dogs (and many with owners) have Echlichia and will die from it if not treated. And the blood test will immediately tell us the dog's overall health challenges. 

Veterinarians are very different in Mexico than what visitors from the North are used to. Unfortunately none locally have a blood machine, which is pretty much mandatory in the long run because of Ehrlichia. If you don't have the option to drive an hour South to Nuevo Vallarta for a blood test, at LEAST take the dog to a local vet. We often use Dr Eladio who has helped us since the creation of the Hilltop Refugio in 2012, and he is conveniently located in downtown La Peñita. There are many other vets around, but we usually end up taking the rescue to Valle Dorado Vet Clinic in Nuevo Vallarta (on the lateral across the hiway from Sam's Club) because they have a blood machine and everything else needed for a rescue. If you don't know of a vet, ask us for suggestions.

Spaying and neutering is a VERY important step in rehabilitating a rescue. We definitely do not need any more puppis  or kittens in this country full of homeless dogs  and  cats. We can help you with that at our next free Spay & Neuter Clinic at the Hilltop Refugio ... so please contact us for the next one. 

While at the vet they may suggest a de-wormer for parasites. That's a good thing if they are healthy enough for a de-wormer. Rarely a street dog is able to receive vaccinations immediately because a blood test needs to be done to determine the overall health of the rescue. 

Rehabilitation for a rescue doesn't happen overnight ... but with your determination ... and our guidance ... you can make it happen !!

You've decided you want to take the dog home with you!

If you have decided that you cannot live without this rescue that you have found and fallen in love with .... we can definitely help you make that happen!!! 

Many simple steps need to be taken beginning with #1 and #2 above!  A blood test for Ehrlichia is simple, inexpensive and MANDATORY! You do not want to go to the work and expense of flying your new dog back home up North, have him get sick, spend a fortune at the vet only to find out he has Ehrlichia. Find that out before you even consider taking him North! It's a simple blood test, and an inexpensive medication called Doxiciline for 28 days. All details about Ehrlichia is under our Education page.  You need to insure that your rescue is healthy ... or will be healthy in the near future. 

We can help and guide you thru getting a Health Certificate that goes along with the vaccination booklet we give you at the time of the adoption in order to fly your new family member North. We can also guide you on getting a crate for the plane ride and making reservations on your flight for your new pet. 

NOTE:  If you must leave your pet behind for awhile because they are not ready (not completely rehabilitated) to fly North .... we have ways of helping you with that, too!!! That's what we love to do ... help YOU help the animals !!!!!

You want to follow thru and help this rescue you found that you cannot adopt

If you have realized that you cannot keep this rescue that you have found and fallen in love with ... and want to help ... we might be able to assist in some ways.


Many simple steps need to be taken beginning with #1 and #2 above! You need to take the dog for a blood test for Ehrlichia which is simple, inexpensive and MANDATORY! If the vet thinks the dog has Ehrlichia, they will need an inexpensive medication called Doxiciline for 28 days. All details about Ehrlichia is under our Education page.

Hopefully you are in a position to Foster the dog yourself or find a foster during their rehabilitation. During that time you can post on our FB page to try and get the dog adopted out!

You might have the option to take them home with you and get them adopted up North. That may not be convenient, but if the “best interest” of the animal is the thought process for saving them, then taking them home is their best interest. Right? 

If you must leave the animal behind see if you can make arrangements with us to sponsor the cost of on-going food and Bravecto treatments.

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Foster a Dog

Fostering is becoming very popular at the Hilltop Refugio and SUCH an important aspect of a rescue dog's rehabilitation. They always need socializing so they can become more adoptable and a better pet in the long run. We can only expose them to just so much at the Hilltop and we need your help exposing and socializing them, teaching them how to walk on a leash, and interact with other people and animals.

Many winter visitors from up North enjoy the freedom of spending a few hours, a few days, a few weeks or even a few months with our rescues .... then you can bringing them back to the Hilltop Refugio. The dog will also be posted on our FB page during the time they are being fostered.

Contact us or come on up and we'll show you our available animals, or go to our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/453921834673729t