Below, I will tell you about the work being done by this shelter and Globalteer's project, PAWS in order to fight to solve the street dog problem in Peru I will also discuss how you can help in this fight against street dogs in Cusco.
Perritos Felices Dog Shelter
Perritos Felices, Spanish for ‘happy dogs’, was founded in 2019 by Pamela to address the street dog problem. Street dogs are a problem in Cusco, with some estimating as many as 40,000 street dogs in and around the city. The aim of this dog shelter is to rescue and rehabilitate street dogs with the hope of getting them adopted in the future.
Dogs come to this shelter in two ways: either they are rescued off the streets by Pamela, or they are brought by members of the community. When dogs arrive at the shelter, they are cared for by Pamela to begin their rehabilitation process. Marcos, one of the vets from PAWS, and Patricia, the PAWS coordinator provide essential medical care for the dogs.
On this day, the dogs were given an injection with vitamins along with fluids taken orally to eliminate parasites. PAWS also offers neutering and spaying at the shelter, although this happens every few months and not when the dogs arrive. The dogs receive food and water to continue their rehabilitation and they are able to play with other dogs thereafter. Pamela’s hope is that all the work being done to rehabilitate the dogs will improve the dogs’ prospects of adoption.
Perritos Felices’ work is even more admirable considering that Pamela does not receive any funding from the government. This is because the Peruvian government does not offer grants and financial assistance for animal care. The shelter is able to stay open due to private donations, assistance offered by PAWS, and volunteers. Due to this assistance, Perritos Felices is normally able to help well over 50 dogs. However, construction at the shelter has limited this to 40, with the shelter being unable to accept any new dogs.
Volunteering with Dogs
Those looking to combat the street dog problem in Cusco can volunteer at this, or other shelters in the area. You can volunteer between 1-12 weeks. You can volunteer alone, in a group, or as a family. This ensures that you will be able to share in this rewarding and memorable experience with your loved ones.
Your duties would include preparing food for, and feeding the dogs. Additionally, you would help to socialise the dogs by playing with them. Playing with the dogs is very important for the dogs’ rehabilitation because these dogs often have a history of abuse while on the streets, and playing with them allows them to trust humans again, further improving their chance of adoption.
Volunteers would also walk dogs on leashes. This is because the dogs were unable to learn this due to being on the streets, and learning how to walk on leashes, along with socialisation, increases their chances of adoption. Finally, volunteers can also get involved with health, de-worming, and animal welfare campaigns.
Addressing the street dog problem in Cusco requires different contributions from different actors. We, at Globalteer, hope that you can contribute your time to this very worthy cause.