On Sunday 22 October 2023, I had the opportunity to attend a truly interesting and fascinating event: a 5k race where humans ran alongside their dogs to promote animal welfare. This event was the first such event here in Cusco, Peru.

Below, I will discuss how this event sought to promote dog welfare in Cusco. Additionally, I will discuss the role that PAWS played in this event.

Runner with dog"
PAWS Volunteers"
THE RACE

This event was organized by the group INCA Trail and started in the Kari Grande town in Cusco. Thereafter, the race went through the mountains of Cusco and concluded in the Yuncaypata community. The contestants of this event had the option to either run or cycle this race alongside their dogs.

runners and dogs"
Runner and dog"

The aim of this event was to change social perceptions about pets that exist in Peru and South America. This is because in this region, dogs are not viewed as companions like in many other parts of the world. Instead, dogs are viewed in relation to their use and their utility as workers. This event therefore sought to show that it was possible for humans to share positive experiences with their dogs. Judging by all the smiles and wagging tails after the race, this event was a fun experience for all involved.

Child running with dog during race"
Runner and dog during race"
PAWS INVOLVEMENT

PAWS was invited to participate in this event due to our shared goal of ensuring animal welfare. Our volunteers stood at the half-way point of the race with water for both hound and humans. Here, PAWS volunteers also offered smiles and moral support to participants for the rest of their races.

Runner with dog after the race"
Dog drinking water"

After the race and prize-giving ceremony, PAWS offered free medical services to the dogs. This entailed giving dogs an injection with vitamins along with orally ingested anti-parasitic medication. We were delighted with the large number of dog owners who chose to take advantage of this free service.

Runner with dog after the race"
Dog owners and dogs waiting outside PAWS truck"

PAWS will continue to partner with organizations who share our goals of ensuring animal welfare in Peru.

Are You Ready to Join Us?

The PAWS team always needs animal welfare interns to support their work. Your role will always be varied, depending on the skills and knowledge you bring. Interning is a two way street: you help to relieve the suffering of animals in Cusco and improve their lives, but also develop professional skills, add to your CV and have unforgettable cultural experiences on the way. To learn more, click on the link below or write to info@globalteer.org.

girl crouching with her arms around two brown dogs as a white dog comes up behind

tshepo

Tshepo is a blog writer at Globalteer. A South African national with a master's degree in international law, Tshepo has experience working in human rights protection in Southern Africa, Uganda and Peru. Tshepo also has experience working in communications at multiple United Nations organizations.

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