If you love animals and you love travelling, then a PAWS animal welfare internship in Peru, may be for you!
Variety is the Spice of Life
During my experience as an animal welfare intern with PAWS, I got the chance to get to know and interact on a regular basis with cats and dogs, as well as getting to know a different part of Cusco every week. I was also able to combine this with my love for photography. One of my main jobs was to take pictures of the animals and the project, to help promote everything that our amazing team does in the communities.
I was out with the team at the villages every day (except Fridays, which was an admin day) throughout my internship, and helped the team in a variety of ways. Since I am Peruvian, I speak Spanish, which means that I could really get to know the owners. I spent a lot of time talking to them about the importance of neutering and helped with registering animals and programming surgeries. I also supported the dog training sessions, helping owners to practice with their dogs, talking about how to care for them well and explaining why punishment isn’t the best way for dogs to learn.
Seeing a Different Side of Cusco
Visiting the villages with the PAWS team meant that I could experience the different communities in a more authentic manner, without all the fuss that comes with tourism. These communities are quite distant from the city of Cusco and are not main spots for tourists, so they preserve their authentic essence.
The Downs and the Ups
Obviously, with this kind of work, you see things that are not very pleasant. It was very sad to see dogs and cats in horrible physical condition, sick, underweight, or poorly cared for. And it’s difficult knowing that despite the care we give the animals, some owners just don’t care. But there were many moments of joy too! I loved meeting owners who were responsible, cared about their animals and were willing to learn to look after them better. It also made me very happy when owners were so thankful after we cared for or neutered their dog or cat.
The Pets and Their People
Besides getting to know the many different cats and dogs, of all ages, colours and sizes, we also got to know their owners and their individual stories. Some stories are so sad that it breaks your heart, but the joy that comes with helping an animal in need, seeing them recover and being happy is overwhelming.
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 email@example.com.