PAWS for Applause: Improving Animal Welfare in Cusco

Our First PAWS Campaign!

As part of one of our many initiatives, Globalteer strives to make Cusco, Peru a safer place for animals both with and without homes. In the past few weeks, as part of our PAWS (Peru Animal Welfare Society) iniative, with the help of our partners at the Peru Dog Rescue project Rescue Project, we ran our first health campaign in our new mobile clinic! From spreading the word to hands-on work, volunteers helped every step of the way.

Puppy Publicity

On February 5Globalteer volunteers spread the word about the PAWS's free health campaign event. The following Sunday the clinic conducted check-ups, gave vaccinations, de-parasited and general treatment to all animals brought to our mobile clinic. The volunteers at the event also spoke with the owners about the importance of spaying their animals and signed up many dogs to return for the 3 part of the campaign the following week to have their dogs spayed.

The PAWS Mobile Veterinary Clinic is crucial to bringing veterinary care to  rural areas of Cusco. By travelling to provide this level of care, Globalteer encourages locals to look after their pets’ health and help control the population of dogs. Recently, the street dog population in Cusco alone has surged past 40,000. Campaigns by PAWS set out to change this number and people's attitude towards animal healthcare.

Volunteers distributed posters all across the local village to firstly spread awareness of the campaign. They had the opportunity to speak to locals and exchange a few words on how the campaign would help them. Many of them were enthusiastic about finally getting their dogs treatment for everything ranging from injuries to immunizations that would’ve otherwise gone ignored.  

“It’s a big publicity campaign,” Angelo, a local project partner, said on getting the word out. “We’re hoping to bring a lot of people together for the animals.” 

PAWS Mobile Clinic in Action

On February 9th, the clinic ran from early morning to the late afternoon. Over 100 dogs came through. Some of them were in crates, backpacks or on rope leashes. The pets received vaccinations, anti-parasite medicines and even a little grooming.  

PAWS’s Sunday clinic brought together 20 local volunteers in addition to helpers from Globalteer. Angelo and Maite, both managers of the Peru Dog Rescue Shelter, directed the event and kept the buzz aliveVolunteers even rented a megaphone and drove through the village to spread the message.

Other animals didn’t miss out on the fun though. Kittens, rabbits and even sheep all came through. Volunteers treated whatever they could and encouraged all to return for the spaying part of the campaign. Two weeks later, the follow-up event was also a success with around 30 animals successfully spayed or neutered to help control the stray population. 

Just the Beginning

Efforts like this are crucial to helping Cusco’s animal welfare problems. For example, a few of the animals who were spayed were puppies of a dog that had been used repeatedly for breeding to make money for a local family. The family didn’t even notice the puppies were gone when they were taken to the clinic according to the people who brought them in. Unfortunately, overpopulation makes exploitation like this more common. Care itself promotes animal welfare in areas where it may not be priority.

In villages like the one where the campaign was conducted, people don't have the funds to get veterinary treatment for their dogs, especially not to spay them! When a dog has puppies, the families cannot afford to care from them and try to make the best out of the situation by taking the puppies into the center to sell them, And unfortunately, if they are unable to sell them they will leave them on the street to free themselves of further financial burden. Adding further to the street dogs numbers in Cusco.

Want to Help?

Due to the finacial limitation of people in these villagers, a major factor in the success of these campaigns is being able to offer these services to the people for free. To be able to do this we rely heavily on kind donations! If you would like to help us tackle the street dog population in Cusco, you can donate to PAWS to help fund future campaigns!

If you want to know more about the PAWS initiative get in contact or check out the PAWS Facebook page for more information and updates!