Spay & Neuter street dogs of Huanchaco, Peru

Jun 26, 2014

The Dog Days of Summer

Waiting area outside the 2013 clinic
Waiting area outside the 2013 clinic

Hello wonderful supporters,

We are officially one year away from returning to Huanchaco, Peru to conduct our biennial spay and neuter clinic! If previous experience has taught us anything, it is that July 2015 will be here in no time. Here is what we’re doing to prepare:

  • Working with Amigo Fiel and individual supporters on the ground to locate an appropriate clinic space. The space will need to have good light, running water and, if possible, separate areas for checking patients in, performing surgeries and allowing for recovery time. In 2013 a supporter in Trujillo was kind enough to lend us her large apartment and we quickly turned it into a temporary clinic space. Next year we hope to have a bit more room : ).
  • Gathering information on the possibility of using Zeuterin as a nonsurgical method of neutering male dogs. Our partners on the ground are trying to assess local attitudes towards the procedure, as well as determine whether the Peruvian government will allow our veterinarians to bring the drug into the country.
  • Trying to firm up commitments from previous volunteers and people who have expressed interest. We generally keep an informal list of people who have said they would like to be part of future clinics and use this time to circle back and see if they can indeed participate.
  • Sending funds to Amigo Fiel for their ongoing work in Huanchaco and Trujillo. Recently these funds have been used on a variety of important projects which include:
  1. fumigation at the shelter to rid it of fleas and ticks. Because the shelter is open air in some areas, staff must remain vigilant to avoid infestations.
  2. responding to kitten and puppy season. While the mother and her puppies featured below would warm anyone’s heart, it can be difficult to find permanent and safe homes for these animals, especially as they grow out of the puppy phase.
  3. continuing the successful Perros monthly clinic. Not only have sterilizations taken place at the clinic, but sick and injured animals have also benefited from the tireless services of Dr. Ingrid.

We hope that all of you are well. Please let us know if you are ever visiting the Huanchaco area. We are happy to put any of our donors and supporters in touch with our partners on the ground, giving them the opportunity to visit the shelter and, if they are able, to assist in the clinical work being done with Perros Project funds.

Un abrazo grande (a big hug),

Courtney & Matt

Puppies Amigo Fiel will help find homes for
Puppies Amigo Fiel will help find homes for
Mar 18, 2014

Spring News!

Hello wonderful supporters,

Spring is in the air and its contagious excitement can be felt here at the Perros Project!  We have spent the last several months working with our partner, Amigo Fiel, on the ground in Huanchaco, as well as doing some planning here at home. Here are some of our highlights:

  • We have successfully instituted a monthly Perros Project Day, where all sterilizations and emergency surgeries by Amigo Fiel are done in the name of the Perros Project and paid for by our organization. We have included some photos of patients from recent surgeries. The Peruvian veterinarian, Dr. Ingrid, is an amazing surgeon and a tireless asset to homeless animals and low income families with pets.

  • We’ve been able to help our partners purchase a wide variety of needed medicines and surgical supplies. These medicines, particularly pain medications, are often not as available for surgeries as we would like to see.  We hope that these purchases will make it more likely that they are used routinely in the future.

  • We are in the process of establishing contact with another animal welfare group in the Huanchaco area - Rescate del Hermano Menor which focuses solely on Huanchaco. We believe that this relationship will allow us to do even more focused work in the sleepy beach town where our project first began.

  • We were excited to attend and observe a Zuetrin clinc here in the Portland area. The Portland Animal Welfare Team and their head veterinarian, Mary Blankevoort kindly showed us the new frontier in approaches to neutering – two simple injections into the testes, replaces the surgery which would remove them. We are very hopeful about using this technique in our 2015 clinic as it may help us overcome some of the hesitations on the part of the local population about neutering male dogs.

  • Several people who volunteered for our 2013 clinic have voiced an interest in returning in 2015. In addition, Mary Blankevoort has indicated that she might be willing to come and train Peruvian vets in the Zuetrin procedure!

As the spring continues, we plan to send Amigo Fiel additional funds for some fencing repair needed at the shelter, as well as continue support of the monthly clinic.

It cannot be said often enough – without your generous donations our work could not continue. On behalf of the Perros Project, Amigo Fiel and the dogs (and cats) of Huanchaco – we are immensely grateful.


Matt & Courtney

Dec 23, 2013

Happy Holidays from the Perros Project!


We write with a short update about our work with our partners in the interim period between on the ground clinics in Huanchaco, Peru. Our main partner, Amigo Fiel, has just celebrated their 10th anniversary of rescuing abandoned dogs, offering free and low cost clinics and running spay & neuter clinics both in conjunction with the Perros Project and on their own.

Recently we helped orchestrate an additional short term spay & neuter clinic when two Australian veterinarians reached out to us via our website. We were able to put them in touch with Bertha and Ingrid who happily took advantage of their skill and willingness. The vets were able to set up a clinic in under 24 hours and do surgeries on 60 animals.

In addition, last month we sent Amigo Fiel funds to operate on those animals still on the wait list from our last visit. As we deepen our relationship with the community and pet owners come to know the organization's name and trust in our abilities, the demand grows. A small portion of the funds were also directed towards materials needed by the shelter in Huanchacito. It will be nice for the dogs there to get more bedding and some toys, especially at the holidays.

In the coming months we look forward to formally establishing a process whereby two Peruvian vets will take a portion of their clinic time to not only perform sterilizations, but also responded to accidents and provide general canine care for poor Huanchaco residents. An example of how that process has already benefited specific area dogs is Zach who is pictured below. He was hit by a car and funds were used for his surgery which was very successful. 

Our work continues . . .

Matt & Courtney
The Perros Project


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Sep 24, 2013

We did it! 2013 Clinic Wrap-Up Report.

We did it!
...and we couldn't have done it without you.

The team has landed safely back on this side of the Pacific and the reports are in . . .  Perros Project 2013 was a huge success!

Operating out of the living/common room of a generous supporter’s home, our small but dedicated team of veterinarians, vet techs, and volunteers performed 101 surgeries in four and a half days.  From 6 week old kittens to 14yr old dogs, all types of animals ended up on our innovative surgery tables made out of beer crates and topped with yoga mats. Every morning, people would arrive bringing animals in backpacks, boxes and on makeshift leashes, entrusting their pets to our team. Every afternoon we would return those animals to their relieved owners and without fail be flooded with cries of “Muchas Gracias!”  It was an amazing experience.

Of course, we couldn’t have done it without all of our amazing volunteers. The 10 volunteers from the United States joined with half a dozen Peruvians affiliated with the organization Amigo Fiel, creating an effective team that did all types of tasks. From weighing big dogs on bathroom scales to making sure animals in recovery were kept warm, they did it all. The two American vets worked side-by-side with two Peruvian vets for most of the clinic. One of the most rewarding aspects of our time was the veterinary skill sharing – on both sides. Members of the community also pitched in. On our first morning there were homemade cupcakes from one volunteer and throughout the clinic dogs were adorned with fleece blankets made by friends in Huanchaco. Every day was early to rise and late to sleep, with some members of Amigo Fiel coming to clean up the clinic (which was no pretty sight) in their office attire after work. 

And, of course, we couldn’t have done it without our amazing donors, most of whom we know personally and most of whom had to dig deep to support us : )! Please know - we believe strongly that every one of the animals who came to our clinic will lead healthier and happier lives because of the surgeries our team performed.  The dollars you entrusted to us were used effectively and your contributions made a difference. If you were unable to follow us while the clinic was in full swing, please check out these photos and videos onFacebook  - they tell a much richer story than our words ever could. Also, take a minute to read the recent article about the Perros Project in our state newspaper, The Oregonian.

Finally, please stay in touch to hear about our future plans. On the last day of our visit, we met with a dozen members of the animal welfare community in Huanchaco/Trujillo to review the clinic and discuss best practices for the future. Many innovative ideas were put on the table and we looking forward to sharing those with you very soon. 

In happiness & gratitude,


Jul 9, 2013

July 21st: Perros Project's 2013 Spay/Neuter Clinic Begins!

Hello friends of Peruvian street dogs and tireless supporters of the Perros Project’s work in Huanchaco! 

We are thrilled to announce that our third visit to Huanchaco is less than two weeks away. We have a great team assembled from all over the United States and goal of sterilizing 100 animals during the five-day event. As our GlobalGiving supporters - we wanted to give you a quick update. 

Here are some of the details worth knowing:

  • We are incredibly lucky to have Brenda Kennedy, our lead veterinarian, returning for her third year, Natalie Freidberg, our superstar vet technician, returning for her second year, and Kim Upham, our 'Jackie' of all trades, returning for her third year. That kind of consistency on the team leads to greater efficiency and effectiveness.
  • In addition to our returning volunteers, we are also grateful to have Angelina Piccoli, who works full time at Spay Today in Denver, joining us as the second veterinarian and half a dozen other people ranging from vet techs to untrained, but eager helpers.
  • This year we have been able to work more closely with our partners on the ground to pretreat animals with antibiotics leading to what we hope will be even better outcomes post-surgery.
  • We have gained more allies in the local government and business community in Huanchaco. The government is supportive of the clinic and several businesses have expressed a willingness to help, including one business that will provide the fleece blankets for animals during recovery.
  • We have arranged to meet with a local veterinarian during our visit with the intention of setting up a funding system for spay/neuter operations as well as emergency vet care. Such a partnership would ensure that our work could continue even when we have returned home.
  • Our fundraising efforts are making strong progress. Two weeks ago we sent out an email to our network, both in the United States and abroad, with the goal of raising $2500. With 10 days to go, we’ve raised $1605! (FYI: The entire clinic can be run on a budget of less than $5000.)

As you can see, we have a lot to be excited about!  If you would like to continue your support of the Perros Project, you can do so here. We strive to use any funds received in the most effective manner possible to improve the lives of the dogs living on the streets of Peru and to prevent additional unwanted animals.

With much appreciation,

Matt Webber & Courtney Dillard  

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Project Leader

Matt Webber

Portland, OR United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Spay & Neuter street dogs of Huanchaco, Peru