Spay & Neuter street dogs of Huanchaco, Peru

Sep 30, 2014

Perros Project Fall 2014 Update

Hello from Portland, Oregon!

Looking out the window at the rain coming down, it is easy to dream about our 2015 clinic in Huanchaco, Peru which is now about nine months away. A few weeks ago we set the official dates for the clinic: June 22nd – June 30th. We are thrilled to announce that the majority of our key veterinarians and support staff have indicated a willingness to join us again in 2015! Not only that, but many of them are in the process of recruiting several additional vet techs, which can be key to a well run clinic.  But of course this doesn’t mean we’re not taking new volunteers. There is always space for more, so if you or anyone you know is interested please let us know : ).

At this time in our planning cycle much of our effort is directed at finding an appropriate space for the clinic to be held in Huanchaco. While the Perros Project initially was designed to focus exclusively on this small beach town, the need in the larger city of Trujillo and the more ready availability of clinic space has led us to spay and neuter dogs from both locations. This year, in addition to working with Amigo Fiel, our longtime partner. we are also in the process of trying to partner with a smaller nonprofit organization – Huanchaco Al Rescate Del Hermano Menor. This group is located in Huanchaco and working specifically with the street dogs in that town. It is our hope that they can help us secure an appropriate clinic space in Huanchaco itself. 

Another area of focus is improving the process of client preparation and processing. Our 2013 clinic had such positive results because dogs needing the surgery were identified early on and were given antibiotics, improving their health before they underwent surgery. In addition, creating a list of dog owners who are interested in the surgery allowed for things to be done in a more efficient manner. We hope to follow the same process this year, but with more clarity in terms of the timing of the surgeries so that people have less wait time and we can avoid unnecessary cancellations.

As we develop these plans, and begin to turn our attention to the wide variety of details that go with holding a clinic such as this we are trying to remain in good contact with our partner Amigo Fiel. This is not always easy though as Bertha, Ingrid and others are busy on a daily basis trying to make a difference in the lives of the street dogs (and sometimes cats!)  all around them. Please see some of the photos to get a better sense of what they’ve been up to these last few weeks.

In closing, we remain amazed at the generosity of the Global Giving universe and how it brings all kinds of people to us and our project. For example, just last week we got a $60 donation from a total stranger. Amazing!

Muchas gracias por todo,

Matt & Courtney

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,


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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