Nov 18, 2019

Perros Project Fall Update

What a sweet gift!
What a sweet gift!

Writing this report in the cold grey of the Portland fall, Huanchaco, Peru seems quite far away. And yet, it was less than six months ago that we were on the ground getting things done! This time of year often has us in a reflective mood and so we wanted to begin our report by sharing with you some excerpts from a wonderful book two volunteers, Kim and Natalie, put together for us to mark the ten year anniversary of our activities in Huanchaco.

This photo book (pic attached) is one of the most precious things that Matt and I own because it does such a wonderful job of chronicling the long story that is the Perros Project. Here are three testimonials on the part of the previous volunteers about their experience:

Matt G.: Thank you so much for putting all this together and for the past 10 years of work to get the Perros Project to this point. It was a privilege to get to come to Huanchaco and I look forward to coming back in the future.

Suzanna: Words cannot express the gratitude I have to you both for inviting me on this trip. You’ve accomplished such an amazing project here in Peru. Happy 10 year anniversary. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Bertha: I think we met in the correct time and space for building a new and good reality for animals. Thank you for all that you do and thank you for being my friends.

In other news, our long-standing Peruvian veterinarian, Ingrid, will be visiting Los Angeles later this month. If everything goes well, she will be bringing with her one of the street dogs that captured everyone’s heart this past summer, Caminante or Wanderer. This little guy (see video) lives close to Hostel Huankarute, where the team stays and also conducts its clinic. While he is clearly adorable, because he’s smaller than a lot of the dogs and because he tries to guard territory, our partners on the ground for the better adopted in United States. Stay tuned!

As fall turns into winter, we are starting to think about our Christmas preparations. In the past we worked with our partners to identify the needs of the dogs in their shelters. This year we’re thinking of doing the same, but also sending a care package from the United States. Peruvian dogs seem to be big fans of sweaters and rawhide. Not many of them play with toys or know “fetch” so we’ll have to choose the gifts we include carefully. Any suggestions would be welcome : ).

In gratitude,

Matt & Courtney

PS– Of course, we’re not the only people in the world keeping an eye out for dogs in need. Check out this amazing video of a man in Mexico doing his part.

Links:

Aug 16, 2019

We had a great 2019 clinic! (Wrap-Up)

Cutting lose after a very long day!
Cutting lose after a very long day!

Hola amigos! Less than 2 weeks ago we were in Huanchaco, with the clinic in full swing. We have so many great things to report on and are so very happy to have had your support.

Our visit was off to an auspicious start when we ran into an archaeological team from Vanderbilt University who members were staying at Hostal Huankarute. The team lead relayed that they had just unearthed a 6000-year-old dog with evidence that humans had tried to mend his/her broken legs. How amazing it was to recognize that the Perros Project was continuing a VERY long legacy of animal care in the area.

The clinic

We spayed or neutered 138 animals in 4 days, having the most successful first day ever and most productive daily totals. This was in large part due to our fabulous team members who worked so well together. Several new team members added efficiencies in intake, sedation practices and recovery. One of the most amazing advancement was the anesthesia protocols which allowed all the vets to use injectable anesthesia, a much less cumbersome practice in these MASH types of clinics. In addition, we were able to offer greater pain management which is something we are always striving to maximize.

The team

This year we had 6 veterinarians, 4 from the US, 1 from Ecuador and Dr. Ingrid, our stalwart Peruvian vet who has participated in all 6 clinics. One of the nice improvements this year was consistently having Mary, a 3x member, do the exams on animals as they came in and Kathleen, a new member, monitor the animals closely in recovery. We also had a wonderful support staff, both from the United States and from Peru with folks doing everything from helping dogs wake up after surgery to doing coffee runs to keep the vet team WIDE awake.

Hostal Huankarute

As always, the fine folks at Hostal Huankarute provided our team not only with an excellent hotel experience, but also with a wonderful place to conduct our clinic. From fixing blown fuses to providing hot water for hot water bottles needed in recovery, they were a vital part of our success. Their turtle, Florencia, was also the Perros Project mascot : ).

The town

While Huanchaco is still a sleepy beach town in many ways, it has really seen a lot of improvements since we were there last. In addition to new restaurants and storefronts, there are also a lot of social campaigns going on including beach clean ups, safe driving messages and even aid stations for the street dogs. Most citizens seem happy with the new mayor who has put a lot of energy behind making Huanchaco a great place to visit and live.

Our partners

Amigo Fiel continues to prosper under the direction of Bertha and the shelter is now mostly in a home (with a roof!). The group offers their own spay & neuter clinics when they can, as well as vaccine clinics. They are particularly interested in working to eradicate TVT, a sexually transmitted cancer that is quite easily spread among street dogs. Amigo Fiel provided 70 patients for our clinic on Monday and Tuesday.

Huanchaco al Rescate recently moved their shelter within walking distance of town and Ursula has done a lot to provide shade with tarps and some bedding for the 12-15 dogs there. She would like to focus on setting up a vet clinic for poor residents of the town, many of whom look after the street dogs. Huanchaco al Rescate provided 68 patients for our clinic on Thursday and Friday.

Outside of the regular clinic

On Wednesday, the free day for the team, many of the volunteers agreed to visit a primary school in a very poor part of Trujillo, Peru. The visit was arranged by Dr. Fernando who has supported our work from the beginning. The team spoke to two classes about the importance of not only spaying and neutering animals, but treating pets like family. In addition, we met with both community partners to discuss their long-range visions and how we might be of help. Finally, several vets offered their services for special cases which were brought to the hotel for diagnosis and treatment

So . . . besides several bouts of stomach viruses and weather that had much more of a winter chill, Perros Project 2019 was a tremendous success, a wonderful tribute to our 10 years in the region. Thanks once again to all of our cheerleaders and supporters. We hope we made you proud!

Happy teammates!
Happy teammates!
Peruvian vet and friend, Dr. Ingrid
Peruvian vet and friend, Dr. Ingrid
Helping their buddy wake-up in recovery room.
Helping their buddy wake-up in recovery room.
Time to wake-up! :)
Time to wake-up! :)
Some children have a face only a mother could love
Some children have a face only a mother could love
Hard at work
Hard at work
Team Dinner photo
Team Dinner photo
May 14, 2019

We're getting closer to our 2019 Clinic!!

Hello friends!

It’s a very busy time for the Perros Project as we hit the ground in Huanchaco, Peru on July 17th. We have all sorts of planning to do before the big day arrives. In this report we want to give you a brief overview of our plans for the clinic this year, update you on what our partners on the ground are currently doing for Huanchaco street dogs, and offer you a snapshot of two of our team members.

We have the largest team yet signed up to participate in our week long spay and neuter clinic! There will be 4 veterinarians, 6 veterinarian technicians, and at least 8 support staff. It seems that more partners and family members have been corralled into helping out this time around! With the larger numbers, we look forward to being able to sterilize more animals as well as doing additional activities, depending on our partners’ needs. We are particularly interested in distributing flea medication, joining Peruvian veterinarians to offer wellness exams, and offering an open visiting day where community members can bring their pets with issues they have not been able to resolve. Be on the lookout for some great pictures and updates on Instagram and Facebook.

As for our partners in Peru, they continue to be busy with their daily activities. Our friends at Huanchaco Al Recate continue to help the street dogs and have had a great response from local area volunteers as well as from the backpacker community visiting area hostels. Ursula continues to put much of her time into getting the local community committed to bettering the lives of the dogs. She's a champ! Make sure to follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

In terms of our team this year, we have many folks returning for repeat service, while also adding new faces to the fold. Below are brief bios for two members, Mary a returning veterinarian and Kristen, a new veterinary technician.

Mary: As a graduate of the Washington State University School of Veterinary Medicine, her career has included private practice, shelter medicine, teaching, and even a stint in the Peace Corps as a veterinarian.  One of her main volunteer activities for the last fifteen years has been working with the Portland Animal Welfare Team, an organization who provides veterinary services and supplies to pet owners experiencing homelessness or extreme poverty. Volunteering with Perros Project in 2015, 2017 and our upcoming 2019 trip has been a highlight of her interest in helping the underserved through her profession. She looks forward to joining old friends and new in the work of improving the lives of street dogs, reducing the stray dog population, and educating dog and cat owners, in Huanchaco, Peru.

Kristen: As an Instructional Specialist at the University of Wisconsin, School of Veterinary Medicine, Kristen Cooley is able to use her varied experiences to better prepare veterinary students for the real world. Kristen is a university trained veterinary technician specialist in anesthesia and analgesia who has a special knack for making due with whatever resources are available. This skill has proven handy during projects in Ecuador and the Dominican Republic where she has led the team by creating, instituting and troubleshooting the anesthetic protocol used. As a published author, editor and award-winning instructor, Kristen can be overheard sharing her knowledge with anyone who is eager to learn. She is beyond excited to be a part of Perros Project and visit Peru for the first time.

We look forward to our upcoming trip and want to thank you for all of your support that makes it possible. We'll have updates from the ground upon arrival, so please do keep your eyes on social media. 

And, if you can, please help to spread the word. Any additional fundraising we can do prior to July will be a HUGE help as we have such a large team this year.

With gratitude,

Matt and Courtney

Links:

 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.