Feb 6, 2019

2019 Clinic dates have been finalized!

Courtney, Paul and Matt
Courtney, Paul and Matt

A happy hello from the Perros Project! This time of year finds us with a lot to report as we gear up for our biennial spay and neuter clinic this summer. Below we share with you news about the upcoming clinic, our successful holiday fundraiser through Global Giving, and the work of our partners on the ground.

We're thrilled to announce that last week we finalized the dates for our 2019 clinic. We will be in Huanchaco July 19th – July 27th. We are also grateful that almost all of the core members of our team from 2017 have expressed a strong interest in returning: Natalie, Brenda, Mary, Kim, Katy, Rosa, Sue and Marnie! In addition, we have at least one more vet who is likely to join us, as well as one or two new veterinary technicians. Finally, if any of you would like to come and help out, we’d be happy to hear from you!

One the most important aspects of planning our trip is making sure that Sr.Paul, who owns the Hostal Huankarute, is willing to host not only our team as guests at his hotel, but also our clinic which he has so graciously allowed to take place in the conference rooms of his hotel for the last several years. Sr. Paul (pictured below) is truly a patron saint for the Perros Project and the street dogs of Hunchaco. We are all looking forward to seeing him again.

While we have our eyes set on the summer and our usual clinic activities, we also want to recognize the importance of longer-term planning to ensure that Huanchaco continues to be a model community in terms of the human/animal bond. With that in mind, we did our first ever holiday fundraiser to mark our 10 year anniversary. At the centerpiece of our outreach efforts was the desire to fund a part-time Peruvian veterinarian who could be available to help the dogs when we were not in country. It was so heartwarming to see how many people stepped forward in generosity, both our reoccurring donors and some brand-new supporters. We pledge to honor your gifts with our hard work and our intentional decision-making over the next few years.

Finally, our partners on the ground continue to do all the good work they can with the limited resources they have. Below you will see several photos from Ursula at Huanchaco al Rescate. The captions give you a sense of the innovation and dedication required to run a shelter in the area.

Once again, thank you for all that you do to make the Perros Project strong and effective. We look forward to sharing more news as we get closer to July.

Recent Huanchaquito rescues by Ursula
Recent Huanchaquito rescues by Ursula
Visiting vet from Canada working with Ursula.
Visiting vet from Canada working with Ursula.
Nov 7, 2018

Looking towards 2019...

There is news to share from every corner of the Perros Project this report! Below we will share our preliminary plans for our 2019 trip to Huanchaco and updates from our two partners on the ground, Amigo Fiel and Huanchaco al Rescate.

First, amidst the lovely leaves of fall in the Pacific Northwest we’ve begun to envision our 2019 project activities. It is nothing short of amazing to say that 10 years have passed since we first visited Huanchaco and decided that a portion of our life’s work would be in partnering with the wonderful animal folks on the ground in that small, but significant beach town. As we come upon the 10 year anniversary of our first visit, we want to make sure that our time on the ground reflects the occasion. As we have in the past, last month found us sending out our email of inquiry to see which team members would like to join us again. Thus far, all three of our main veterinarians have expressed a strong interest, as well as our recovery room specialist. In addition, we have had several conversations with veterinary technicians and veterinary students. While the vet tech school in Joilet, Illinois will be unable to partner until 2021, we have also inquired about individual students who might be interested. At this point, we are considering offering the weekly clinic that we have in previous years, as well as doing additional community work and potentially investing in a particular project that would expand our year round impact in the community. Stay tuned!

The good folks at Amigo Fiel recently wrote us with some of their updates. In good news, the organization’s most recent report shared successes that were the direct result of the donations you have so generously made and we have passed forward. Two dogs were highlighted - Fabio, whose left front leg had to be amputated due to cancer and Colita, who had pins placed in her left hind limb to help in her recovery after being hit by a car. According to Bertha, “both pups have already fully recovered and have been adopted.” In other news, which lays heavy on our heart, but also reminds us of our long history with this amazing organization, Lupita, who is pictured below has been diagnosed with cancer. Lupita was one of the first dogs we met at Amigo Fiel’s shelter. Because of her injury and her bonding with a few other dogs at the shelter, she has been in the care of the organization for more than 10 years. Bertha reports that while the cancer is inoperable, they are committed to giving Lupita the best last chapter of her life she can have, just as we have all been committed to her happiness throughout her life.

Ursula at Huanchaco al Rescate reports that she is as busy as ever. Every time we get an email from her, we thank the universe that the dogs of Huanchaco have this incredibly energetic woman in their corner. Last month she let us know that she recently moved her shelter closer to town and to an area that was larger for the dogs to run around. In addition, being as politically savvy as she is, she quickly introduced herself to the new mayor of Huanchaco and began her friendly, but persistent campaign to have the local government help with the care of the street dogs in general and the realization of a permanent shelter for the street dogs of Huanchaco.

That’s our news for now, the next time we write we will probably know who is on our team and what exactly we have in mind for 2019. If you would like to join us this summer in Peru, let us know. We’d love to have you. Until then, we and the street dogs of Huanchaco Peru, big and small, send you our gratitude.

Matt & Courtney
The Perros Project

Aug 8, 2018

Greetings from far away!

As most of you know, on odd years, last month would have found us in Peru, overseeing our biennial clinic. At the writing of this dispatch however, we are quite far from there, visiting parts of Southeast Asia for the first time. While we have enjoyed so much of our visit, the situation for street dogs in this part of the world is in many ways even harder than in Latin America. While the dogs seem to be able to find sufficient food, many of them are injured in some way and all of them appear to suffer from fleas and other skin irritations. They also seem a lot more wary of people than the dogs we have encountered in Peru. Although we have no plans to start up another branch of the Perros Project in this part of the world :), we will definitely be making a donation to an Asian focused street dog group upon our return. On a brighter note, seeing the situation here has encouraged Matt and I to really recognize how much Huanchaco has improved in terms of the care of their street dogs since we first visited in 2009. It is very heartening to know we and you, our amazing donors, have had a hand in that, but we give the greatest credit to our partners on the ground who are doing the hard work every day. In that vein, we had a recent update from Ursula at Huanchaco al Rescate, who is as busy as ever, tabling to promote effective pet care, holding adoption events for the dogs at her shelter and encouraging the regional government to take a more active role in caring for the street dog population. As the pictures demonstrate below, there is still much to be done and Ursula is doing a lot of it with s smile on her face. The dogs who find their way to her, likely know they have been brought under the wing of an angel.

In other news, you might remember that we are exploring a relationship with an American veterinary tech school which is eager to have their students participate in more hands-on activity before seeking professional opportunities. Just a few days ago the director of Joliet Junior College visited Hostal Huankarute to conduct a site visit as she compares possible future partnerships. She is due back to the States any day now, and we eagerly await her report. A partnership of this type is something we've been interested in for quite some time, as we are always in the need for good veterinary technicians and strongly believe that the Perros Project fulfills its broader mission by helping to train future practitioners, both American and Peruvian.

While it's always good to pursue ventures like this, it is also very important that we maintain and nurture our core team, many of whom have been a part of our project from the beginning. It's about this time of year that we start asking people how likely it is that they'll be able to return. It will be our 10 year anniversary, and we do hope to have all key members on the ground in Peru next year. Thought we've heard a bit of rumbling from some that they're getting too old for all of this, we do hope to twist their arms. The Perros Project has created deep relationships for us all beyond the week-long clinic.

For example, recently when one of the veterinarians had to have a serious, unexpected surgery, another member of the team jumped into action, contacting the rest of the group and coordinating with us to have flowers delivered. She also made sure to keep us in the loop about their health and be in touch to see if there were other things that they might need. It is this kind of thing that we did not necessarily expect to be one of the bright lights of our project, but it certainly is and we are quite grateful for this bond, as we’re also grateful for our bond with you.

Always in appreciation,

Courtney & Matt
The Perros Project

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