Spay & Neuter street dogs of Huanchaco, Peru

by The Perros Project
Spay & Neuter street dogs of Huanchaco, Peru
Spay & Neuter street dogs of Huanchaco, Peru
Spay & Neuter street dogs of Huanchaco, Peru
Spay & Neuter street dogs of Huanchaco, Peru
Spay & Neuter street dogs of Huanchaco, Peru
Spay & Neuter street dogs of Huanchaco, Peru
Spay & Neuter street dogs of Huanchaco, Peru
Spay & Neuter street dogs of Huanchaco, Peru
Spay & Neuter street dogs of Huanchaco, Peru
Spay & Neuter street dogs of Huanchaco, Peru
Spay & Neuter street dogs of Huanchaco, Peru
Spay & Neuter street dogs of Huanchaco, Peru
Spay & Neuter street dogs of Huanchaco, Peru
Spay & Neuter street dogs of Huanchaco, Peru
Spay & Neuter street dogs of Huanchaco, Peru
Spay & Neuter street dogs of Huanchaco, Peru
Spay & Neuter street dogs of Huanchaco, Peru
Spay & Neuter street dogs of Huanchaco, Peru
Spay & Neuter street dogs of Huanchaco, Peru
Spay & Neuter street dogs of Huanchaco, Peru
Spay & Neuter street dogs of Huanchaco, Peru
Spay & Neuter street dogs of Huanchaco, Peru
Spay & Neuter street dogs of Huanchaco, Peru
Spay & Neuter street dogs of Huanchaco, Peru
Spay & Neuter street dogs of Huanchaco, Peru
Spay & Neuter street dogs of Huanchaco, Peru
Spay & Neuter street dogs of Huanchaco, Peru
Spay & Neuter street dogs of Huanchaco, Peru
Spay & Neuter street dogs of Huanchaco, Peru
Spay & Neuter street dogs of Huanchaco, Peru

Hello wonderful people, 

We hope this finds you happy and healthy, and along with us, sensing a turning tide. On the ground in Peru, the work of our partners has continued. The photos attached show some of the funds we have shared going to basic necessities, like food and vet care. At the same time, we have been helping folks on the ground in Huanchaco. We have also been sharing advice with other emerging organizations in Peru, like "The Stray Animal Project" (strayanimalproject.org/) focused on spay & neuter projects in Lima. 

As many of you know at this time of the year, we would be finalizing our team roster for our biannual trip to Huanchaco to perform our clinic. While we had hoped that we would be closer to a return to "normal", that is unfortunately still to come. That said, they say necessity is the mother of invention, or in our case - temporary reinvention. Last month we reached out to key team members in the United States as well as members on the ground in Peru, proposing that we shift our fundraising efforts in 2021 to hiring and supporting a part-time veterinarian in Huanchaco. There are many benefits to this approach, including offering a wide variety of services over a longer period of time, employing (at least part-time) a veterinarian committed to our mission, and signaling to the community that we are committed to long-term solutions. We will begin fundraising for this in mid-April, though we are happy to report that a donor has already generously seeded the money for this campaign. What a promising next chapter that we are excited to share with you. 

While our sneakers will not touch Peruvian soil this summer, we are committed to returning when it is fully safe to do so. 

Our gratitude to you!

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We hope this report finds all of our supporters as well as can be expected given the many uncertainties of this time. Fall is quickly becoming winter here in Portland and we have reflected more than once in the last few months how lucky we are that our biennial clinic was not scheduled for this past summer. Of course, we are very hopeful that we will be able to keep our plans to return to Huanchaco in the summer of 2021. We miss everyone there so much and have worried for their safety and stability given how hard the virus has hit Peru and how difficult life can sometimes be even under normal circumstances in that country.

In the meantime, we continue to be in good touch with our partners on the ground and would like to highlight some of their work, which of course continues every day (and night!) even under these difficult conditions.

Ursula, the founder and daily den mother of Huanchaco al Rescate, emailed us recently filled with a mix of hope and heartbreak. She sent along pictures of two dogs which we won’t share here, but who were in dire need of veterinary care for ailments we are lucky enough not to witness here. Thankfully, she was able to secure low-cost veterinary services, bringing an obvious amount of relief to each of the dogs who had suffered for quite some time. Outside of these particular cases, Ursula continues to run the shelter (see photo 1)  including making dinner (see photo 2), caretaking for the animals under her charge (see photo 3) and always looking for potential people to adopt them.

In other news, Paul, who runs the hotel where our team not only stays, but performs our clinic, has been hard hit by the lack of tourism due to the virus. Ever-resourceful and no doubt thinking back upon how our clinic has run so smoothly out of the large and small conference/recreation rooms in the past, Paul is currently endeavoring to open a side business on the property. He is in the process of planning and coordinating a much needed health clinic to provide basic services for people in the community. We applaud his efforts and have been working to support them.

In these difficult times, we particularly appreciate our supporters who always step forward when we ask them to. When reflecting on our decision to found the Perros Project and all of the stories that emanated from that decision, we are humbled, grateful and acutely aware of how lucky we are. We are so enriched, more now than ever, by our Perros community knitted together by  such fine people. Despite difficulties, all of us continue to make such a difference in the lives of not only the dogs of Huanchaco, but also the greater community they live in. Take a bow and thank you!

In gratitude,

M&C

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We hope that this report finds each of you as well as can be expected given these times. Like many of you, we have struggled to adjust to the ever-changing new normal. We are happy to report, however, that many members of our team are doing well and, consistent with their natures, finding myriad ways to plug-in and make a difference in their communities. One of our 6x participants, Kim, is a great example. She has done everything from donate blood to sew facemasks to consistently give away free flowers to strangers needing a bit of an uplift to grocery shopping for friends whose health is more vulnerable. We have also checked in with our friends connected to our two partner organizations, Amigo Fiel and Huanchaco al Rescate, and they are also doing the best they can and continuing their efforts to improve the lives of the street dogs in their community. Peru was one of the first countries in Latin America to impose strong restrictions, but unfortunately they are currently ranked 6th for number of cases per country in the world.

Despite these difficult circumstances, Bertha from Amigo Fiel recently wrote to us, letting us know that the funds we supplied in this quarter would be used to vaccinate as many dogs in the area as possible against the major canine diseases like rabies and parvo. She is in close communication with Ingrid, the main vet that we work with during our clinic, as well as other members of Amigo Fiel. They are trying their best to serve the dogs as they have in the past, even under very difficult circumstances, including a reduced level of access to both veterinarians and veterinary medicines/supplies.

Ursula at Huanchaco al Rescate is also busy, mainly taking in new dogs to her shelter and making sure to keep the area clean and the dogs well fed. One of the most difficult things for her during this time is the lack of international volunteers that she has depended on for help at the shelter. Ursula has done a very good job of attracting interest from tourists who would like to spend a day or two making a difference in addition to doing their travels. Of course, with so little international travel taking place, that stream of volunteers has dried up and Ursula is having to do almost all of the work herself. Despite that, as you can see in the pictures included below, she is making the best of the situation.

There is not very much else to report. Of course, we are exceedingly glad that we did not have a clinic planned for this summer. We look forward to returning to Peru in the summer of 2021. In the meantime, we look to our partners on the ground and hope to learn from them more resilience and creative problem-solving as we navigate this difficult landscape.

We wish all of you health and happiness in the summer days.

Courtney and Matt

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The Perros Project is enjoying the slower pace of the even years when we do not have a clinic scheduled. Unlike last year when we were deep in the process of managing all the trip details and securing the team, this year we are mostly focused on supporting our partners on the ground. That said, we have been fielding quite a few requests by veterinarians and vet students who are interested in joining us in 2021. It’s exciting to think that we already have several names of new folks who may join our core team and returning to Peru in July of 2021.

On the ground in Huanchaco, both of our partners, Huanchaco al Rescate and Amigo Fiel are hard at work doing what they do best, taking care of the animals in their shelters, spreading the word about responsible pet ownership and hosting various public events whether to administer vaccinations or to raise money for their organizations.

Ursula, who founded and runs Huanchaco al Rescate shared with us the news that she was able to adopt out a mother and five puppies to a couple in Vancouver, British Columbia. She also notes that while it is winter here in United States, it is summer in Peru and she is diligently working to keep her dogs cool by making sure that the temporary roofs she has constructed stay up and fighting against ticks and fleas, which are unfortunately very common among the street and shelter dogs of Huanchaco. In addition, she is quite busy hosting a wide variety of events as you can see from the pictures below. It warms our heart to see her so busy and clearly improving the lives of the dogs of Huanchaco. She is a testament to the fact that one person who is committed, passionate and persistent can make an incredible difference.

Our partners working with Amigo Fiel have also been busy, working to adopt out some of the dogs in their shelter and distribute medicine to people with pets within the community who cannot afford it. They also spread the word about the importance of not abandoning pets and striving to keep the pets you live with as healthy and happy as possible.

We continue to support both of these groups, both by sharing resources and by putting them in touch with volunteers who are interested in helping out during times when we ourselves are not an country doing the clinic.

We wish you all happy spring and offer our continued gratitude.

Matt and Courtney

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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:

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Organization Information

The Perros Project

Location: Portland, OR - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Matt Webber
Portland, OR United States
$53,173 raised of $60,000 goal
 
1,131 donations
$6,827 to go
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