The Peru Animal Welfare Society, PAWS, helps reduce the suffering of street dogs in Cusco, Peru. The project addresses the issue of overpopulation in a sustainable, humane way by focusing on 4 areas: 1) An education programme on animal welfare and responsible pet ownership for the local community - 2) A sterilization campaign to capture, neuter, and release stray dogs - 3) A vaccination campaign to reduce the spread of disease - 4) Shelter improvements and an adoption programme
The estimated population of street dogs in Cusco is somewhere between 14,000 and 40,000, though there is no official count. This number continues to climb. These dogs often suffer and die from the spread of diseases, being injured in fights, or hit by cars. The local community is affected by the spread of rubbish and dog bites. This project addresses the overpopulation problem through education, sterilization and vaccination campaigns, and adoption programmes.
By working with local veterinarians, we are implementing a CNR (Capture, Neuter/Vaccinate, Release) campaign in the city of Cusco, attempting to reach as many dogs as funding will allow. This will slow the spread of disease and population growth in a direct way, short-term. We must also work with the local community, educating them on the needs for such programs, responsible pet ownership, and the importance of adoption, further reducing the stray dog population through prevention.
Among the tens-of-thousands of street dogs, if even spaying 1 female can reduce the number of dogs in the next year by 5 to 8 puppies, you can imagine the reduction in numbers if we were able to sterilize as many as possible. We could reduce the future population by thousands. This will be made sustainable through education. If the local community understands the importance of this issue and acts accordingly, the situation for the dogs of Cusco will continue to improve for decades to come.
Blog post regarding dog welfare in Cusco
Volunteer at the Peru Dog Rescue Shelter