Perros Project founders Courtney Dillard & Matt Webber reunited in June 2010 with Lola and her new caretakers Sondra & Berry.
Lola was a friendly black lab mix with a serious leg infection who followed them on the beach one afternoon and made a lasting impression with her big brown eyes and painful limp. When Courtney & Matt decided to return to the region two & half months later – they wondered if Lola would still be there and vowed to help the black lab if she could be found.
After a little searching they found Lola, who had made herself a new home in the front garden of the local hostel/eatery Otra Cosas where the owners had been feeding her pita bread each day and allowing her to rest among their lettuce beds at night. Unfortunately her leg was still infected. Courtney and Matt kept their promise and through a series of broken conversations and with the kind help of many locals they were able get Lola treatment. She eventually received two surgeries from a neighboring veterinary clinic.
The story of Lola made two things quite clear:
1) the dogs of Huanchaco could use some help and
2) any help made a big difference.
Ten months later they returned to Huanchaco to help Lola and others like her, except this time they had a plan, 15 volunteers (3 veterinarians), official 501(c)(3) non-profit status, and $5,000 dollars they had raised from friends and strangers. The mission was to hold a week-long spay/neuter clinic, help improve the local dog shelter, and conduct educational outreach to the local community on the benefits of pet sterilization.
In 2010, American volunteers worked together to improve the lives of of the street dogs in Huanchaco and Trujillo. Specifically they 1) spayed and neutered 80 animals in partnership with two Peruvian veterinary clinics, 2) created a fencing system at the local shelter which provided specific areas for shelter visitors as well as sick and injured animals. Volunteers also worked to create two secured rooms to prevent the theft of the shelter’s limited materials, and 3) went door to door in the community offering dog owners medicine to help prevent ticks, fleas and mange as well as encouraged them to sterilize their animals. By all accounts it was a great success.
In 2011, a smaller team returned to Huanchaco to focus on spaying and neutering local area street dogs (and even some cats). Unlike the initial clinic, this group partnered with a local veterinarian school in Trujillo and led outreach/street-team efforts in Hauchanco.
We are returning in 2013 from July 22-28 to continue the good work.
Courtney Dillard - Courtney teaches in the area of strategic communication and works with progressive organizations to improve their persuasive efforts. Courtney has a long history of working with animal welfare groups. She helped foundFour Feet Forward connects pro-bono consultants in the area of law and communications with grassroots animal groups. More recently Courtney has been involved with animal welfare efforts such as fostering animals from the local shelter and lobbying on animal issues at the state capitol. Courtney also has a dog named Cole.
Matthew Webber- Matt is a Community Organizer in Portland, OR. Matt has spent the majority of his life, professionally and as a volunteer, dedicated to an array of social justice issues. More recently he was the Outreach Coordinator for We Can Do Better and also serves as a board member of Four Feet Forward.