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 us on the beach in Peru early on in our South American travels. She made a lasting impression with her big brown eyes and painful limp. When we decided to return to the region two & half months later – we wondered if Lola would still be there and vowed to help the black lab if she could be found.
After a little searching we 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. We kept our promise and through a series of broken conversations and with the kind help of many locals we 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 we returned to Huanchaco to help Lola and others like her, except this time we had a plan, 15 volunteers (3 veterinarians), official 501(c)(3) non-profit status, and $5,000 dollars we 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.
Since then, the team has returned and conducted similar clinics in both 2011 and 2013. Each trip has resulted in improvements in the lives of areas animals and deepening relationships with animal advocacy organizations in the area. At this point we have helped hundreds of dogs in both Huanchaco and Trujillo. The next clinic will be taking place June 20-27, of 2015.