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  • Writer's pictureAaron Bartlett

Expanding out-reach: adopting, and new affiliates!

We found Kiwi’s original ”dueño“, Lucio!

One day one one of our dog runs, this man walks out from inside a turquoise building and points at Kiwi and says: ”Hey that’s my dog!”

I said that’s funny: he’s been sleeping at my house for two months!

He says, “That’s okay! He looks so fat, and so happy! He has so much hair! Thank you for what you’ve done, muy hamable. Gracias a Dios.” He is also the owner of the piece of land we want to install the dog feeding station on, and he offered to use the front of his house for all the street dogs on that corner to install the feeding station. Muy hamable, indeed. He said we can let Kiwi sleep at our house whenever he wants.

But he’s started returning to this original home and everyone on that block has now seen two dogs on that corner healed from Mange: El Negro, and Kiwi. (Turns out they were neighbors all along! 😂)

Kiwi with his dueño, or original owner, Lucio.

We also learned Kiwi has an original Mayan name: “Chax”. When I told him we called him Kiwi, he combined their names: “Kiwi-Chax” and we both laughed. He is dubbed now by our mutual ownership: Kiwi-Chax 👑. God bless this wonderful work we’re able to do, and the gracious relationship with this kind and loving people, who do care for their animals very much. They just come from a different situation than we do, in the States or other more prosperous countries. They want their dogs to be healthy and happy, too.

So Kiwi is one of our best success stories: rescued, healed, and released back to his owner (took a long time to find this guy!) He remains a part of our pack so we can continue needed care and assistance for him.

 

January is kicking off like a rocket. In our new place, a new volunteer named Erin has moved into our place. But she’s more than a volunteer: she’s our first dog-caretaking employee. She’s first to get paid to take care of our animals so I am more available for the street animals and local families. She’s very good with dog-training, has already helped me with serious medical situations, and brought her own amazingly huge and adorable dog named Rocco. Rocco is the same name as my most beloved dog growing up, the first I raised exclusively with my sister and our other Corgi, Gypsy. Dogs have always been a part of my life: but I never knew I would be helping them in this way, at this time. Yet here we are.

We have wonderful news abound in the Perros Libres world. Some affiliates have stepped up, and offered to donate percentages of profits of their community services or products to Perros Libres, and we will also promote them and let people know about these awesome things. One is called Perro Seco, which makes hand-made, all-natural dried beef and chicken treats for dogs. There are no preservatives, and is a local Guatemalan company run by a friend of ours named Fabia, who has also volunteered for us for dog-food runs. So anyone who donates through Perros Libres directly we will use to feed these treats to the street dogs. (We’ll be buying a few for our own pups, too!)

The cost of the treats in local Guatemalan prices are ($ is ~USD in bold):

  • 15g - 20 Q ($3)

  • 50g - 60 Q ($9)

  • 100 g - 100 Q ($13)

  • 200 g - 180 Q ($24)

So basically, any donations in the next week may be put by request towards Street Dog Snacks! We wish to support local companies, and this is the only place we know making SUCH healthy dog snacks.




 

New year, new financial plan. Creating the new-year budget.


We have been blessed to be able to consistently run into 2022. We are now budgeting, planning our year financially, and organizing the ever-upcoming fundraiser for our new Dog Sanctuary, which will be able to house all the dogs in Tzununa. We know have new affiliates for Perros Libres, and organized aid that is coming from various other sources both on the lake here locally, and through the web. Everything is going well over here: and it’s all thanks to you. Thank you, thank you, thank you: to all of our supporters of Perros Libres. You have allowed our work to expand. We continue onwards into the streets, and now have an excellent machine-like system taking care of these animals day-in-day-out.

 

We made it to Jaibalito,

& there’s a whole ‘nother Mange epidemic.

Check out this video where we show what it’s like out there:


Us looking at all the Jaibalito dogs, observing the mange.


So these guys administer Ivermectin, a medicine that currently has undergone a lot of controversy in recent years. So this crew (who does not operate under any non-profit or external organization, but is a team of older good-Samaritan ex-pats), says they have administered Ivermectin to dogs all over Puerto Rico and another sector of Guatemala for over 10 years now. They also say Ivermectin is the best, most cost-effective way to treat mange, and all other parasites in dogs. That is why it was popularized as ”horse dewormer” by the media, which it is absolutely used for as well. We learned .09 milligram/lb. is a safe dosage for all dogs, but higher levels of ivermectin poses a risk of toxicity (according to vetmeds.org). Only a dog with a specific genetic sensitivity could be harmed by ivermectin at a smaller dosage than the recommended. Research has shown that dogs can tolerate up to approximately 2mg/kg before showing toxicity effects (or .09 mg/lb), and these guys approximately dose below this using a syringe with a prescription ivermectin bottle and measured doses. Here’s a picture of them letting me try applying the dose with a syringe into bread:



 

Angelita finally gets a home!! Oh, what a relief!


Our landlord Antonio with his new adopted Angelita.


Thankfully we finally found Angelita a home, with our landlord! She posed a huge threat to our puppies and even older dogs, as she had a violent streak that would sometimes rear its ugly head. And as a Pit-bull, this is no joke. She has the potential ability to kill a smaller animal in seconds flat. We worked very hard to teach her good demeanor, walking slowly and calmly, waiting patiently for food, and quieting down when she started to bark and get rowdy. She was a sweetheart, but we had to find her a home with more urgency than any other dog we ever had. She was not a candidate for the Dog Sanctuary, because she has such a strong tendency towards violence I could not seemingly un-teach. Thankfully, she now lives up the mountain from us, in a contained space, where we can check in with her whenever is needed and help her get all care and assistance necessary from here on out! Her new owner is aware of her risk factors, and keeps her contained and restrained from the outside animals. She will not be allowed to walk the street freely.

 

More progress happens every day around here,

We're accomplishing the good work of rescuing, healing, and adopting dogs out to good owners (or finding their old ones!) Thank goodness for our new space, thank goodness for Erin, and for our other local employees who help make this organization what it is. Tzununa is prospering from our aid, and our local families who work with us are prospering from being employed through us, and the local families are all starting to have a nearby friend (us!) who can help them with all dog related issues. Tzununa is finally getting consistent help with their animals, thanks to our non-stop efforts and consistency.

Can you support Perros Libres monthly?

For those who are unaware, we now have a monthly donation system in place, through a company that works with non-profits called Donorbox. Please consider using our monthly system, as you can allow Perros Libres to have consistent income so we can continue our work here. This is what it looks like:



We currently operate solely on donations, though we are now developing ways to receive more income through relationships with other organizations and businesses around the lake. Perros Libres will soon have consistent streams of income so it will not need to rely on donations forever, ideally. Our income-stream is totally willy-nilly at the moment, and we need to have a consistent income to grow operations properly and with the demand required of here. You can help us in the meantime by using this system, but anything helps! 😁

Lastly, if you enjoy reading these blogs and seeing our updates: consider sharing our website with your friends, or even the link to this post online. Awareness is the key to our success here, more even than funding, because if everyone knew what it was like here, we would have all the help we could possibly need. That's the goal, guys! Let's get these dogs taken care of: we are non-stop on the job! Thank you for your support! Libertad por los Perros!



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