Perros Libres Growth & Expansion!
This project is a dream come true.
We on Dog Land have been living life as well as we can. We have a speaker, and play music in the mornings as we get up, make coffee, clean the dog poop and start walking dogs.
The dogs have an amazing life here. With all the walks they get a day, the food twice a day, different types of cooked meals and dry food as well, and not to mention the endless love from the currently 6 people living here (including myself) they live as good as dogs can live.
I am so impressed, nay, enthralled with our progress.
As many know, this has not been an easy project's beginning. The first 6 months of Perros Libres we had no real Dog Sanctuary, but lived out of our home while I built the webpage and social medias, learned to take care of dogs that come from the streets, and had just 5 dogs with 1 of them (Perrita) being pregnant.
Once she gave birth, that was 9 dogs. (She had gotten fixed next year at our sterilization clinic) Then we took in a couple more rescues and had 11 dogs. My landlord was fed up with the dogs, and we were asked to move quite promptly. Thankfully we had friends enough to find a quick alternative to live at a good price. This was December 2021 moving into January 2022.
In the next few months, that new landlord got fed up with our dogs too.
Though we were offered the Perros Libres land to use back in the beginning of the project (August 2021), we had no funding to build anything on the land. We took care of our dogs, payed the rent, and our basic needs for living. And I say we, but it was just me and the dogs in the beginning with a dedicatedly helpful roommate. Now that we are on workaway.org as a listed non-profit Dog Sanctuary with volunteers needed, we have tons of volunteers coming all the time.
At the turn of the year, in January, for the very first time we had funding beyond our monthly budget, thanks to consistent social media posting, a fan-base with some consistent donors (check out the star-donor list!) and gaining support from the local community of Tzununa. Finally, we were able to start developing the Dog Sanctuary.
The Fence, first development of Dog Land.
The mission continued...
And thanks to the first month of exceeding budget, coming into the new year we started to build the Dog Patio. This has become the most used space and headquarters so to speak of all things Dog Land.
Development of the Dog Patio.
Then as the pack grew from 11 dogs to over 20,
that's when it started heating up.
After a few months of living there, and our dog-pack size doubling, the landlord of the 2nd home expressed he wanted us to move all the dogs onto the Dog Land ASAP. This was back in April. I had said okay, by May 1st, all dogs will live on the Dog Land 24/7. That means letting the dogs alone sometimes in the night, (our beds were on a slightly separated rental property) and getting them to be happy without barking like crazy was hard. They are very dependent on being with people.
I had a volunteer team as big as we have now, and we got to work and cleaning the land, making dogs beds and furniture, and setting up hammocks and tents. We had nothing to sleep under on the Dog Land, besides the patio, which was filled with over 20 dogs barely dry from the downpour of rain common in May. So we did everything we could to live here properly, and not need the old rental home. That was when I said okay, time to begin the Cabin Fundraiser.
I had envisioned something completely different in the first 6-months, a large house, with lots of rooms for volunteers, more than one floor, proper bathrooms, and lookout patio. This would have been a pretty grandiose undertaking, and with an architect he estimated it would cost probably around $30,000 USD to both buy materials and hire workers to make the grandiose construction, which we considered trying to fundraise. Of course, this seemed like a huge goal which I was dreading wanting to start. We had raised over $1,000 to build the first fence on Dog Land, but $30,000? It seemed too far away, when we needed a quicker solution.
Time was of the essence...
And now with the pressure on from the landlord, I said okay, we're gonna make something really simple. We had built the patio with local workers' help, and now I knew how to lay cement and install columns of wood to build whatever on. I decided on $1,500 USD for materials for a small single-room cabin in a strategic place in the large boulders, and assumed we could do all the work ourselves. Thus the Build-A-Cabin! fundraiser began (click the link to see the original post, 5/30!)
Almost exactly 2 months later...we made it!!!
Since just last week, we finally hit the $1,500 mark of our fundraiser goal! Now we have guaranteed funding to get all materials needed to finish the job! But man, doing it ourselves has been hard work! Check out its development stages, and where we are now:
All stages of Dream Cabin build from floor-site, to current state
We are so proud of our progress, and can't wait to show you the finished product.
Last things to do for the cabin to become complete are simple: walls, windows, and doors. Our floor, frame, and roof are well structured and will stand as long as we'd like to live here, (with of-course an occasional repair), as this is the first standing structure I built and designed myself in my life. It is quite simple, but it was cheap to make, and provides ample and comfortable safety from the rain. We're able to say we sleep on Dog Land in a bed, now.
In the future, we will be able to fundraise for either more cabins, or a larger volunteer house so that we can house all people that work here ON the Dog Land, which we currently do not. We have to pay for an additional rental with a safe room and beds to house half our volunteers. Eventually, as we build on Dog Land, we can become self-sufficient with volunteers and housing. Poco a poco, as they say.
There is so much more to talk about...
But I will keep it simple for today. We're working very hard to get Dog Land ready to take in more dogs, and more comfortable for the volunteers, as the amount of dogs (and volunteers) I'm being asked on a daily basis to take in is alarming, and we need to build SO much more to be able to take them all in.
It's kinda funny to compare dogs and volunteers, but we all live the same here on Dog Land.
Lastly, I want to say thank you! to every supporter, follower, and now sponsors, that we have at Perros Libres. I haven't yet, but I will updating the Sponsor-A-Dog! page with green checkmarks of the dogs who are already sponsored, so those who still wish to pick a sponsor know all the dogs available. This page and system is still very new, so I will be improving the page itself and adding to it the rewards sponsors can get as time goes on.
A special message just for the members of our new Sponsorship program:
I am intending to update all sponsors in this way: at the beginning of every month, you will receive your first "personal email update" on your selected sponsor dog. It's the 31st today, so expect yours in these next couple days. Every month it will come at roughly the same time, the beginning of each month, even if you are billed or began your sponsorship at any other point in the month. This will make it easy to keep up with everyone's unique updates. This August will be the first month emails get sent out, and this is a new process for me, so give me a little patience to get the first batch for everyone sent-out :)
Just so we all know, so far these are the 4 dogs sponsored:
If I missed a dog you're trying to sponsor, reach out!
Many have been telling me they want to sponsor a certain dog, but many have not followed through, but this is a brand-new system and many of our followers may not yet know how to enter their monthly sponsor into our list. So here I will break it down for you:
Enter into the green box what level of sponsorship/price per month you would like,
Click the box that says "leave a comment", and write which dog you'd like to sponsor!
Lastly, the benefits of sponsorship:
1st Tier (Basic Care, $25/month): Covers the budget of monthly food needed for the dog, and basic medical needs (flea meds, deworming, etc.) Comes with personal email updates of your new sponsored dog! But the higher tiers offer this and more...
2nd Tier (Advanced Care, $40/month): This covers all previous things, but with more customization of your dogs experience. This allows you to pick out a unique cooked meal for your sponsored dog we can give so many times a week (just depending on cost). You can also pick out custom items like leashes or collars if you'd like to give your dog a custom look. It is adjustable to your needs, like one could pay a higher amount if you wanted your dog to have steak everyday! 😆
3rd Tier (Adoption Plan, $60/month): This is for the hardcore fans, who also want to adopt their sponsored dog! Within certain countries it is possible to get dogs from here to there! It is a huge undertaking, but you can "reserve" your dog for a day of anticipated adoption with this advanced tier!
4th Tier! 💚 (Yearly Plan, $400/year): The ultimate of commitments: this includes all previous benefits, but is an up-front payment that covers the entire year of food, care, and treatment for your dog! There are two simple benefits to this that you do not get with the 3rd tier, as we appreciate someone willing to help us with a years worth of funding for a single special dog. One of these is, we will schedule video Zoom meetings with these special 4th tier members, whom if they wish, can see the Sanctuary, their dog, and the type of care they're getting in real time, at scheduled times during the year. You can get to your dog on a personal level only possible through digital format, without actually being here with them! The second benefit is, it is at at a very discounted monthly rate less than the 2nd tier, a "bulk price!"
(If anyone wishes to take this route, we will be in personal discussion on all details necessary to acquire a Perros Libres dog of your own, but it is possible! Biggest requirement is having a physical person to fly them out, on top of a lot of paperwork!)
Just for consistency, here is the direct button for the "Sponsor-A-Dog" Fundraiser you can click/use/start your first sponsor here:
Thank YOU to all current sponsors!!!
and a special thank you to a new member of our Star-Donor List:
Richard J. Derr!
Richard you have helped us immensely since you heard of us after meeting my mother, and I wanted to give you a special shout-out since you've been such a huge supporter, and now with a monthly donation have been added to the Star-Donor list. Thanks my friend!
And a special shout-out to another incredible donor,
Suzy L. Carr!
Suzy, you are one of the long-term supporters who also was someone I met through my mother! (How can we not thank our mother's for so much in life? 🤣) Though you're not in our full sponsorship program, you've supported very generously also since you heard of our beginnings and have given me incredible feedback on our writing, and overall experience with customers. Thank you for your consistent support and if I never said so before, here I do so now :)
Sterilization Project Update?
Next Sterilization clinic in Tzununa will not be until September. Date unreleased. We will have these in Tzununa every alternating month, switching with San Marcos who will have the next one this August.
Many more exciting things to come on Dog Land.
Stay tuned in our email list for the next update! Thanks to everyone for helping us get this far. We will continue mission and expand Perros Libres outward, into a beautiful array of work to help one day all the dogs of the world.
Libertad por los Perros.