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  • Writer's pictureAaron Bartlett

Sterilization Clinic: WE DID IT! & A Big Announcement!

With a wonderful will and community effort, we pulled off a big event: our very first hosted and fundraised sterilization clinic! This was not done alone: we had the helping hand of the San Marcos Foundation, who we previously collaborated with many of their clinics in San Marcos and Tzununa alike, Daisy Shlackman helped organize and coordinate in all the areas we fell short 😜. Daisy comes with years of experience of hosting these clinics and kindly helped set up the whole process so we could have a "successful first clinic".

It went swimmingly! We did have a few setbacks, as should be expected, but we ended up getting a

total 30 animals sterilized in the day, with the majority 18 being Perros Libres dogs, 10 dogs from the community, and 2 cats!
Dr. Isael performing one of the first sterilizations

Congratulations!!! Thank you to all the donors who made the fundraiser a success!


It was a really tough day, but we made it through!

Our original intended goal of 100% sterilization was only partially accomplished (for dogs over 6 months)

"Let's see some pictures!"


Well, we got 'em. but they come with a warning.

Graphic warning: operation photos are somewhat difficult to see (recommended children do not see), but for the sake of science we show those with the courage to look and see what it's like.

Well, without further ado: here ya go.

A lovely group of volunteers showed up to help during the course of the day!

Thank you Daisy, Dr. Isael, Alyce, Nina, Manolo, Diego, Carolena, Pablo, all the vet techs, every visitor and every donator for making this happen!


Running the numbers!

We knew (atleast Daisy did) that it would be almost impossible to get all 40 dogs done in the day, it being our first self-hosted clinic (she was right). The vets came about an hour late and set-up took some time as well. And because we opened the clinic to be partially public, we had about 12 animals from outside, so we needed to prioritize:

  1. All Perros Libres 18 dogs older than 6 months got sterilized, so even though we didn't hit a full 100% sterilization rate yet, we are now completely pregnancy-proof for the next 3 months at minimum.

  2. If we can do another clinic by December at latest, then we can reach the FULL 100% sterilization.

  3. We'll also be able to do this again, and soon, because we've proven we can pull it off. Though it was a lot of work, it was EXTREMELY worth the effort, as now we're 100% sterilized for all dogs over 6 months*, and therefore stress-free from pregnancy.

*Quixaya, however to note, is not sterilized even though her age is unknown. We were alerted to the risk an operation of that kind has a high chance of being fatal for her, so we have opted for her to remain as-is.

She's been through a whirlwind lately, but recovering amazingly!

Quixaya today, on a new diet & in strong recovery


Okay, on to the next one...the big announcement! Drumroll please......

Project: Build-the-Volunteer House & Bathroom!

An inside look of the structure, currently very doggy-inhabited

It's time to make a big change: We're going to turn this cement-brick-house into a quality volunteer home! With bathroom, hot shower, cement floor, doors and windows!

This will be the largest construction project and fundraiser we've ever initiated.

& we'll need your help to make it a reality!

Poster made by a supporter!

It's no secret that the volunteer and living conditions at Perros Libres are far less than optimal. This has created a lot of drama ever since we begun, because they are far below western and many peoples standard of living. We were temporarily removed from because our shower is technically broken, and we need to fix things like this to be put back on. We've had as my friend so aptly put it, "volunteers literally running away" until we get a proper shower and bathroom on our locations.

Thusly, this created huge gaps in our normal volunteer schedule, and that made these last few months extra difficult, with less people than we planned for taking care of a pack truly larger than life.

This is what I mean by "larger than life!"

For this very reason, last year, a construction project was initiated by a strong donator who had a great working crew: who made this current structure you see here below. For a few different reasons involving the construction crew and funding, this project was halted mid-way and we were left with an unfinished structure. A year has gone by, and our living situation has not really improved at all.

Our biggest setbacks:

  1. We have no proper working shower, besides an outdoor private space with a hose.

  2. Our volunteer house is currently a 4-bed dorm-sized room (yikes!)

  3. The bathroom is a simple toilet, with a black tarp covering it for privacy.

  4. Sanctuary A & B technically have no bathroom on them, so with just direct access at the Volunteer house across the street, it's not the easiest working conditions for anyone.

Under these simple facts, one can see a root of many of the basic, basic issues we've had that could be easily fixed with something like: A high-quality volunteer house on the property, with plumbing, bathroom, HOT shower, and toilet. The house can even have a real kitchen, and we have the whole space planned out thanks to our amazing Guatemalan friends and helpers.

Planning where the septic goes!

So the big plan goes like this, we do it in 3 phases:

  1. Housing (Floor, Windows, Doors)

  2. Bathroom (Septic, Plumbing, Toilet, Hot Shower!)

  3. Kitchen (stove, countertops, etc.)

Here is a closer look at the house in it's current condition, and what the funding will go to finishing:

Help us turn this into a home for our ever-growing group of volunteers and staff!


Right now, we have the walls and roof of just the house done, but we need a cement floor, plus a separate kitchen from where we prepare meals for ourselves and our dogs.

We'll be digging and installing a septic tank, water system, and hot-water shower which will be the most complex part of the job.

There are so many dog lovers eager to volunteer with our dogs, and some local residents who have been housing them, but we need to finish our own housing to make this project space live-able for the long term. We have already prepared our materials list, and we have eager workers lined up to start up right now!'s time to start! We can't allow the living conditions to remain like this any longer, and fundraiser harder than we ever have to make something people want to live in.

This team must grow, our conditions must improve, and that will secure our long-term potential to live here, host volunteers and employees in a sanitary and comfortable environment.

An example of our staff size, how many we'll house


Here is the fundraiser campaign where you can donate, and a direct webpage!

This is the largest fundraiser we'll have ever attempted, and it will be for the most primarily important cause for our projects success: proper living conditions.

It is truly a miracle of miracles we have survived 2 years with this project, and despite the little we've had, and very rustic conditions, we've shown dedication and brevity towards the goal of a real, incredible, and 1-of-a-kind Dog Sanctuary in Guatemala. Without government aid, without any grants or seed-funding, this has been a 100% grass roots fundraised effort from the start. So now we go the strongest we ever have, and must ask for the strongest support we can as well. Tell your friends, share this page, and spread the word to create the best Dog Sanctuary with good housing we can make.

Unlike previous fundraisers, who have often had a deadline, this is without one. We will use this Fundraiser as a long-term endeavor, being able to slowly construct the house without having to rush, make rookie mistakes, or do a sloppy job.

This is going to be 100% professional, with craftsmanship-level aid and we need a strong funding base to do this. For this, we are working to raising an entire $10,000 USD for the total cost of all construction, materials, all installation costs, food, and labor. Literally all costs covered in the process of making a quality construction.

This project could take as little as 6 weeks, or as many as 3 months. It's a grand undertaking, and we're asking the community of the world to help us reach this goal. If you can support our cause in any way, consider donating or spreading the word. Let's make a great place to live.

Here is the link to the fundraiser page direct, or you can donate below:


Thank you for following our story, helping us get to this point, and helping create the magical dream this Dog Sanctuary has been.

Gracias, adios, y Libertad para los perros!

Aaron & Flacka say: see you later!

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