Many people that come to La Paz see the number of stray dogs and cats – some in starving conditions – and initiate feeding them. It is normal to want to help these dogs survive and since we cannot rescue them all, helping them live on the streets and at the beaches is one alternative. But as starving dogs get healthy, they start breeding and puppies are born into a harsh life on the street or at the beach. At the end of the winter season when many northerners return home, we are contacted and asked if we can continue these feeding programs. Unfortunately, many of our volunteers are also northerners who leave in the Spring or Summer. Fewer of us remain during the summer months and now we are left with the task of carrying on these feeding programs, knowing that if we do not, these dogs might starve . . . knowing that as we do, we will see them breed so the numbers of strays actually multiply.
As the dogs see you bringing food to them, even if they are a bit timid or feral, they will begin to trust you and come to you more than any other person – including our volunteers. For that reason, to get the dogs to one of the clinics for sterilization (spaying/neutering), we need YOUR involvement before you leave for the season.
You can take dogs yourself to one of the sterilization programs throughout the city – many are free. Sociedad Humanitaria de La Paz has free spay/neuter clinics once a month and a clinic called DogClean offers low-cost sterilization for feral dogs and uses sutures that dissolve. Any day of the week Centro de Salud offers free spay/neuter as well as Rabies vaccines. Centro de Salud is on the corner of 5 de Mayo and Altamirano in the central district.
If you need help accessing any of these services, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can provide some guidance. Remember that we are all volunteers, so we cannot simply come pick dogs up, take them to be sterilized, and return them. We need your help and involvement. Only then, will the feeding programs and help you are offering these street dogs truly work instead of adding to the already existing overpopulation of dogs and cats.