One of the many reasons I was excited to move overseas was the ability to spend some time volunteering. I knew there would be many opportunities and it didn’t take long to find one that meant something to me. Last weekend I tagged along with the amazing women of Cartagena Paws, who help rescue street animals, get them healthy and find them new loving homes. This was something I knew would mean a lot to me and I also knew would be harder than any other volunteer job I have ever had.
Many of the street animals here have survived more than we can imagine, constantly in search of food, raising puppies on the streets, fighting diseases and dodging cars and motorcycles at every turn.
I was shocked and saddened at the sheer volume of dogs that need caring for. The medical need is immense and the money for each of them is just not available. Despite medical issues and growing up without a family, so many of them are sweet and loving. They happily follow you around for pets, cuddles and treats.
We gave some baths, vaccinated, de-wormed, flea treated and loved on as many of we could until it time to transport a lucky few to foster families in preparation for flights to the United States where families are waiting to adopt them.
The rest are safe off the streets with plenty of food and fresh water, but they need much more. They need homes. As hard as it was to see it, it was harder to leave. I am hoping to make this a regular part of my time here. And just look at some of those faces, I mean, I’ll be lucky to get out of there without smuggling a few of them myself!