Helping people help themselves

Chile is one of the most advanced countries in South America, but when it comes to animal welfare, it is still lagging behind. For example, the steadily increasing number of stray dogs is a matter of great concern to many people. The problem will not remedy itself if people continue to ignore it and do not seek to implement healthy animal husbandry practices.

Two young Chilean women did not want to accept this anymore. They founded the non-profit association Refugio Patitas Sin Hogar (“Homeless Paws Shelter”) in Concepción, the second largest city in Chile. Since 2014, they have been taking care of dogs that were abandoned and/or mistreated, finance their medical treatment, and have them neutered as they continue to find them new owners.

These young women started their project in their parental home. Now they have the help of three part-time workers and volunteers on over 1000 square meters of leased land, complete with kennels, kitchen and large freerunning area. Their vision is to establish a professionally managed shelter. To implement this, they need adecuate funding and they need to be educated in the management of an animal shelter.

The goal of a cooperative German-Chilean developmental project is to help people help themselves: animal welfare advocators in Germany support the Chilean association’s efforts to acquire important skills during internships in large, professionally operated German animal shelters so that they can later adapt and incorporate these practices into their work in Chile.

Parallel to the internships, zookeepers (trainees and trainers) from German animal shelters will travel to Chile and exchange practical experiences working at Homeless Paws Shelter.

Two big animal shelters in the German cities of Hanover and Essen participate in this strategic partnership.