Chile and Bolivia are known for their significant populations of community cats and dogs. In both countries, it’s very normal that even ‘owned’ dogs and cats who are loved by families, are allowed to roam free during the day. While it’s positive that they’re not cooped up indoors, there are challenges due to the huge number of dogs and cats are found on the streets.
Wherever there are plenty of cats and dogs roam free, there is competition for food and territory. Many dogs and cats are wounded or receive bitemarks and because they aren’t vaccinated many catch diseases. They’re also not neutered, so reproductive rates are uncontrolled and many puppies and kittens are dumped in the streets.
The people of Bolivia and Chile often lack the resources to improve the situation: according to Unicef, 60% of Bolivians and 80% of Chileans live below the poverty line.
With the help of the Edgard & Cooper Foundation’s donation, HSI hopes to break the cycle, by making sure dog and cats have access to the affordable, high-quality vaccinations and neutering.
The combination of many strays and disease, results in an urgent need for population control measures. Without the help a program like the one from HSI, capture and kill programs led by governments would be the only way out or even worse - individuals taking matter into their own hands.
After 5 years, the €188,864 donation will help to ensure that at vets can perform at least 40,000 affordable, high-quality treatments a year.
The number and size of population can only be reduced by introducing a new population of healthy, sterilised and vaccinated cats and dogs. Where vaccinations, castrations, sterilizations and general medical care provided by trained vets is often taken for granted in Europe, it is the opposite in Bolivia and Chile. At the moment veterinary care is simply not accessible or affordable, so many people in Bolivia and Chile have to take the risk and leave it up to nature. Our donation will immediately help, covering the cost for at least 17,000 treatments, helping to reduce unwanted litters and slow the population of cats and dogs.
High Quality Veterinary Care
The Edgard & Cooper Foundation believes that every cat and dog deserves the right to be free from pain, injury and disease and although Bolivians and Chileans do want what is best for their cat or dog; they simply can’t give it to them. Local veterinarians often don’t have the surgery skills to avoid creating complications, inflicting pain, or even death. 46% of Bolivians surveyed by HSI know a dog or cat that has died during a routine procedure (if they even were able to secure a procedure) – which is a massive amount. There is an urgent need to help create safer, healthier, and more humane communities, and improve the welfare of the community animals that live in them.
46% of Bolivians surveyed by HSI know a dog or cat that has died during a routine procedure
The foundation’s donation will help to train over 100 local vets in safe, effective treatments, so dogs and cats do not have needlessly suffer and will be safely neuter right from the start; even in the most rural parts of Bolivia and Chile. HSI’s training program for local veterinarians will build capacity; raise public awareness of animal welfare issues; builds community engagement, interest and buy-in.
A bright future
HSI has set up an amazing community project that provides a long-term, sustainable solution to the current situation – to which The Edgard & Cooper Foundation and the Edgard & Cooper community is incredibly proud to be a part of. HSI work with the local communities to empower them to follow suit, so that the amazing work can continue even after the donation has been used.
“We’re so grateful that we can create lasting change, donating to a project that tackles the root cause. That is the only way to ensure a future where no cat or dog will suffer and achieve our mission to create a world where all dogs and cats can feel good.” - Barbara.