Peru Animal Welfare Society ( PAWS)
PAWS is a project initiated by Globalteer, a British charity that raises funds and mobilizes resources to rapidly start charity work in any area or community that needs it. In Cusco, the urgent problem that caught Globalteer’s eye is the population of homeless animals, particularly dogs, which has gotten completely out of hand.
The main mission of the volunteers at PAWS is to reduce the population of stray dogs in the city, but it’s also to fight for the animals’ well-being and to change the locals’ unloving and sometimes violent attitude towards street dogs. Many of the dogs fall victims to car accidents, or suffer severe beatings by humans since the abuse of an ownerless animal isn’t criminalized in Peru. This can leave the dogs with debilitating injuries and with a lot of pain. They do not get medical assistance for the better part of their lives, and are not vaccinated which exposes them to illnesses. They are also not sterilized which is why the population continues to grow.
Of course there are shelters to take care of the dogs locally but spots are scarce and not every dog can be rescued. To PAWS, shelters are just part of the solution when it comes to increasing the welfare of homeless dogs. The organization has shifted its focus towards preventing the tragedy rather than healing the wound: PAWS is working to educate local communities about animal health and welfare by touring the schools, and they are actively microchipping, vaccinating and sterilizing as many dogs as they can possibly catch.