Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Excellence in Santiago: Shelter Medicine for Street Animals

A recent trip to Santiago, Chile, has highlighted the many challenges that street dogs face. However there are organisations working tirelessly to improve the quality of life of many dogs on the street.


Heather Bacon of the JMICAWE with Dr Ariel of Stuka, and the team from the Universidad Andres Bello


Stuka is a charitable dog shelter organisation that focuses on providing shelter dogs with a good quality of life through group housing, medical care and regular exercise opportunities. The dogs are prepared for adoption by training in basic obedience using positive reinforcement techniques and regular ‘adoption days’ mean that their time spent in the shelter in minimised. There is even an on-site groomer to ensure that all the dogs look their best for any prospective new owners!
A Dog Exercise area with Grooming Station in the background
The shelter is funded entirely by charitable donations, but offers a world-class level of shelter medicine and care.
Some dogs within the shelter are un-homeable due to severe medical or behavioural problems but these dogs receive additional staff time and attention to ensure that their needs are met.

Two staff provide physiotherapy for a dog with impaired mobility
Heather of the JMICAWE said, “So often we see shelters run by organisations or people with good intentions and a desire to help animals, but in many cases, these good intentions don’t translate into good animal welfare and problems of confinement and deprivation are common in many shelters. Stuka is an inspiring organisation, engaged in actively rehoming as many dogs as possible, and ensuring that the dogs housed there are well prepared for their new lives as pets”

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