A big boost to the health of Puerto’s animal population is underway.
And it is being done in a wonderfully collaborative effort by
Dog Camp Boquete
Amigos de Animales of Boquete Panama
PUPP: a new group of Puerto expats and local Portenos dedicated to the health of Puerto’s animals
And you can add yourself to the effort via their go-fund-me site.
PUPP – Helping the Animals of Puerto
Portenos Unidos Para Perros (P.U.P.P.) is a group of Expatriates and Panamanians working together to help reduce the street animal population.
By helping to eliminate homeless dogs and cats, PUPP’s efforts will radically reduce disease and suffering by both homeless and owned animals in Puerto.
I think their acronym, PUPP, is fabulous.
The whole name, in English, is Porteneos United for Our Dogs. (Portenos is what people from Puerto Armuelles are called. )
PUPP’s goals are to:
- Alleviate the suffering of street animals
- Support Panamanian families who have opened their homes to many animals in Puerto
In the short term, and in collaboration with DogCamp Boquete and Amigos de Animales, PUPP will hold 2 low-cost sterilization clinics in Puerto Armuelles, Panama. The first clinic takes place on January 12th.
PUPP’s Clinic Goals
- Fix/Neuter 120 animals in one weekend (January 12th) – at a very low cost
- Do it again – 3 months later!
They created the go-fund-me plea so they can make the clinic visit free to all those who could not otherwise afford to sterilize their animals.
One of the dedicated PUPP Expats, Nicole, told me:
We are in amazing shape. I am so excited about what this could mean to the health of our animal community.
On why she is committed to PUPP, she said:
I have a hope that one day people won’t associate our community with starving, suffering animals. That we will no longer feel the heartache of seeing Puerto’s animals suffer.
To help Puerto’s dogs and cats, please contribute any amount you can afford, even if it is just $5. Click to visit their go-fund-me site.
Details of January’s Sterilization Clinic
All the info you need is found in the poster displayed at the top of this page.
An English translation of the poster is below.
The group, Portenos United For Our Dogs, in collaboration with Dog Camp Boquete-Panama, and Amigos de los Animales Boquete-Panama – (with help from ceinxcientoportenos.com) Invites you to a sterilization clinic for your pets.
When: January 12, 2019.
Place: Puerto Armuelles’s Municipal Gym
Time: 8am – 3pm
Cost: $15 for dogs, $10 for cats.
To Register: Visit Agropecuaria Don Merce (on Calle Estudiante), Sherri Pet (Barrio Nacional) or by Whatsapp 6358-5621
(*Not mentioned on the poster: Your contribution to go-fund-me means the procedure will be free to the many local Portenos who cannot afford it.)
Where are the locations mentioned the poster?
- The Gym is downtown, by all the other municipal buildings, and across the street from the Todas Del Dollar store.
- Agropecuaria Don Merce is across the street from the colorful new Puerto Armuelles sign.
- Pet Sherri is near the small bridge you cross when driving into town – AFTER you pass Romeros. It is on the opposite side of the street from Romeros.
Street vs Owned Dogs
In Panama, you will see many dogs roaming without leash, collar, or owner. Most westerners will assume that all these dogs are homeless. But that is wrong. Many of these dogs are owned, even lovingly owned.
Taking your dog for a walk is a newer concept in Panama. Generally, dogs walk themselves in Panama.
However, in Panama City, it is now against the law to let your dog roam free. You must use a leash. So the dogs you see there are more likely to be homeless.
In some ways, a free-roaming dog has a much better life. Some Panamanians think of their dog only as a guard dog. Not as a pet. They will chain them in the yard 24/7. Not such a great life.
However, freely roaming dogs can also easily pick up many of the diseases common in the street dog population. And of course, if they are not sterilized, they also add to the homeless population by mating with female street dogs.
Changing Attitudes toward Pets in Panama
Like the fairly new leash law in Panama City, attitudes towards dogs and cats are changing in Panama. They are being seen more like pets than simply an animal who serves a purpose (eg., guard dog or a rat-catching cat).
One way you can see the changing attitudes towards dogs is the popularity and growth of dog shows in Panama. (Watch a video of Puerto Armuelles 2nd annual dog show competition.)
Furthermore, many Panamanians are reluctant to neuter or spay animals. Many think it lessens the value of a guard dog if he is neutered since it makes him less aggressive and decreases his tendency to bark.
Also, people with dogs, esp. prized dogs, often sell the litters. We purchased one of our dogs that way since our daughter Skylar really wanted a puppy. For those folks, that income will dry up if the dog is spayed. However, attitudes toward sterilization of pets are also changing, although more slowly.
Other Efforts to Help Animals of Puerto Armuelles
PUPP is not alone in caring about the animals of Puerto.
For years we have had a monthly sterilization-focused animal clinic in Puerto. It is run by Voluntarios Por Los Animales – Puerto Armuelles.
This clinic is organized by local Portenos who want to help our animals. A vet from David comes each month to examine pets as well as sterilize street dogs.
You can find out more about Puerto Armuelles’ monthly animal clinic in this video.
The Voluntarios Por Los Animales – Puerto Armuelles monthly clinic has definitely improved the health of our animal population. However, they cannot transform the health of the population alone.
PUPP’s collaborative effort to have at least 2 mass sterilization campaigns in Puerto will make the efforts of our on-going monthly clinics even more effective.
Join the Effort!
You can be part of making the dogs and cats of Puerto healthier and happier. Help fund PUPP’s Clinics.
The clinics will be free to those who cannot pay.