How has Covid-19 affected the dogs of Cotacachi?
How has COVID affected the Roaming Dog population of Cotacachi and the MRU?
Brian Sullivan, volunteer MRU (Mobile Response Unit) hero, confirms that there has been a large increase in roaming dogs on the streets of Cotacachi. He reports that 90% of his case work now involves attending abandoned dogs whereas in the past his main objective in partnering with Amici Cannis was to maintain a stable, healthy, sterilized street dog population. The reasons for abandonment vary, and include fear of dogs spreading corona virus (Not considered a threat by veterinarians and epidemiologists) and cost of feeding, sterilizing and providing veterinary care during an economic emergency.
Brian also notes that these abandoned dogs are in relatively poor condition, many of them are pregnant females and many require longer hospital stays for nutritional support and medical care prior to their eventual Spay/Neuter and release. There is also an increased need for humane euthanasia due to illness and injury.
Compounding the influx of abandoned dogs, the food supply chain has been interrupted by the mobility restrictions, restaurant closures and general down-turn of the economy. Amici Cannis’ goal has always been to reduce the dog population to one that can be supported by the ‘infrastructure’ of our town. With the increase in dog numbers and decrease in available food, large numbers of dogs are going hungry and many are seriously malnourished. For this reason, Amici Cannis and the MRU have implemented a temporary feeding program.
All is not gloom and doom! Amici Cannis remains as committed as ever to providing for our beloved street dogs and the MRU plays a vital role in identifying and attending to those dogs in most need. Brian is pleased to report that he has a robust network of private donors that allow him to keep street, hospitalized and foster dogs fed and to assist in providing dogfood to families who would otherwise be at risk of abandoning their dogs.
How can you help the MRU during this time of increased need?
- Please remember that the tireless work done by Brian is strictly VOLUNTEER. All calls regarding street dogs in need should be directed to the hospital and they will dispatch Brian IF HE IS AVAILABLE and the Amici Cannis team has the capacity to attend to the dog.
- Try to contain the dog in need if this can be done safely (Ex.- lure into your courtyard with some food.) If not possible, please try to remain in the area where you have spotted the dog, or send a photo of the dog to the hospital.
- Amici Cannis and the MRU are not the police. If there is a problem with dog aggression, neglect, or abuse, contact the local Municipal Police (Comisaría) first. Although Amici Cannis and the MRU do work with the police, they are not animal control.
- Continue to make donations to Amici Cannis for their increased costs of operations. Donations may be given directly to the Amici Cannis team or you may use Paypal.
- Continue to feed street dogs. Please try to do this with some discretion and help our neighboring shop owners and residents understand that the need is greater during the COVID emergency and that the work to reach a stable street dog population continues.
- Help prevent abandonment by reaching out to families with dogs in need of medical attention. In most cases the Amici Cannis team can attend to dogs in need at no cost if warranted. Small donations to help defray costs are welcome but not required.
Many thanks to all of you who have assisted and continue to help Brian, Amici Cannis and the street dogs of Cotacachi. Please continue to help as you are able and together we will get through this current time of increased need.
Dog Census Counts
As part of our ongoing goal to understand and improve the dog over-population problem in Cotacachi, we conduct biannual census counts of the street dogs. We just completed our 4th count, and are excited to announce that the numbers have been decreasing with every count. We use the information from these counts to provide statistical data for our grant writing, as well as provide it to the Municipality for their records, and we use it to determine where the largest concentration of roaming dogs are in Cotacachi. Thank-you to the volunteers who help with these counts!
Why should I donate to Amici Cannis Foundation...I don't have a pet?
By donating to the Amici Cannis Spay Neuter program, you are helping to control the street dog population in Cotacachi.
In 2018 Amici Cannis sterilized 1,534 (451 malees / 1083 females). The result…we have prevented 1,000’s of unwanted street dog births…Wow! The streets of Cotacachi would look a lot different today without this program in place.
Help support our Street Dog/Cat Spay/Neuter Program…this is your chance to make a difference.
To donate click HERE
Note: you do not need a credit card or a PayPal account to make a donation one time donation.
Pet Guardian Program Preparing Your Pets for a Future Without You
Many people just assume that if something happens to them, a friend or relative will step up and take care of Spot or Fluffy, but that is not always the case. To ensure that your beloved pet will continue to receive care should something unexpected happen to you, it’s critical to plan ahead. To help you plan, we have created a “Pet Guardian Program”. This program will help you to understand and make decisions for your pet’s future without you.
To read the brochure, click on the link below.
Externship Program with Tufts University
Amici Cannis Animal Hospital has become an accredited organization for Veterinary Externship programs at Tufts University in Massachusetts, USA. We have hosted 3 students so far. The students are in their 3rd or 4th year of veterinary school. They are able to learn about veterinary medicine in a developing country, and often get the opportunity to observe and consult on cases that they would not likely see in North America.
Sponsor a Spay (or Neuter)
Last Valentine’s Day we had a “Sponsor a Spay” fundraiser. We would have never imagined that would have sold enough hearts to sponsor over 50 dogs, and nearly 6 months later we are still selling hearts! Check out some of the dogs that have been sponsored below.
If you would like to “Sponsor a Spay” click HERE and make sure you leave a comment and name the dog.