By SNIP (Spay Neuter International Project)
We are very happy to report that we have completed our first two spay & neuter clinics!
Barrio Nuevo is one of those poor neighborhoods so common in developing nations. These Barrios originated a while back as shantytowns, a clutter of simple shacks made of flattened oil drums, plywood, aluminum sheets, plastic tarps and whatever recycled construction materials the “developer” was able to put his hands on at the time.
They first attracted the poorest of the poor, most often former Campesinos (farmers) who left the rural areas of their countries for the big city, in hope of escaping poverty and hunger.
In Costa Rica, the capital is surrounded by such Precarios, neighborhoods that were once temporary as their name indicates, but that are now well established components of the Central Valley, where the big city of San José lies.
Junior, a homeless man who calls the streets of Barrio Nuevo his home, is well aware of the challenges that every resident faces. He spends the day looking for work and caring for several of the furry wanderers that follow him around, wagging happily in the sticky tropical heat.
One dog in particular is very attached to him. Bigotica, which roughly translates to “Costa Rican moustache”, decided that Junior needed a guardian angel and takes her role very seriously, never leaving his side. When Junior heard over the Coconut Telegraph – the grapevine, as it is nicknamed around here- that the SNIP Foundation and the Asociación Nacional Protectora de los Animales (ANPA) were organizing the first ever spay and neuter clinic in his neck of the woods, he made sure to be first in line on the morning of the event.
“I know firsthand what the dogs have to do to stay alive here. We need a lot of things in Barrio Nuevo, but one thing we do not need is more puppies suffering in the streets”, says Junior as we check his beloved Bigotica in.
At the end of a very long day, after many Juniors came and left cradling their spayed/neutered pets in their arms, we sat down feeling beat and yet proud of what we had accomplished. Now the challenge is to follow up, continuing with our outreach education efforts and promoting responsible ownership.
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Photo: Courtesy of SNIP