In the streets, parks, and plazas of Cusco, in all weather and in the face of the indifference of many people there are hundreds of dogs roaming. Some are lost, others abandoned and forgotten by their owners.
For many people the love of animals is their life and working for them is continuous. It is fundamental to give time, attention, care, and love to our pets which help us lose stress. These friends with four feet are often fun, loved, and sometime ill-humored and even noisy. But in the end they are gentle pets who take on the ways of their owners.
The great majority of the population has in their homes dogs as pets. These canines grow up as the ones responsible for carrying for the home and in exchange their owners reward them by giving them food, love and taking them out to walk with collars on and leashes, through the parks and plazas. Many times, you will see these pets in the doorways of their houses taking sun or simply guarding.
Some people raise different breeds of dogs and show them off when they take them around, and some even take them to shows and contests veterinary groups organize.
Every day, in the mornings, afternoons, and evenings if you walk through the city’s streets you will almost always run into dogs of many different breeds and colors who roam our streets freely seeking food or resting from their daily wanderings. They seem to be enjoying life freely, as freely as their natural coats show. The visitors who arrive at our city often fall for these street dogs who roam looking for caresses and a bit of food. They seem defenseless since they live among a multitude who constantly takes them food and gives them companionship.
The dogs in the plazas have many names since the people who share moments with them change them constantly.
In some, more rural neighborhoods of the city, the dogs roam in packs to seek food in the garbage. Their they scratch and bite the bags of trash, drawn by the scents of the waste people throw out at certain times. When these dogs find a discarded banquet, they fight to protect what they have obtained. They also gather and fight over the favors of the female dogs. Street dogs even eat grass to purge themselves and maintain their health.
The Provincial Government of Cusco and the veterinary centers organize themselves every once and a while through the year to carry out vaccination campaigns and to remove parasites. They do this in various public spaces. The population comes and brings their dogs to give the the corresponding checkups.
The people of Cuzco are becoming more and more aware of the issues with our dogs. A campaign to adopt before buying is having an impact and helping diminish the quantity of street dogs in the city.