Knowing that you can make a real difference and positively impact the life of these wonderful animals just by giving a little time and effort is a great feeling.

By: Amayri Tejada, CCI Greenheart Work and Travel Participant

An increasingly prevalent issue in the Dominican Republic is the overpopulation of street dogs living in poor conditions. To help this problem, sterilization programs have been implemented throughout the country.  These programs have proved pivotal to reducing the stray population and I was fortunate enough to be involved with one. With the help of CCI Greenheart and a local shelter, we hosted a Canine and Feline Castration and Sterilization clinic in my hometown.

PADELA is a non-profit organization that helps rescue animals in my country. Thanks to their expertise, they located the animals in need and recruited veterinarians and volunteers for the event. After a few days of planning, the big day arrived– it was sunny and beautiful. Operating tables, medicines, and other materials were set up for the procedures.

Most dog and cats were found in a wasteland in Cristo Rey’s neighborhood. We weighed each animal, administered anesthesia, and took them to the operating table. After surgery, the animals were then taken to a recovery area where volunteers gave them affection and watched over their vitals. And not all volunteers were human–a PADELA dog, named Lluvia, that was part of a previous clinic was there cheering up the animals during the whole process!  She was wagging her tail and giving love to everybody there. It was as if she spoke to the other dogs, telling them that everything will be okay.

These clinics held over the past 10 years have made a huge impact on the animals living in the streets and in Dominican communities. A few NGOs have even been created that have a goal to rescue these animals and find them a permanent home.

Being part of a project like this was life changing! Knowing that you can make a real difference and positively impact the life of these wonderful animals just by giving a little time and effort is a great feeling. I will be forever grateful for this incredible experience.

Want to get involved in your community and learn more about volunteering? Visit the Greenheart Club website to get started today!