Far south in a remote and isolated region of Patagonia something big is happening. GAAP is collaborating with IFAW(International Fund for Animal Welfare) on the Humane Community Development Project (HCD) in Puerto Natales.
HCD is a creative approach to bring all stakeholders in the community together to come up with innovative solutions, in this case to deal with the issue of free roaming dogs. The community think tank is an inclusive process bringing in individuals with different backgrounds ranging from government and upper management to the community members themselves, using their unique perspectives, experiences and skill sets to develop a new and exciting community management plan.
First started in 2012, HCD is comprised of skills and capacity building workshops to encourage members of the project to work in harmony with each other. Then the team is walked through the steps of developing a community management plan.
Maria Patricia is a community member whose perspective and motivation drastically changed after joining the dog management group workshops. “My opinion and attitude totally changed- I realized that it wasn’t the dogs’ fault, rather it was the owners of those dogs that leave them alone and uncared for in the street, and are allowed to reproduce freely. Essentially that was the major change for me.” Maria originally entered the group wanting to kill all the dogs because she was just fed up. There are many street dogs in her neighbourhood, a pack of 20 lives on her block. The dogs make a mess, they don’t let the kids ride their bikes, and they can’t play sports. Maria’s own husband was bitten twice and had to go to hospital because of it. She says “I have had very bad experiences with dogs in the streets, but we are the ones that have the ability to think and do something, we are the ones that have to change it. That’s why I stay involved in this group”.
GAAP and IFAW’s Humane Community Development project offers a unique collaborative approach to help community members learn and create innovative humane solutions to deal with the challenging issue of free-roaming dogs. To learn more about the exciting work and ongoing projects of the Global Alliance for Animals and People click here.