We’ve been talking about it for ages at Island Life Backpackers’ Hostel, the idea of putting something back into the community where we live and work. Well – here it is! Island Life Street Dog Rescue. If you have ever been to Santo Domingo you will have seen the street dogs hanging round in the Colonial Zone. Many of them are real characters, Artful Dodgers of the canine world. We know from experience as we share the hostel with Hamilton, our own street dog who adopted us nearly three years ago.
Street dogs here are friendly and generally manage to scrape by. Domincans are generous people and are happy to share what they have with the dogs. The problems start when the dogs get injured or ill: there is no-one to pay the vet bills …. And when the females come into heat, well – I don’t have to paint a picture! With their poor diet and lack of shelter, the bitches get so worn out having puppies every time they come into season that they can’t look after themselves, let alone a litter of puppies. Every year we find abandoned puppies and have always managed to find homes for them, but some don’t get found or just die.
We had planned to start some sort of charity to help these dogs at some indeterminate time in the future … then Bambi turned up.
Meet Bambi, the brave little dog that prompted us to put a long held idea into action. Bambi was spotted by the side of a road waiting to die, getting thinner by the day. Local residents tried to help her, leaving food, spraying antiseptic on her wound and giving her a bit of carpet to lie on….but she desperately needed veterinary treatment and no-one could afford it.
Bambi became Island Life Street Dog Rescue’s first dog. She was taken to a vets and treated for a broken and infected leg, with the intention of putting her back on the street after treatment. She was also treated for infestations of fleas and parasites and various cuts and abrasions. However, she was too frail and needed ongoing medication and would die if she was returned to the street. So we took a deep breath and decided to give her a chance.
She is at Island Life Backpackers’ Hostel for the next 30 days to let her leg heal and to put on some weight. During that time we hope to be able to find her a forever home. Bambi is the first … but hopefully not the last street dog we can help. Check out our Facebook page, Island Life Street Dog Rescue for updates on her progress.