In 2005 I moved to the tiny Panamanian community of Caldera about 25 minutes drive from Boquete. Caldera is in cattle country, at a lower (and warmer) elevation than the coffee growing regions of Boquete. It is not a tourist destination, remaining true to it's rural countryside roots.
As soon as I settled into my new surroundings I began working with my neighbors to identify owners of all the seemingly homeless street dogs. Those poor dogs were a mangy bunch: skinny, covered with ticks and sores, and clearly very malnourished. Slowly, at first, I provided the dogs antiparasite meds, worked with owners to provide better nutrition, took dogs to the spay/neuter clinics, and helped organize vaccination clinics. It took a while, but eventually the community became more actively involved in animal welfare. Seeing a skinny, sickly looking street dog transformed into a healthy, sleek-looking dog with a wagging tail, convinced people to take better care of their animals.
Today, Caldera still has street dogs (and horses, and chickens and cows) but they sure look a lot healthier.
Along the way, I started an adoption program for homeless animals in which I will provide medications, sterilization, and assist with food if a family will provide a home for a dog or cat in need. The program has been a huge success, now supporting 22 dogs and 31 cats in 16 households. Each month I deliver 135 pounds of dog food and 125 pounds of cat food, plus a bag of special diet cat food (Hill's CD) for a fabulous cat named Tomy.
Unfortunately, once again, I have had to stop offering new households a place in the program because of limited funds. A donation to Los Mininos Cat Sanctuary also benefits animals in the Caldera program.
Thank you for your interest in helping animals in need.