In June, our SPCA International team traveled to Rio de Janeiro, the host city of this year's summer Olympic and ParaOlympic Games, to assess the condition of the stray animal population. In prior Olympic Games and even World Cup Games, many host countries have dealt with the overpopulation of homeless animals in very inhumane ways. During the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, city authorities ramped up a campaign to exterminate street dogs through the use of poison. Many spectators, visitors and athletes described witnessing stray dogs dying agonizing long deaths. SPCA International is determined to prevent these kinds of inhumane actions ahead of the Olympic Games this year and into the future.
One of our primary goals during our June trip was to strengthen our partnerships with the organizations and individuals on the ground. Our joint efforts with Oito Vidas, a local non-profit group dedicated primarily to the welfare of stray cats, has been paramount in our ability to do make progress without stationing a staff member in Rio full time. Through their expertise we have been able to form new relationships and reach out to the government and Olympic authorities.
During our visit we examined Olympic sites where we rescued several dogs and cats (including the cat pictured here) that were left behind by individuals forced to leave their homes in order to build sporting event structures. The dogs and cats are now being well cared for and treated for disease, dehydration and malnutrition. Once they are strong enough, we will have them spayed or neutered and carefully select loving and deserving homes for each and every one of them.
There is still much to be done for the animals of Rio, and not just before the games, but for long thereafter. We believe that educating the people of Rio about humane care and treatment of their animals, the benefits of sterilization and encouraging adoptions will help elevate the animal population and provide much needed support for animal activists in Rio who are working on these issues daily.
Today we are gearing up for more field work in Rio. Our team leaves July 27th to work on education, sterilization and adoption just ahead of the Opening Ceremonies. We have scheduled adoption events for some of the street animals that would otherwise have little chance of finding a home.
Please join us on Facebook to support our work and share our messages as we post and stream video live from the field. There is so much work to be done, but we can’t do it without your support!