Hundreds of tightly packed zinc-roofed shacks dot a hillside slum, one of thousands of “favelas” that are home to samba stars, drug lords and millions of poor Brazilians. But this slum in the southern city of Caxias do Sul is a home for dogs, not humans.
“We started out with the naivete of wanting to change the world, and the project just kept getting bigger, so unfortunately this is all we have to offer them,” said Natasha Oselame, head of marketing for the organization.
Like in human shantytowns, the main challenge facing the dog favela is making ends meet. Oselame says costs, including veterinarian’s fees and 13 tonnes of pet food a month, are far greater than the donations and the roughly $14,000 she receives monthly from the municipal government.