Helping Hands for Hounds of Honduras & AKI: A long history of partnership
Helping Hands for Hounds of Honduras has been an AKI partner since the beginning-2007. Together, we've helped hundreds of cats and dogs in Honduras. In this post, we look back at some Sanctuary residents during 2011-2015. Today, some are still at the HHHH Sanctuary (the Nereida Montes de Oca Santuary); some have been adopted; some are no longer with us; none are forgotten.
AKI donors support most of HHHH's operating costs, including dog and cat food, vet supplies and vet care, spay/neuter, repairs of the sanctuary, and other HHHH priority needs. Without AKI support, HHHH wouldn't be able to care for the dogs and cats that have been "thrown away" and/or injured-some intentionally. HHHH is the intensive care facility/old age home/hospice for dogs and cats of Tegucigalpa!
Here are some of their stories:
Pilar rescued Negrita from the streets of Tegucigalpa where she was having puppies every 6 months. Pilar had her spayed using AKI funds. She then spent about 10 days at the HHHH sanctuary before she was adopted and went to live at a home for "wayward" girls.
Pilar rescued Rocco from the street, where he was found with an amazing number of ticks-it took Pilar and a friend about 2 hours to remove the ticks on the little puppy! Actually, he was so ill, he almost died. Thanks to Pilar's wonderful care and AKI donors, he received the healthy food and vet care that he needed to make a full recovery. He was adopted to a loving home.
Pilar found Sweetie, about 8 months old, in the median of a busy 4 lane highway, unable to move. Her hip and tibia were broken. For 8 days Pilar watched over her while the swelling went down; she couldn’t move at all, but finally with pain killers and anti-inflammatories, she was able to use one back leg. The vet then put a pin in, but the break was very near the ankle so Sweetie spent 10 more days in a crate to keep her from moving. She recovered completely and Andrea adopted her (3rd picture)!
One morning in June 2013, a neighbor brought over a very emaciated cat, dehydrated, and with multiple cuts, with her eye hanging out of its socket and bleeding. The poor thing had no muscle mass and was a sack of bones. The cat was not used to being with people. The vet removed her eye. Sadly, the cat did not recover and later had to be euthanized, but thanks to Pilar and AKI funds, she was saved from a painful death and knew some love.
Gustavo Avila (Pilar's co-rescuer) rescued stray dog, Simba, after he was hit by a car and brought him to the HHHH Sanctuary. His leg had to be amputated (AKI funds paid for the vet care), and Simba recovered nicely.
April 2013: At a de-worming and feeding clinic, a woman came up to Pilar with a closed plastic bag, and opened it to reveal a near-dead, soaking wet and hypothermic puppy that was full of parasites and skin and bones, too weak to stand. The woman turned the puppy over to Pilar. The first week was touch and go. He had diarrhea and wouldn't eat. He was getting antibiotics and was treated for external and internal parasites. Finally he started to eat but his diarrhea continued. After two weeks, he was better and beginning to play. Pilar named him Chalo. He became healthy enough to get his first vaccinations. Chalo learned "sit" very quickly and also was crate trained and almost house trained. And then Pilar started looking for someone to adopt Chalo. Jesus was interested and asked to visit the HHHH sanctuary. He came with his girlfriend to walk a couple of dogs but really his intention was to meet Chalo. The next day, they returned to adopt him (photo below, Chalo with Jesus).
Some of the rescued kitties and their stories:
Some of the dogs & cats at the Nereida Montes de Oca Sanctuary sterilized with AKI donor funds-December 2012:
Molly was rescued after being hit by a car. Her leg had to be amputated (AKI covered the cost). She wasn't a young dog when that happened, and unlikely to get adopted; she became a permanent sanctuary resident.
Rex (below), an HHHH Sanctuary dog, was neutered with AKI funds.
Bootsy came to the sanctuary at the same time as Molly, also having been hit by a car. Bootsy also had to have her leg amputated. Pilar used AKI funds to cover her vet care.
Neighborhood kids brought this three-week old kitten to Pilar's sanctuary after she had fallen off of a roof. She made a quick recovery!
Onix, an 85 lb. lab mix, was abused by his owners, beaten and chained and started to bite from fear. He was terrified of loud noises like thunder and firecrackers and would bite at trees, chains, chairs, rocks, fences, anything he could reach. Pilar had a long road ahead to win his trust and turn his life around, which she did.
Sola was rescued by a biologist Pilar knows, and then he wanted to kill her after she had 14 puppies (all of which died)!! She was pregnant again when Pilar rescued her in 2006 and brought her to the HHHH Sanctuary. Sola later developed cancer of the jaw but was cured with chemotherapy. She went completely blind, but she became a fat and happy dog!
Pilar rescued Winston and had him treated for a venereal tumor. Winston made a complete recovery and adjusted well to sanctuary life. Later, Winston had a large, inoperable tumor on his back, but it wasn't life threatening.
A woman brought Lito to Pilar in horrible condition-his fur was a mess, he was completely blind, his jaw was broken (his tongue always hung out) and he had really bad skin, but his tail wagged like crazy. He lived out the rest of his live at the sanctuary.
Two university students brought Dapper the cat to Pilar. They had found him dying on the side of the road, starving, filthy, and with dermatitis on his face, neck, and back. His eyes were shut from so much gunk in them, his skin was dry and flaky. It took about 3 months for his skin to clear up with antibiotics and creams. He went from 2 lbs to 8 lbs. with Pilar’s good care and nutritious food (from AKI).
Lucho was thrown behind the Natural History Museum at the university where Pilar worked. A cleaner saw the kitten and called Pilar for help. He had a broken leg, he was unable to move, skin was scraped off between his front and back legs, and he had a skin infection on his face and neck. Pilar wasn't sure if this happened from a dog attack or if he had been cut on razor wire or what his sad story was. Pilar had him on antibiotics, extra nutritious gel, and canned food, and he recovered.
AKI donors provided the funds for Pilar to build the HHHH cattery, where Galan and Lucho (below) are resting comfortably.
Muneca 2, a big, furry terrier, with one bad eye where the eyelashes are turned inside and scratch her cornea, was rescued from the street and brought to the HHHH Sanctuary. Even with her medical issues, she was very playful.
Burbuja was adopted to be company for a Shih tzu mix. When she was turned over to HHHH, she was in a sorry state, malnourished and full of ticks and had a Sticker sarcoma. After chemotherapy, she fully recovered and was very happy and playful.
Ambar was found by a friend of Fabrizia’s (an ex-HHHH volunteer). She was so skinny and full of fleas and ticks and covered with mange. Pilar turned her into a healthy, happy dog and she was adopted!
A sweet, but injured and malnourished dog had been hanging around the U.S. AID building in Tegucigalpa, where Shannon was feeding him. She knew it wasn't safe for him there, but she didn’t know what to do about him—she had no way to transport him, and no place to keep him, and he needed help. She asked AKI for assistance—was there a vet who could come over there or a rescue organization that could take care of him? AKI notified Pilar, and she brought Amigo back to the HHHH Sanctuary. Amigo needed vet care and training, which Pilar provided--and neutering too!
Monica helps vaccinate the dogs at the sanctuary. Below, she’s vaccinating Kesia, while Winston and Amigo give her kisses. Suyapa and Janu are overseeing the process.
Lawa, a small brown mixed breed dog, came to the Sanctuary with multiple deformities of her legs, hips, and jaws. She was one of the old timers, having been at the sanctuary > 10 years. She may have had distemper since her mouth, head, and ears continually twitched. She had no teeth in her upper jaw and loved her canned dog food. She never trusted people at a first meeting, but eventually warmed up.
Ali was 5 years old when his owner brought him to the vet to be euthanized. The vet asked Pilar to keep him while he was going through exploratory surgery and x-rays to try to discover why he regurgitated non-stop. At the time, although he was a full grown boxer, he weighed only 33 lbs. After testing, the diagnosis was mega-esophagus. Ali’s care (covered by AKI donors) had cost about an extra $100/month! Every month, he needed:
2 bottles of 50 cc of 2% atropine/month=$15.00 (atropine every three hours to control vomiting and excessive salivation!) and 1 1/2 boxes of 100 - 1cc syringes/month=$9.00; a total of $24 for meds; oatmeal ($9), powdered milk ($18), 30 eggs ($4), and 30 cans of dog food ($45)=$76 for special food every month. Not to mention the significant time it took for Pilar to provide this special care for Ali! Ali eventually gained weight and tipped the scales at 59 lb.
Rest in Peace
April died on May 2, 2010 April's owners left the three-year old lab with Pilar when they went on a 10 day vacation. When they returned, they never picked April up! April was diabetic and completely blind. With Pilar’s care, she put on weight, going from 45 lbs to 70 lbs in just 3 months. She had 8 happy months with Pilar before she died from complications from diabetes.
Tina was an 8 year old poodle, whose North American owner bought her to breed to sell her puppies. After 3 or 4 Cesarean deliveries, he had her sterilized and she ended up with bladder damage so she was incontinent, and had to wear diapers. At that point, he no longer wanted her and turned her over to the sanctuary, where she was very happy. She loved to dance on her hind legs.
Malcolm Alexander, fellow-rescuer, passed Dulce on the street every day and eventually asked Pilar to take her in because he was afraid she’d be hit and killed by a car. Dulce was malnourished, and as she wandered along the street, she'd sometimes fall down on the side of the road. As you can see in the picture, she had a head tilt--her head never straightened—we don’t know how that happened! After being spayed, she gained weight and lived happily at the sanctuary until she died of natural causes.
We hope that Chimbo’s story will make people realize that it’s up to us to help dogs on the street. Some people threw food to Chimbo while he was living on the streets. But he just never got enough nutrition. So when Pilar’s friend, Guillermo, called Pilar to help rescue the dog, he was already severely emaciated, dehydrated, and unable to walk. Pilar and Guillermo brought him to the sanctuary, where Pilar re-hydrated him, fed him, took care of him, but he was unable to gain strength and was already sick. He just never could recover from starvation, and he died in late October 2011.
Pilar holds animal care and rescue classes for people who are interested in helping with rescues. In this way, HHHH develops their rescue network across the country. This is a picture of a March 2015 class.
Pilar is getting the next generation involved in animal rescue: These pictures below are of Pilar with Kelly, Letty, and Marcela with dogs (Charly-the blond spaniel, Barack-in the picture with the cat, Gala, and 3rd picture, Puppy-held in Pilar's arms). The 3 dogs and 1 cat are all rescues--all were abandoned and living on the street in Tegucigalpa. HHHH had them vaccinated, sterilized, and de-wormed thanks to AKI donor support (July 2014).
A few more rescues:
Also in 2014, Pilar rescued Nicholas, a doxie, from the Tegucigalpa streets--he certainly wouldn't have survived long. Kitties Minnie and Mickey are also rescues from 2014.
And these are only a fraction of the cats and dogs who found their way to the HHHH Sanctuary during the early years of our partnership with HHHH. This is why we do what we do: for these and for future HHHH rescues,