For a young child in Brazil, Saturdays are all about helping street dogs. Weekends are typically reserved for hanging out with friends or watching TV for most children.
In his native Rio Grande do Sul, Thiago, an 11-year-old boy, has always been fascinated by animals. His heart goes out to Brazil’s estimated 30 million stray cats and dogs, and he wishes he could do something. Because he couldn’t bring them all home, he decided to improve their lives one bath at a time.
As of 2020, Thiago and his father launched the “Sou de rua mas to limpinho” (“I’m homeless, but I’m clean”) project, which began to change street dogs’ lives.
“At the end of last year, I understood that I needed to do something for the animals,” Thiago told The Dodo. I told my father about my idea of washing street dogs to keep them clean and odorous and to change the way people look at them on the street, says the author.
The project had a rocky start, but Thiago and his father were able to fix the bugs pretty quickly.
“It’s tough to catch dogs on the street because they’re usually terrified,” said Thiago. “Many have been abused.” The duo went without showers until their dad contacted Noah’s Ark, where they began bathing recently rescued dogs.
After their showers, Thiago photographs the dogs so that they have a better chance of finding a new home. Thiago’s father manipulates the images and shares them on social media in order to draw attention to each one. Many members of the community have assisted Thiago in his efforts, providing him with pet shampoo and bath supplies.
It appears that Thiago’s efforts have been successful, as the majority of the hairy ones have been accepted. As a result, “I’ve got a lot of motivation to continue.”
He hopes that his work will change people’s attitudes toward the homeless animals they witness on a daily basis and encourage more people to take them in.
In Thiago’s words, “I want people to be able to adopt,” he stated. The best thing that has ever occurred to me is this.” Allow them to accept that the dog is not a toy or a piece of property. “His life span is long and he only wants to spend it with us,” he says.