A lot of attention has been paid recently to the story of the hero dog in Chile who risked his life to pull an injured dog off of a busy highway. After the above video aired on TV last week and quickly became a YouTube phenomenon, Chilean officials said they got 15 calls from people offering to adopt the pup (the injured dog, sadly, died). But because the incident happened in March, police and highway workers have given up on finding the hero dog.
As is so often the case, people are rightly moved to want to help an animal whose news-making story tugs at the heartstrings, but there are many, many others who need our help just as badly who don’t have the benefit of the media spotlight. And while the dog in the video displayed courage and selflessness, anyone who knows dogs knows that each one is a hero in his or her own way — even if they just heroically lick our faces when we’re feeling down.
If you’re interested in helping street dogs in developing countries, you can support the Humane Society International’s Street Animal Welfare campaign, which works to promote a humane philosophy of animal control in nations around the world. (Here’s a story about its recent spay-neuter program in Patagonia, Chile.)
Another great organization if the International Fund for Animal Welfare, whose Community-Led Animal Welfare program provides veterinary services, including spaying and neutering, to pet owners in some of the world’s poorest communities.
And most important, if you heart went out to the homeless hero dog in
Chile, don’t forget that there are thousands of homeless dogs right
here in the U.S. — nearly 190,000 listed on Petfinder. These dogs may
not be living in the streets, thank goodness, but they still need
forever homes — and the shelter and rescue-group staffers who’ve
devoted their lives to them need your help.