A Handful of Activists

Feb 26, Thursday
I was escorted by two policemen with bullet-proof vests and a machine gun through an apparently rough part of Santiago. Ironically, the only violence I saw was back in the city, sans police escort.
A man came out of nowhere with a flying kick that smashed his opponent to the wall, bottles flying, windshields shattering… I was so enthralled and shocked I only thought to film it once it was over. Some war photographer I am!

dsc_0458aAll this en route to a vet clinic half a block away, where a group of young activists care for 15 dogs on the premises and many more on the streets. I don’t know which are more impressive, the people or the dogs: The dogs for their extraordinary road sense – they cross a busy road two or three times a day in order to play in a patch of dirt outside the clinic; The people for their extraordinary commitment under appalling conditions with little to no funds, taking care of the dogs and seeking adoption opportunities. I accompanied them to a family offering to adopt a four-week old puppy, but inspection of the family’s existing dogs is part of the adoption process and once we saw the leash on which the maltese poodle was tied, we left with our puppy in hand. The woman claimed tying up the dog was for her (the dog’s) own good – protecting her from playing with mice that carry disease!

The activist’s motto is “Adopt. Sterilize. Educate.” Each one an enormous task.

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