DXC Cares: Rescuing abandoned dogs in Puerto Rico

Frances

Continuing our DXC Cares stories, this one is from Frances Meléndez, who rescues and nurtures abandoned dogs in Puerto Rico. Read her inspirational story.


I ask myself, “How can you not get involved?” Caring for the forgotten animal population in Puerto Rico is part of my nature; helping the animals that don’t have a voice or control over their circumstances has become my way of life.

In Puerto Rico, more than 100,000 dogs are classified as strays or street dogs. Caring for the most critical cases falls into the hands of independent rescuers like myself or non-profit organizations around the island that majorly depend on donations and volunteer work.

Why are overpopulation, abuse and disease among dogs and cats so prolific on the island? Well, we can start with our cultural tendency towards pet care. From generation to generation, the norm is to reject strays because their well-being is not your problem to fix, and if by any chance you get to have a dog, it belongs in the back yard tied to a chain without shelter and is fed household leftovers.

In most of these cases, little or no effort is put into covering the basic healthcare necessities like vaccines and neuter/spay procedures. When the dog gets sick or pregnant, the solution is to abandon the animal in a remote location so it won’t return home.

At DXC Technology’s Puerto Rico Delivery Center, the problem has struck us hard since our facilities are part of an industrial zone; at night people seek the opportunity to leave dogs there without been seen. That’s where my work as a rescuer began. I’m the first to receive the call. Sometimes it’s a box full of puppies. Or in the worst cases, like Luna’s (in the middle of the picture above), it’s a dog who was in critical condition when found by our security guards on an early Saturday morning. Luna was suffering from severe dehydration, blindness, respiratory problems and a profound anxiety disorder.

The Dog Lovers Club

The next move was urgent vet care, foster and lots of love, but how can I pay for the needed care without going bankrupt? Here is where I don’t find myself alone. At the office we have the “Dog Lovers Club.” We collect donations from coworkers who carry a big heart for the cause, hold fundraiser sales and food drives for local shelters, and make adoption announcements. Fortunately, Luna has made a slow but full recovery and is available for adoption.

How can you be part of the solution and not the problem? Become an animal foster, do volunteer work with your local shelter, contribute to a local organization that makes the difference and promote neuter/spay educational programs.


Frances Meléndez, a native of Puerto Rico, is a senior administrator in DXC Technology’s Puerto Rico Delivery Center. In her spare time she works with abandoned animals until they find a forever home. Frances is a mother, rights advocate and rescuer.

DXC Cares recognizes our employee volunteers. Every day, DXC employees volunteer their time to make a difference in people’s lives. Check out more DXC Cares stories on Facebook.

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