Saturdays are about assisting street dogs for one small boy in Brazil. Most kids spend their weekends playing with friends or watching TV.
Thiago, an 11-year-old from Antônio Prado in Rio Grande do Sul, has always had a passion for animals. He wishes he could do something to help Brazil’s estimated 30 million stray dogs and cats. He chose to make their lives better one bath at a time because he couldn’t bring them all home.
At the end of 2020, Thiago created the project “Sou de rua mas to limpinho” (“I’m homeless but I’m clean”) with his father and started to change the lives of the street dogs around him.
“At the end of last year, I decided that I needed to somehow do something for the animals,” Thiago told The Dodo. “While talking to my father, I told him about my idea of bathing street dogs so they stay clean and fragrant and people look at them differently on the street.”
The project had a rocky start, but Thiago and his father were able to iron out the bugs fast.
“It’s tough to catch dogs on the street because they’re usually terrified and many have been abused,” Thiago added. “So we went without showers for a while until my father contacted Noah’s Ark, and we began bathing their freshly rescued dogs.”
Following their baths, the dogs are photographed by Thiago in order to improve their prospects of adoption. To emphasize each one, Thiago’s father alters the photos and promotes them on social media. Thiago has given 48 baths so far and has gotten a lot of help from his community, including pet shampoo and bath goods.
“The endeavor has yielded fruit,” Thiago stated, “since the majority of the hairy ones have been adopted.” “It gives me a lot of drive to keep going.”
Thiago believes that his efforts will transform people’s perceptions of the homeless animals they see every day and persuade more people to welcome them into their homes.
“I want people to feel comfortable adopting,” Thiago stated. “It’s the nicest thing that’s ever happened to me.” Allow them to adopt the dog understanding that it is not a toy or a thing. He is a creature that will live for a very long time and only wants to love us.”
And for those who don’t have the space or ability to adopt a dog, Thiago encourages them to help in other ways — such as donating, volunteering at a shelter or putting out small bowls of food and water on their sidewalk.
Even the smallest effort, or a little shampoo, can make a difference.