The story I’d like to share is about my friends that live on the other side of the world in Brazil.
Sure, that’s not local but I am. With the FIFA World Cup about to take place in Brazil, if any time is good to share it, it’s now. I would like to tell you all about how I met Janice and Carlos Cabral through social media and came to know their story and love them and the work this husband and wife team do rescuing some of the most unwanted and unloved dogs in the world, the street dogs in Brazil. I started a website for them; they have an official one coming some time down the track, so then mine will become a supporter page. My website is www.dogsinbrazil.com.
They are now a small registered charity with 41 dogs in their care. In 2012, I nominated them for an Australian grant competition with Sun super dreams that the most voted would win $5,000 and at the time worldwide votes were allowed. I even got the famous Barbi Twins to re-tweet for votes. We won! They really needed it at the time, because they had lost their home and its shelter after the 2011 Brazil Floods. Ironically their home was not taken by the floods while many neighbours’ homes were and many died. The bank took their home/shelter; not because they were bad at managing money.
They owned their home/ shelter, they hadn’t even planned on rescuing dogs when they moved from the UK to Brazil to care for Carlos’ sick mum in her final days. They had planned to buy a home there and simply retire. They couldn’t ignore a sick dog wandering on a busy freeway. He became their fi rst of many rescues and they found their retirement funds were disappearing fast. They knew they couldn’t stop rescuing dogs, so they did research and borrowed against their home to start a small bakery in their local tourist town, so they could be self-sufficient.
It worked well, they covered expenses, cared for the dogs and were repaying the loan, until the Brazil floods. It was called the inland Tsunami. The devastation was unbelievable, so was the suffering and death toll. The town the bakery was in was closed as a disaster zone. There was no income to repay the loan, so the bank took their home. By the time a house in a disaster zone finally sold, there was no money left. Jan and Carlos were the first to rush to help locals with food and supplies taking back roads only locals knew for the two weeks it took the government help to arrive.
They volunteered tirelessly to help in makeshift animal shelters, helping rescues, pull out animals stranded neck deep in mud and assisting vets with the injured. While they were not thinking of themselves, the bank was crunching numbers. So this couple literally gave everything they had to save animals, when they could have just owned a home and had a nice retirement.
A small group of supporters (from around the world) have been helping them rent and pay expenses since then. Now the property they rent is up for sale and unless we can raise what is equal to about $110,000 they again face homelessness. Sure, they could rent again, but try renting a house with 41 dogs. Even in Brazil that is almost impossible.
We’ve raised what is equal to $10,000 towards buying the home, but that would easily disappear on building new fences, dog runs and dog houses, plus moving costs even if they found a rental, so would be basically wasted when it could be spent on the dogs if not buying the property.
Email, 28 May 2014
Kelly McBride, Erina