Chile’s worst unrest in decades has transformed into a nationwide uprising for change. Tens of thousands have taken to the streets of the country.

The most violent clashes occurred in Santiago, but protests happened all over the nation.

This situation of unrest is something new and of difficult understanding for the many free-roaming dogs that populate the Chilean streets. Just think that an estimated 253 thousand stray dogs live in Chile, most of them in urban areas.

OIPA has a team of volunteers in Chillán, the capital city of the Ñuble Region, central Chile. Over the most turbulent days, they have rescued dogs who are in greater danger – puppies, old, fat and with impaired mobility ones. They have then brought the dogs in a safe place, a creperie with a large outdoor area where dogs have been sheltered during the “hottest” days.

Indeed, the use of tear-gas during demonstrations poses a danger to the life and health of free-roaming dogs, which wander the streets in complete panic. Moreover, fear can sometimes also turn the most peaceful dog in a nasty one. Fortunately, people who are protesting often take care of stray dogs and do their best to make them safe.

Solidarity among protesters and stray dogs has a long tradition in Chile.

In 2011, Chile was in the wave of student protests. One day, a stray dog joined the young protesters in a demonstration. Nice with the students, he was instead aggressive towards the Chilean police officers.

He soon became known as “Negro Matapacos” – a slang for black cop-killer. He has then continued to take part in protests for years.

Negro Matapacos remains an icon, the canine face of socialism and revolution.

A big thank you to Samuel, Angela and all other volunteers that are taking care of stray dogs in such a turbulent time.

If you want to support OIPA Chile and our rescue operation, please make a donation here. Remember to earmark your donation for “OIPA Chile”