Ecuador, like many South American countries, has a little bit of a street dog problem. You often see dogs on the streets of Quito, particularly in the colonial center. In rural villages and towns, there is an even higher concentration of stray dogs.
These are just a couple of examples of stray dogs you will see around Ecuador. There is a huge range of sizes wandering the streets, from wire-haired terriers to german shepherd mixes. There are also some interesting breeds that you may see - I have seen several shar-peis and even saw some hairless peruvian dogs (top left), though I've only seen those in Montañita, a beach town.
I've seen many dogs that have obviously just given birth, though I believe that happens more in rural areas. However, that speaks to the fact that there isn't a very good program for sterilizing stray dogs.
I've heard that in Peru, all the street dogs are fat because people care for them. But in Ecuador that doesn't happen - I have never seen a fat street dog here. Apparently a lot of the dogs were pets who were given up by their owners because they got too big, or couldn't care for them.
However, there are people (such as my host family) who adopt street dogs. Our dog is extremely friendly and spoiled, it's incredibly hard to believe that she once lived on the streets.
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<p>I'm Oonagh (ooh-nah), a junior at Grinnell College, and a Political Science major who fancies herself an occasional artist and a lifelong doodler. I'm very excited and mildly terrified to start my stay in Quito, but I'm very much looking forward to immersing myself in the language and culture.</p>