TIME Venezuela

Heartbreaking Photos of Shelter Dogs Show the Depth of Venezuela’s Crisis

As Venezuelans struggle to feed their families, the nation's dogs are also suffering

The economic crisis in Venezuela is taking its toll on residents, who face water and food shortages in addition to daily looting and violence. The country’s animals are also facing their own crisis, after their owners, struggling to care for them and often seeking to leave the country, abandon them.

The cost of dog food has become prohibitive for many Venezuelans; a 20-kg bag costs $50, nearly twice the monthly minimum wage, Reuters reports. To help the influx of hungry strays, Maria Arteaga, 53, founded a shelter outside Caracas, run with the assistance of volunteers.

Photographer Carlos Garcia Rawlins travelled to the shelter to capture images of the imperiled dogs—sadly, many of them did not survive long after they were photographed.

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