Duke is pictured at the Famproa dogs shelter in Los Teques, Venezuela Aug. 18, 2016. Duke was left tied outside the shelter about five months ago. "He did not have a bad temper, but the bigger dogs always attacked him," said Maria Silva who takes care of dogs at the shelter. The week after being photographed, he escaped from his kennel and was killed during a fight.
Duke is pictured at the Famproa dogs shelter in Los Teques, Venezuela Aug. 18, 2016. Duke was left tied outside the shelter about five months ago. "He did not have a bad temper, but the bigger dogs always attacked him," said Maria Silva, who takes care of dogs at the shelter. The week after being photographed, he escaped from his kennel and was killed during a fight.Carlos Garcia Rawlins—Reuters
Duke is pictured at the Famproa dogs shelter in Los Teques, Venezuela Aug. 18, 2016. Duke was left tied outside the shelter about five months ago. "He did not have a bad temper, but the bigger dogs always attacked him," said Maria Silva who takes care of dogs at the shelter. The week after being photographed, he escaped from his kennel and was killed during a fight.
Cachorron is pictured at the Famproa dogs shelter in Los Teques, Venezuela Aug. 18, 2016. Cachorron (Big puppy) was given his name because he never matured and behaves as if he were still a puppy. "He does not like to leave the area where he sleeps. Even if the door was left open, he would not go out in the street. On one occasion a family wanted to adopt him, but it was impossible to make him walk out of the shelter," said Maria Silva who takes care of dogs at the shelter.
Petete is pictured at the Famproa dogs shelter in Los Teques, Venezuela Aug. 16, 2016. Petete has spent over eight years in the shelter. "When the dog arrived, he had worms and sores on a leg. It was hard to heal and even when it did, his leg never fully functioned again. He is loving, but only until it is meal time, because then he fights with everyone and bites anyone who comes close," said Maria Silva who takes care of dogs at the shelter.
Sonrisa is pictured at the Famproa dogs shelter in Los Teques, Venezuela Aug. 16, 2016. "Sonrisa (smile), was given that name, because when someone approached her, she was frightened as if she were being beaten, but showing her teeth as if were smiling," said Maria Silva who takes care of dogs at the shelter. Sonrisa died the following week after the photo was taken.
Oscar is pictured at the Famproa dogs shelter in Los Teques, Venezuela Aug. 18, 2016. His name is a reference to Oscar Mayer, the hot dog brand. "He has spent many years living in the shelter, but is super grumpy, barks a lot, and if he does not know someone he will attempt to bite. Oscar does not like to interact with other dogs and the only way to see him happy is when somebody gives him bread to eat or when he plays with plastic bottle," said Maria Silva who takes care of dogs at the shelter.
La China is pictured at the Famproa dogs shelter in Los Teques, Venezuela Aug. 16, 2016. La China died the following week after the photo was taken. "The loving but fearful dog did not like to leave the space where she slept, even to eat," said Maria Silva who takes care of dogs at the shelter.
Aguja is pictured at the Famproa dogs shelter in Los Teques, Venezuela Aug. 16, 2016. Aguja (needle) was given the name because of the shape of her body. She is skinny and long. "She is very happy and loves to jump at people so that they carry her and caress her like a baby," said Maria Silva who takes care of dogs at the shelter.
Mancha is pictured at the Famproa dogs shelter in Los Teques, Venezuela Aug. 16, 2016. Mancha (stain) was given that name because of the black spot on her face. "She has bitten almost everybody in the shelter. She was not loving, on the contrary, she fought everyone and at mealtime nobody could be near her," said Maria Silva who takes care of dogs at the shelter. She died the following week after the photo was taken.
Bolibomba is pictured at the Famproa dogs shelter in Los Teques, Venezuela Aug. 16, 2016. "She arrived at the shelter two years ago and is very playful. She loves water. Whenever she can, she gets inside a bucket or bowl with water. If she lived in a house with a pool, she would never come out of it," said Maria Silva who takes care of dogs at the shelter.
Carita is pictured at the Famproa dogs shelter in Los Teques, Venezuela Aug. 18, 2016. "She arrived at the shelter almost dead and completely covered with scabies, to the point that her face bled. Carita is very aggressive, attacks any dog who is close and during fights has killed several. So now she has to live locked in a kennel," said Maria Silva who takes care of dogs at the shelter.
Lucho is pictured at the Famproa dogs shelter in Los Teques, Venezuela Aug. 16, 2016. "Someone left him with his three brothers in a cardboard box outside the shelter a year and a half ago. Two of them died and one was adopted by a family. He is a favorite at the shelter but he is an escape artist, he has the ability to get out of anywhere," said Maria Silva who takes care of dogs at the shelter.
Pintica is pictured at the Famproa dogs shelter in Los Teques, Venezuela Aug. 16, 2016. Pintica (spotty) was given that name because of her skin. "She was the posh girl of the shelter, she didn't like to get her feet wet. All dogs used to attack her and because of that, she did not like to come out of her home," said Maria Silva who takes care of dogs at the shelter. Pintica died the following week after the photo was taken.
Maria Silva, Milena Cortes, Maria Arteaga, Jackeline Bastidas and Gissy Abello pose for a picture at the Famproa dogs shelter where they work, in Los Teques, Venezuela, Aug. 25, 2016.
Duke is pictured at the Famproa dogs shelter in Los Teques, Venezuela Aug. 18, 2016. Duke was left tied outside the shel
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Carlos Garcia Rawlins—Reuters
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Heartbreaking Photos of Shelter Dogs Show the Depth of Venezuela’s Crisis

Sep 07, 2016

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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