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The real slumdogs: The 1,600 four-legged inhabitants of their OWN Brazilian favela


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By Daily Mail Reporter

Gone to the dogs: Hundreds of kennels cater to 1,600 stray dogs of Caxias do Sul, southern Brazil

Although most Brazilian slums are fairly rough places, only one can be said to have truly gone to the dogs.

That’s because this shanty town, or ‘favela’, in Caxias do Sul, is devoted to the canine community – housing 1,600 stray hounds.

Animal charity on So Ama, or Just Love, keeps the dogs chained to an array of kennels that look like zinc-roofed slums made famous by movies like City of God.

'We started out with the naivete of wanting to change the world, and the project just kept getting bigger, so unfortunately this is all we have to offer them,' said Natasha Oselame, head of marketing for the organization.

She laments that the dogs - along with some 200 cats - have to live in such conditions at the three-acre site in southern Brazil.

Favelas, which are a common sight throughout the country’s major cities, are home to millions of urban poor and rural migrants who leave the countryside seeking jobs.

Helping hounds: The kennels have been erected so that stray dogs are not simply killed by authorities

A dog's life: The hounds are kept and fed there by a charity because nobody else wants them

Many of the slums are plagued by violence linked to drug trafficking.

Like in human shantytowns, the main challenge facing the dog favela is making ends meet.

Oselame says costs, including veterinarian's fees and 13 tonnes of pet food a month, are far greater than the donations and the roughly $14,000 she receives monthly from the municipal government.

Ruff justice: The animals' lives mirror those of millions of poor Brazilians living in shacks known as favelas

Not quite Barking: The Simple kennels have very little space between them

Dog on a hot tin roof: A hound perches on top of his kennel to join a chorus of barking

Inspiration: Corcovado, one of Brazil's many 'favelas', in the shadow of Sugar Loaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro


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