The sudden loss of Brian Howe on May 6 was a shock which will be felt by many for a long time. It won’t just be his magical voice we miss, it will be his compassion for the voiceless. His love for dogs and cats was obvious to anyone who spent time with him. His heart was huge and he stepped up many times to do what others would not or could not do.
Whenever Brian visited Lake Atitlan he would bring Ayuda donated supplies from the states along with any funds he could raise before his trip. He also kindly included Ayuda in a fundraiser held in Florida while he served as a member of our board of directors. The proceeds arrived at a desperate time for Ayuda and helped us continue our desired pace of activities.
Brian immediately understood the need to help when he learned it was common around the Lake to cull dogs and cats through the use of strychnine or cyanide. This was the main reason Ayuda was founded and why our program focuses on sterilization and vaccinations for roaming community animals as well as those living in low-income households. With 53% of the population around the Lake living beneath the international poverty line, there are many animals which would go untreated if not for our services and population growth would have continued to soar and the inhumane culls would have also continued.
On one visit Brian encountered a scrawny, matted little dog who stole his heart. He scooped her up and called for assistance. She was a mess but with some TLC she was on her way to a whole new life. Quickly named Shrimpy, Brian took her home to Florida to join his family!
During the pandemic our work has shifted from high-volume sterilization clinics where often up to 60 animals received Ayuda’s surgery package in a single day to an aggressive effort to capture as many roaming animals as possible to be treated. CTRM (Catch, Treat, Release, Maintain) is practiced with roaming dogs as well as feral cats. These roamers and family animals receive their sterilization packages on an as-needed basis in Ayuda’s lead veterinarian’s office.
In honor of his birthday and life Brian’s sister, Sandie has organized a fundraiser for Ayuda. We are humbled and grateful.
There is no way to say thank you enough to Brian and all that he did for Ayuda. RIP, dear friend.