“You can judge a man’s true character by the way he treats his fellow animals.”
― Paul McCartney
Twelve years ago, Sandra Guilarducci and her husband, Francisco, started the NGO Associação MaxMello de Amparo à Vida Animal (MaxMello Association for the Support of Animal Life) in Ibiuna (a small city in Sao Paulo state, Brazil), to rescue, treat, house, and place stray and abandoned dogs in loving homes. Animal dumping is a tremendous problem in Brazil, and MaxMello today is home to over 350 dogs and 32 cats sheltered in two properties’s separated by 200 kilometres; a drive Sandra undertakes every single day. Sandra and Francisco never once imagined taking care of so many, but over the years their shelter has become a convenient dumping ground with boxes of puppies simply left on the road, together with the old, the sick, and the unwanted. These are not people who can say, “No,” so every four-legged case left on the road, or rescued by Sandra and Francisco in and around Ibiuna, gets a home and all medical assistance they require.
Today, MaxMello burns through 5 tonnes of food every month, and a small army of vets help with reduced fees. But it all adds up. It has added up, and over this past weekend, Sandra was forced to admit that she and Francisco (weighed down with over 30,000 reis debt, about $10,000 US, to vets and pet food suppliers) had reached the point beyond which they simply could no longer afford to keep the shelter open. Sandra put out an urgent call to other NGO’s, saying she will keep the sick, the crippled, and the old (the one’s that stand little to no chance of adoption) but new shelter-homes would have to be found for the hundreds of other rescues under their care. With every NGO we know of here in Sao Paulo being already full, this is, in all honesty, an impossible situation. These are good people, and they (and their keep) are in genuine need of a hand.
Please, help keep MaxMello open and donate to the MaxMello PayPal account: firstname.lastname@example.org. This urgent and immediate appeal has so far raised R$4,500 since the weekend, which is truly fantastic, but we are still a long, long way from giving Sandra and Francisco the breathing room they need to keep this shelter open.
Below is a MaxMello video (in English), with other videos on their You Tube page, including news reports produced by the TV stations, Record and SBT. This link, Associação MaxMello de Amparo à Vida Animal, will take you to their Facebook page, and for anyone interested, you can review their current debts there. Please take 30 minutes to scroll through the Facebook photos and watch the videos, and you will see the selfless work Sandra and Francisco do. Any help anyone can provide would be enormously, enormously, appreciated.
Donations, again, can be made via PayPal, at: email@example.com