Colorado veterinarians dedicated to pets and people in Ecuador

Amici Cannis man and dog

Amici Cannis is an animal welfare organization created by doctors Heather and Phillip Steyn. Both accomplished veterinarians from Colorado, they were forever changed by a trip to Ecuador where they realized how desperately the pets and people around Cotacachi needed them. There was no veterinarian in the area, so dog overpopulation and animal suffering were overwhelming.

Rather than returning home and trying to forget what they had seen, they dedicated their lives to providing veterinary care and support for the local and indigenous communities of that area. Now, 10 years later, Amici Cannis has made a real and lasting difference!

“Prior to when we created Amici Cannis, police fed dogs poison to maintain the population,” Heather told us. “That was the only animal program that existed in this town. Today, thousands of animals’ lives have been spared and the overpopulation problem continues to improve.”

Amici Cannis has accomplished much, including building a veterinary hospital and training Ecuadorian veterinarians and support personnel to staff it. They successfully sterilized 90% of the dogs in Cotacachi, resulting in a stable population. The organization has served over 20,000 dogs and cats and is now reaching out to indigenous communities. Amici Cannis also hosts veterinary students from Tufts University for hands-on learning.

Hear Heather tell a three-minute story about why she and Phillip started Amici Cannis.

The Parsemus Foundation has worked with Heather on several projects and supported Amici Cannis to help it continue its good work. You can learn more about Amici Cannis by visiting its website. Please consider contributing now to have your donation matched!

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