There’s a saying that “until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened,” and Edgar Ramos knows how true this is. A legal coordinator in F5’s LATAM region, Edgar has been directing his longtime love for animals toward improving the lives of abandoned dogs in Guadalajara, Mexico.
His volunteer work is helping to feed and heal stray dogs across Mexico’s third most populous metropolitan area. And it’s making a difference in the lives of hundreds of dogs that might otherwise starve or be fatally injured out on the streets.
In this final blog post in our series about F5ers who give back, Edgar’s experience shows how acting on our passions can bring about a better world for those more vulnerable around us.
When Edgar first moved to Guadalajara to attend college, he noticed a lot of stray dogs roaming the streets. He’d watch them searching for food near trash cans and food trucks, and he eventually learned there are more 350,000 stray dogs across the city. This is in part, Edgar explains, because many people let their dogs run freely, and some never return. And many don’t know to spay their dogs or can’t afford the cost.
Having learned from his grandfather, a small farmer, “how to respect and love animals,” it pained Edgar to see so many dogs struggling. “Walking around the city, it’s so sad that you can see a lot of animals,” he says. “I got involved with stray dogs because I realized how vulnerable these little creatures are that have no voice but a huge heart.”
The owner of three rescue dogs and a cat himself, Edgar has spent a lot of time volunteering with animal welfare organizations. He learned about Mexicanes about four years ago from a friend and immediately connected with the nonprofit’s mission to provide food and medicine for abandoned dogs brought into shelters.
Today, Edgar volunteers two to three hours a week, helping Mexicanes secure donations from individuals and companies to buy food and medicine for five shelters in the Guadalajara metropolitan area. He spreads the word about dogs ready for adoption by posting photos and videos on social media. He also helps the shelters obtain the funding they need to treat injured dogs and spay or neuter them before they’re put up for adoption.
“Independent shelters struggle a lot to get enough food and the medicine required to feed and care for stray dogs,” he says. “Helping get those increases their quality of life and also the chances of adoption for all of those rescued dogs.”
Edgar recently helped Mexicanes obtain a Community Impact Grant from F5, which the nonprofit used to buy food and medicine for all five shelters. “I was so happy because we’ve never gotten a donation that big,” he says. “I feel F5 really gets us as employees and supports the causes we care about.”
Asked why he volunteers, Edgar says he feels it’s important for those who’ve been given a lot in life to lend a hand to those more vulnerable. “If you’re lucky and blessed to be able to help others, then you really must,” he says. “When you give, you see yourself reflected and it makes you feel more grateful for all that you have.”
Edgar says helping abandoned dogs lead better lives “is the most gratifying feeling” he can imagine. “When I visit the dogs in the shelters and see how happy they are in their new homes, it makes me feel more human that I’m helping to minimize their pain and suffering in the streets.”
To find out how other F5ers are giving back to their communities, read the other blog posts in this series:
Also, visit our Global Good webpage to see how F5 inspires community action: https://www.f5.com/company/global-good