For the Francis of Assisi Park, Sunday is a day just like the others, except for the presence of people who have made of the ride a service to the Kingdoms of Nature.

We know that the daily life of animals differs from that of humans, in which Saturdays and Sundays are reserved to less intense activities than those of the rest of the week. For animals, the days are alike: they sleep, wake up, eat, defecate, move aroun, each one with their peculiarities and sentience (that is, they are capable of sensations and feelings in a conscious way, just like humans).

In the kennel of Lavras Animal Protection Society, known as Francis of Assisi Park, hundreds of dogs receive special attention, especially on weekends, when the workers responsible for them are absent, in their weekly days off. They are then taken care of, entertained with playful activities and exercises by volunteers, lovers of animals, and they are pampered by curious people, attended by occupational therapists. A joy for them, the dogs, who consider human beings as their “gods”.

An unusual place

By ride or in their own vehicles, the volunteers arrive at the Park little by little. Hundreds of dogs announce them. Birds also get startled by the enthusiastic noise that approaches. People get enchanted by the place: they had expected to find a kennel of gray colors and sad dogs, abandoned to their own fortune.

“How many flowers! Look there: leisure area for the dogs to run. There are even banana trees, mulberry trees! Look, a waste plant! The dog wastes are treated and reach the stream without contaminating!”, says the visitor. “It is not by chance that the kennel is called a park”, answers a frequent collaborator. “It is a park because of the whole: we have recovered the whole area with agroforestry, treatment of waste and sanitary water, ornamental plants. Here everyone feels in harmony with nature. Our meals are free from animal suffering, they are vegetarian food”, she adds.

Different paths

Carol, a young volunteer, came to the Park through an activity of a youth group. She visited it, fell in love with the dogs and made of Sundays special days: she collaborates in the health procedures and in the hygiene of the animals.

The couple from Uberlandia comes several Sundays a month. It began with her being attracted by the vegetarian lunch served to the volunteers. Soon her husband decided to join. Now both arrive early and face the cleaning of the stalls of the dogs.

Elvira “fell from a parachute”, as she herself says. “One day, with nothing to do, I decided to come to the kennel. A little timidly, I gradually saw what the others did and tried to do the same. I have been here for a few years, also helping carry the dogs to be adopted at the square. It is something wonderful to be in this altruistic service”, she continues.

The group of Figueira, a Community connected with the teachings of Trigueirinho, in Carmo da Cachoeira, also Minas Gerais, Brazil, is assiduous. Every Sunday they are committed with the “selfless service to the Kingdoms of Nature”, as they say. They help cleaning, the care for the plants, the preparation of the meal for the volunteers, the harmonization of the place, among other tasks.

The Park

The history of the Park is told in details in the book “Living the Love for Dogs”, by Ana Regina Nogueira, published by Editora Irdin. Touching and inspiring, the narration becomes complete when we experience the actual contact in the kennel.

The voluntary service is open to everyone that would like to Interact with the Kingdoms of Nature: services with the Earth, with the plants, with the animals, with the meals of humans.

Francis of Assisi Park
rodovia BR-265, km 341