*Some of the content in this episode might be sensitive to some listeners*
In this episode Dave Moore chats with two sisters who are Pueblo natives and are now thousands of miles away on the island of Saipan. It’s safe to say Aria and Grace Keilbach are Pueblo’s Podcast’s most long-distance guests. Saipan is a very small island — smaller than Pueblo (in square miles) in fact! It’s located in the Pacific Ocean near Guam — think north of Australia and south of Japan! It’s just a tiny dot on the map.
After World War II, countless combat dogs that had been used to sniff out bombs and hiding Japanese, were lost or left behind. Today the descendants of those heroic war dogs are known as boonie dogs, a mix between Bloodhounds, Rottweilers, Labradors, and German Shepards. They roam the island living off any scraps they can find and enduring the harsh rainstorms and blistering heat.
While Aria & Grace have been there, they’ve seen horrible animal abuse and treatment of animals, including starved mama dogs, neglected puppies, and more. Many of the pups have health issues from the neglect, like broken jaws, vision problems and fleas and ticks! Now they’ve dedicated their time — in between their school work — to an organization they founded and named Boonie Babies.
Aria & Grace are now working to rehome dogs, give them the vet care they need and make a difference in the island. Unfortunately they don’t have a certified vet on the island so many animals die without care. However, a small clinic on the island does what they can, but cannot perform surgeries. The clinic recently faced a hurdle of it’s own. The land was re-zoned by the government, forcing the clinic out. Aria and Grace say they will stay on the island until their work has made a difference.
Released March 1, 2021