Kieran Koch-Laskowski: Nicaraguan Street Hound

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Photography and Text by Kieran Koch-Laskowski


Nicaraguan Street Hound


In June of 2013, I found myself at Houston Intercontinental Airport waiting to clear customs upon my return to the States. I stood anxiously with a duffel bag slung carefully over my shoulder, nervous that my ‘souvenir’ would bar me from getting home.  As the customs agent opened my bag for inspection, pointed ears and a pair of chestnut eyes emerged. I handed the officer a set of documents, and after a cursory glance, my four-legged companion and I were on our way.

When I look at him today, Nico is a far cry from the sickly, orphaned puppy I first laid eyes on during my weeklong expedition to Granada, Nicaragua. There, I volunteered at a community veterinary clinic operated by WorldVets, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping animals and their human caretakers in poverty-stricken areas around the world. In the impoverished barrios surrounding Granada, hundreds of dogs, cats, horses, and other livestock suffer from poor health and malnutrition due to the cost and inaccessibility of proper care. Nico was the exception.

Instead of fighting for survival in Central America, my Nicaraguan Street Hound – as I jokingly refer to him as – spends his days in Philadelphia living a life of luxury. When he’s not playing or chasing squirrels, he’s usually snuggled up doling out kisses. It has been indescribably fulfilling to watch him grow and flourish, and I eagerly look forward to the days when I will be able to help more animals and people as a veterinarian myself.


About The Author: Kieran Koch Laskowski is a senior majoring in Biological Behavior  in the College of the University of Pennsylvania. Class of 2016. To read more articles by Kieran, go here:

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