Colitas Con Canas Rescue Centre - Rescuing street dogs in the Sacred Valley of the Incas (Peru)

Colitas Con Canas translates as "gray tails" in English, which refers to our primary mission to rescue elderly dogs.

We used to be Allqo Llaqta Rescue Centre, which was in operation for 5 years. One of the founders, Fabrizio, moved to the United States. Without his presence in Urubamba, we had to close Allqo Llaqta. A new rescue centre was co-founded with Emily, who is the Project Director and Operation Manager, and lives on site at the new rescue centre.

Colitas Con Canas is a specialized rescue centre focusing on elderly and special needs dogs and community outreach and education. We take in dogs that are unlikely to be adopted, dogs in recovery and sometimes hospice cases, and serve as a retirement home for abandoned elderly dogs.

We hope to inspire others to give a chance to the dogs that are often overlooked, but most importantly, that our dogs have a safe and loving place to live where they receive medical attention and any accommodations they may need physically and emotionally.

Volunteers will be working with local people and local volunteers, so volunteers will learn the lifestyle, working ways and cultural practices of the local community.

Urubamba is a very authentic town, not as touristy as Cusco, giving volunteers a great opportunity to get immersed in the Peruvian life.

Volunteers can explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas, which was an important site for the Inca Empire, and is the home of some incredible Inca (and pre-Inca) archeological sites. The most famous being Machu Picchu.

This beautiful and peaceful valley is home to a number of isolated villages and colonial towns. Star attractions in the Sacred Valley include Machu Picchu, the Pisac Market and the lofty Inca citadels of Pisac and Ollantaytambo; however, the valley is filled with other Inca sites that are well worth visiting.

So this is a great opportunity to learn about the Inca civilization. Urubamba is in roughly the middle of the Sacred Valley.

Activities volunteers can do during their time off:

- Visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas and everything it has to offer: Incas (and pre-Incas) archeological sites (Machu Picchu, Pisac, Ollantaytambo), colonial towns, Quechua villages, vibrant local markets.

- Outdoor activities: hiking, biking

- Socializing with the local population: the people of Urubamba are very friendly, and it wouldn’t be hard to socialize with them.

- Learn Spanish or Quechua

- Day trip to world-renowned Cusco (the capital of the Inca Empire), easy, frequent, and cheap transportation between Urubamba and Cusco, about 1hr30 mins one-way.

- Transportation within the Sacred Valley is straightforward, frequent and cheap with Collectivos (mini-vans). Our centre is right by a bus stop.

We are 3 founders: - Emily An American by birth, she arrived in Peru on vacation in 2007. A short time she later founded Huaman Wasi, a refuge dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing wild animals, victims of illegal trafficking in Urubamba, Cusco. In 2023, Emily decided to open Colitas Con Canas, in collaboration with Nikki and Corinne. - Nikki and Corinne While traveling through Peru back in 2018, we stayed in Urubamba where we had the opportunity to meet Fabrizio. He was the veterinarian who helped us in our attempt to rescue a street dog and take her back home with us to Canada. We felt a kindred bond with Fabrizio, and together with him, we co-founded Allqo Llaqta Rescue Centre for street dogs, which existed for 5 years. Fabrizio has moved to the United States, and Allqo Llaqta is no longer in operation. We are now working with Emily in making Colitas Con Canas a successful rescue centre for street dogs in the Sacred Valley. Emily is on site in Urubamba and is the Project Director and Operation Manager. Nikki is the Volunteer Coordinator. Corinne is the IT/Admin/Super Geek. The 3 of us are friendly, reasonable, communicative, and enthusiastic individuals. We are a new rescue centre, so we don't have right now a highly-structured typical day. You will be doing for sure the “Day to day operation of the rescue centre” as this is the core of our activities and required for all volunteers. Your will be working 6 hours a day with some breaks, with 2 days off per week. A typical shift is from 10am to 4pm (our public hours), but you could have a slightly different 6 hours shift, depending on the needs of the centre at the time. You will be working 5 days a week, and which days of the week you will get your two days off (Monday, Sunday, Wednesday...) will also depend on the needs of the centre at the time. But this is not the army, we can discuss everything so everybody (the dogs and the volunteers) are happy. So you will need to be a little independent, take initiatives, and go with the flow. You will be contributing to the development of a new rescue centre, so it can be challenging and exciting at the same time!

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You are going to fall in love with the Colitas Con Canas dogs! Each of them is special, and if you’re going to stay long enough you’ll be lucky to get really closed to them.
Emily will kindly and generously receive you in her home, with her two kids and all the dogs. She will let you feel at home and involved in all the daily activities. You are going to be part of a great family and to know a little piece of Peru in a special and truly way.
Lastly, the shelter is located in an incredible position in which you can enjoy the Sacred Valley!

about 2 months ago



Colitas con canas es un lugar hermosisimo. Me sentí en casa siempre. Agradezco enormemente a Emily, a travis a Eva y a sharito por acogerme de una manera tan bonita. Y a cada uno de los perritos, que demuestra que el cambio empieza desde ayudar a quien está mal y en este caso, los perritos. Urubamba es un pueblo hermoso y sus montañas y el lugar hacen que vivas feliz. Espero volver algún día ❤️

4 months ago

United States


My time at Colitas con Canas was wonderful. Emily is extremely hospitable, approachable, and friendly. I instantly felt at home the first day I got there. Also, after a few weeks you get really close to the pups and are invested in their wellbeing. The setting is also terrific (nested between two giant mountains, easy access to a local fishery and hiking trails). Lastly, it was a great way to meet people from all around the world! 10/10

4 months ago



Ser voluntaria en el refugio de Emily fue una experiencia realmente maravillosa. Cuidar de los 22 perritos fue mi primer voluntariado y me gustó muchísimo. Me sentí muy a gusto en el refu, mis tareas eran sencillas: sacar a pasear a los perros, darles de comer (junto con el resto del equipo, estaba todo organizar por grupos), limpiar sus casas, lavar mantas y toallas, levantar sus caquitas y sobre todo darles mucho amor. En definitiva todo lo que necesitaban para estar en buenas condiciones. Sin dudas regresaré al refugio de Emily en algún momento, como experiencia es inolvidable. Gracias.!

5 months ago



Fue mi primera vez haciendo un voluntariado y fue una experiencia muy bonita. Emily me hizo sentir muy cómoda y como en casa, me hubiera gustado quedarme más tiempo para poder ayudar más a cuidar a los perritos del albergue. Además, el albergue está rodeado de paisajes y vistas hermosas que te permiten respirar aire puro y acercarte a la naturaleza. Espero poder regresar :)

6 months ago

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Contact with nature


Contact with animals