Jimena Hoyos has always been an animal lover but it wasn’t until the death of her own pet Zico that her love for animals turned into a rescue mission. Today, Hoyos feeds many homeless animals by selling compelling photographs of the very same strays she feeds.
Hoyos is a Colombian model and actress who on her spare time visits her native town of Cajicá, Colombia, and while there takes care of the many street animals that no one in the town bothers to care for.
The actress hops in her car carrying dishes, dog food, fresh water and a camera. She drives around looking for dogs in need, and in a town that is overflowing with strays, finding starving pets is not a difficult task.
Hoyos makes a connection with the dogs by speaking softly and lovingly to them. Once she earns their trusts she pets them and even plays with them. This is when she takes the opportunity to snap poignant photographs of the dogs and their personalities. Hoyos sells these pictures and in return buys the street dogs more food to sustain and help them survive their harsh street lives.
As a model and actress, Hoyos has traveled the world, and in one of her many trips she was inspired to create her very own outside dog food dispenser. This enables her to feed her homeless canine friends while she is away. Her engineered dispenser holds 30 kilos of dog food a day and feeds approximately 26 dogs. The daily cost to fill the dispenser is $70.
In an interview with Univison Hoyos said that at the beginning many people criticized her saying that her dog food dispenser would create dog fights and spread diseases. However, since installing her public dog bowl there has not been one single brawl among the strays nor has there been any health related concerns.
Hoyos is exhibiting her touching photograph collections of Cajicá’s homeless dogs in d.o.g. Miami, and she hopes proceeds from the art exhibit will help her feed many more Colombian strays.
With her organization, Gozques, Hoyos hopes to spread awareness regarding the suffering of the millions of street animals Colombia has. Stray animals are not the only ones suffering, outside house pets need to be loved, rescued and shown a better way of life as well.
“I would love to have a big farm where I can rescue all of them, feed them, give them a normal loving life,” said Hoyos. “I want to educate people. I try to do this with my pictures. I want to be able to pick up every single dog off the streets and I want to put food dispensers all over the country. To me dogs are a masterpiece created by God.”