MaxMello – We Can All Help

This is a very simple message – please help MaxMello.

(Please note: To ensure the widest readership of this post I am running it for two days. I.e. the next post will be on Thursday, 11th.)

Yesterday I republished a post from John Zande. It explained how Sandra Guilarducci and her husband, Francisco, in Ibiuna, Brazil were caring for over 350 dogs and 32 cats. If you haven’t read that post then go no further in today’s post until you have read about the desparate need for funds.

Here’s a section from yesterday’s post (but please do read it in full):

food-e1454493203915Today, MaxMello burns through 5 tonnes of food every month, and a small army of vets help with reduced fees. But it all adds up. It has added up, and over this past weekend, Sandra was forced to admit that she and Francisco (weighed down with over 30,000 reis debt, about $10,000 US, to vets and pet food suppliers) had reached the point beyond which they simply could no longer afford to keep the shelter open. Sandra put out an urgent call to other NGO’s, saying she will keep the sick, the crippled, and the old (the one’s that stand little to no chance of adoption) but new shelter-homes would have to be found for the hundreds of other rescues under their care. With every NGO we know of here in Sao Paulo being already full, this is, in all honesty, an impossible situation. These are good people, and they (and their keep) are in genuine need of a hand.

Please, help keep MaxMello open and donate to the MaxMello PayPal account:

But just as important as making whatever donation you can is letting Sandra and Francisco know you care.

Yesterday, Jean and I sent a letter to John for John’s wife to translate from English into Portugese as Sandra and Francisco do not speak English. We wanted them to read our letter in this post.

So this is the letter in Portugese:

Sandra e Francisco,

Aqui no sul do Oregon, hoje temos 9 cachorros e 4 gatos; há três anos, quando viemos para cá, eram 14 cães e 7 gatos. Eu simplesmente não consigo imaginar o que deve ser cuidar de 350 cachorros e 32 gatos, ainda mais divididos entre duas propriedades diferentes, separadas por 200 km!

Entretanto, Jean sabe bem o tamanho do amor e da dedicação que movem sua paixão por esses animais maravilhosos – porque ela vivia em San Carlos, no México (na Península Baja) e dedicava a vida a recolher os cachorros de rua de lá, tratando de sua saúde, dando-lhes amor e conseguindo adotantes para eles nos EUA. Ao longo de vários anos, Jean acredita ter resgatado mais de 200 cães. A alimentação e tratamento de todos esses animais foram custeados por ela e o marido, Ben, que morreu em 2005.

Foi meio por acaso que a conheci, em San Carlos, no Natal de 2007, e me via com os olhos cheios de lágrimas ao ver a afeição que os cachorros dela demonstravam ao me ver, toda vez que ia visitá-la em sua casa. E essa afeição deve ter causado um efeito profundo em mim, pois, quando voltei para a Inglaterra, em janeiro de 2008, Jean e eu percebemos que queríamos ficar juntos para o resto da vida. Mais tarde, nesse mesmo ano, ao lado do meu pastor alemão, Pharaoh, voltei para San Carlos. Não demorou muito, com 14 cachorros e 7 gatos, fomos para o Arizona, onde nos casamos, e por fim, no segundo semestre de 2012, viemos para o Oregon, onde estamos até hoje.

Pouco antes de sairmos de San Carlos, em 2010, uma cachorra foi deixada na porta de nossa casa. Era uma mestiça de rottweiler e devia ter acabado de dar cria porque ainda estava cheia de leite. Nós a batizamos de Hazel e quase de cara ela mostrou sua natureza amorosa para Jean, para mim e os outros animais. Hazel é uma inspiração para a humanidade graças ao perdão e ao amor incondicional que oferece ao mundo.

Por isso, aceite essas poucas palavras minhas e de Jean, endereçadas aos dois, como uma pequena amostra de amor e gratidão que sentimos por vocês e que certamente também serão sentidos pelos leitores e seguidores do Learning from Dogs

And here is the letter in English:

Sandra and Francisco,

Here in Southern Oregon we have 9 dogs and 4 cats, down from the 14 dogs and 7 cats when we moved here some 3 years ago. I cannot simply imagine what it must entail to care for 350 dogs and 32 cats let alone care for them in two locations seperated by 200 kms!


However Jean can imagine the level of love and commitment that fuels your passion for looking after these wonderful animals. For Jean, when she lived in San Carlos, Mexico (on the Baja Peninsula) devoted her life to rescuing Mexican street dogs, loving them back to health and then finding homes for them in the USA. Over the many years Jean believes she found homes for well over 200 dogs. The feeding and caring of these animals was funded personally by Jean and her late husband, Ben, who died in 2005.


Quite by chance, I met Jean in San Carlos the Christmas of 2007 and was moved to tears on numerous occasions by the loving affection shown by her dogs to this visitor to Jean’s home. That affection must have rubbed off on me for by the time I returned to England in January, 2008 Jean and I wanted to be together for the rest of our lives. Later in 2008, together with my German Shepherd, Pharaoh, I travelled out to San Carlos. Subsequently, with 14 dogs and 7 cats, we moved to Arizona to be married and then, in the Autumn of 2012, came up here to our home in Oregon.


Shortly before we left San Carlos in 2010 to go to Arizona, a female dog was dumped outside the house. She was a Rottweiler crossbreed and must have just given birth to puppies for she was still in milk. We named her Hazel and she very quickly showed her most beautiful and loving nature to Jean and me and to the other animals. Hazel is an inspiration to humankind of what flows from offering forgiveness and unconditional love to the world.


So please take these few words from Jean and me, sent to you both, as a small measure of the love and gratitude that we feel for you, and I know will be felt by many of the readers and followers of Learning from Dogs.

I also want to republish a comment from yesterday’s post, left by Mr. Merveilleux, because it speaks such perfect common-sense:

As Zande’s explained, the current exchange rate means donations go a very long way. Keep in mind the minimum wage in Brazil is only around £130 p/month. By skipping one little luxury this month, like going out for a meal today, and sending what one would have spent on that to the shelter, we can all make make a substantial difference to the lives of these animals.
My suggestion is for people not to just reach for the change they’ve got in the car ashtray, but consider a little, insignificant sacrifice that will do one no harm, but will have a disproportionately positive effect.
Skip one bottle of champagne, or a bottle of wine, or don’t buy flowers this week… skip any little thing that one doesn’t really *need*, and put that money to good use.

Let me move on a tad.

As is obvious to any visitors to this place in the last 6 weeks, I have just published my first book. It learningfromdogs_3dbook_500xis called Learning from Dogs, the same name as this blog. I am also donating 50% of the net proceeds from all sales of my book to our local Rogue Valley Humane Society.

However, for the whole of the month of February I shall be donating the other 50% of net proceeds to MaxMello.

So, please, buy the book and help two fabulous charities. The book is available as a paperback, priced $15.95, or either of two eBook formats, MOBI and EPUB, priced at $5:39. Full details here: Buy the Book.

Of course, you may also buy the book from Amazon or you can order it from most booksellers.

If you prefer to purchase it direct from me but do not wish to pay online, then mail me (as in Paul Handover) a cheque for $18.67 ($15.95 + P&P of $2.72) and I will send it to any part of the USA. (For overseas paperback purchasers who do not wish to pay online then email me your address details and I will respond within 48 hours.) My email address is learningfromdogs (at) gmail (dot) com

All of this is part of never forgetting how important it is to care for our dogs – they are man’s oldest companion and have devoted themselves to caring for us for possibly 40,000 years. Is it asking too much to help these dogs in Brazil in return!

Hazel showing her love and caring for our cat, George. Both animals are ex rescues from Mexico. Picture taken last Sunday evening.


11 thoughts on “MaxMello – We Can All Help

  1. Awesome! Truly fantastic, Paul and Jean. G sent the link this morning to Sandra, with an explanation as to what you’re doing this month re the book. She’s going to be thrilled.


  2. Hi Paul, I’ve finally got the chance to get your book! Looking forward to reading it on my Kindle. Big congratulations to you and great news that half is going to help a worthy cause. That’s just wonderful. Take good care and good luck with all the promotion. Ruth ⭐️⭐️


  3. That’s great man. I’m brazilian and i know Max Mello work’s since 2013, and they are anwsome. Thank’s for your help, it’s mean everything.


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