Stray Dogs Know This Shop Prepares Free Meals, So They Wait Patiently
For Their Turn
BY Anna Mason
April 10, 2022
Gerardo Ortiz's mother taught him to always help those most in need.
So when a hungry, stray dog appeared at his restaurant, Ajilalo, one
night hoping for a scrap of food, Ortiz did what many other people
would not do.
Instead of chasing her away, the young Peruvian gave the overjoyed dog
a meal. Unsurprisingly, the unloved animal appeared the following
evening, and many more afterward.
Word must have gone round about the tasty, free meals. Since that
first night six years ago, other dogs have shown up at that place of
kindness in the city of Lima, and Ortiz never fails to feed them and
provide them with water.
"I love to help animals and people-it fills my soul," he said. "We
won't take anything with us when we leave this world, so let's share
what little or however much we have-and let's respect the animals, end
"My inspiration was always my mother and still is," he said. "She does
the same with people and dogs. We also bring homeless people to our
place and provide them with food."
The small restaurant does a good trade in typically Peruvian
meat-based dishes, including anticucho, rachi, and mollejitas, plus
sweetbread. "We share with them the food we sell, and sometimes there
are people who donate croquettes and we also share them," Ortiz said.
For this passionate chef and small business owner, sharing what he has
with others is the best feeling.
With increasing numbers of strays on Peru's streets, one of the
patrons of Restaurant Ajilalo has adopted six dogs herself. When Ortiz
and his team have enough, they donate food to her, too.
Ortiz, who aspired to run his own business since he was young, says
his mother encouraged him to help due to her own concern for abandoned
dogs in the country's capital.
"Ever since I was a child I loved animals-my mother instilled that in
me. As a child, I fed the dogs that passed by our home," he said.
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