There are things that make people better, like acts of kindness, honesty, and love for animals. But it’s no use being kind if you don’t like the animal. It’s no use being honest and not sympathizing with a little animal that needs help. Fortunately, the animal welfare community has grown and some are going to great lengths to provide homes and rescue animals in need.
Based on this love for animals, Leo Duarte became a veterinarian and in a heroic act saved the life of a little dog named Vitória. He gave her a home and all the love and care she needed. On the way down the highway, Leo got separated from a stray that was cornered and seriously injured. It is believed that due to the hit-and-run, he didn’t think twice, stopped the traffic which saved him. She rushed to the nearest clinic, where she was medicated and diagnosed. There, Vitória received all the necessary veterinary care and ended up stealing the heart of the doctor who decided to stay with her.
Despite having two other pets, Léo did not think about the consequences of adopting another one, and soon the couple of dogs became a trio with the arrival of Vitória. By sharing the process of rescuing and recovering his new puppy, Léo found himself in the position of a domestic influencer and started to create and share content on veterinary health, care tips and fun with animals. The growth of networks was rapid and inevitable. As a result, Vitória, her pets and the tutor have many job opportunities. And that’s how Vitória Pet products were created.
Successful companies are a small part of Dr. Léo Duarte, to spread love and care for animals and responsible adoption. With more than 10 years of experience in veterinary medicine, the professional has worked for large companies in the pet market such as Royal Canin. Today he works with his exclusive brand of pet products and as a content producer. On his Instagram, which has more than 220,000 followers, you cannot fail to be enchanted by the cuteness of Léo’s little friends, as well as tips on pet friendly walks, because even animals deserve to participate in family moments away from home.
The story of the dog Vitória had a difficult beginning, but fortunately the game turned around and she is getting better every day. Likewise, the Vitória Pet brand continues to grow, bringing health, comfort, flavor and happiness to many other pets in Brazil. Check out the interview!
According to a recently released survey, regardless of the crisis caused by the pandemic, we had a large increase in pet market consumption. Do you believe that this increase could be correlated with the cases of anxiety that we experienced during this period?
Yes exactly, even with the pandemic crisis, the pet market has grown a lot, sales of beds, accessories have increased considerably. The purchase of animals too, perhaps because they cannot leave the house, people who live alone, and also because it alleviates anxiety attacks. Loneliness. Many animals were also adopted, the downside was that many people who bought and adopted these animals went to return them. A sad reality.
While they bring joy and benefits, raising pets also requires a lot of responsibility. Remembering the example we had at the end of the “Game Of Thrones” series, when the popularization of the Siberian husky saw the adoption rate of this breed rise in the market, and consequently abandonment, what are the main precautions that should be considered when bringing a pet to our home?
Nowadays we have to be very careful, prudent and responsible when we think about having a pet. Because it requires a lot of care, it’s not a toy, it’s a little being that needs a lot of affection, love, attention. Demand expenses such as food, bath, Veterinarian etc… Yes, it is a family member, “a son” Other relevant analysis is the space that this animal will live, how long it will be alone due to the rush of the day, especially for people they live in buildings, how many times do you go for a walk with this animal, because many animals only relieve themselves when you go for a walk. Apart from the fact that if this animal does not have the necessary attention, it can bring other problems such as stress. So evaluate well. Now if all these prerequisites are applicable in your everyday life, this little being will definitely bring you lots of happiness and incredible stories, which only those who have it know!
Currently, there is much debate about the issue of not buying but adopting, mainly through campaigns by NGOs and shelters. At the same time that it becomes a valuable action, many professionals may end up being harmed, as they are breed breeders, among other enterprises that generate savings. What is your opinion about don’t buy, adopt?
Regarding adopting or having a breed animal, both I believe is valid, I do not support the trade (production machine) that is clearly lacking in animal welfare.
But I see it from the side of those who want and dream of having a purebred animal, great. I also believe that it would be unfair to exterminate a race, which comes from generations due to man’s greed. Races have to exist, it’s history. But I do not support the mass production trade. Support for the practice of animal welfare, within the adopted standards. If this is your dream, research the kennel, visit the kennel, see how these animals are treated, see the structure. I’ve seen many cases of kennels that shouldn’t even have existed, totally outside the standards, these really have to close.
About adoption (I’m a total supporter of the cause) full admiration for people who fight for animals, I’m one of them. Unfortunately, the abandonment rate is huge and very serious!
In the same way, if you are going to adopt an animal, visit the place, evaluate it, see the welfare practices, try to know a little about the history of this animal, how it got there, ask if it has had any type of trauma, if it is angry. or sociable. Because I’ve also seen many cases of the tutor adopting, and then returning to the NGO to return, these animals have trauma, feelings and are not objects of return. They demand a lot of attention and affection! On the other hand, they are extremely affectionate, and know how to recognize and show gratitude for the tutor. Anyone who has an adopted pet, like me, will know true love. Adopt, but with great prudence and an open heart.
This increase in the pet market ended up drawing society’s attention to responsible adoption and also to the protection of animal rights. Despite the wide dissemination that has been made over the years, do you believe that there is still a considerable increase in cases of abandonment or abuse?
Unfortunately, abandonment and mistreatment are recurrent, but the strength that animals are gaining is growing more and more, mistreatment is a crime and, in my opinion, unreliable.
Leo, your case, despite the fact that we are seeing more and more acts of rescue on the internet, ended up standing out mainly for the story of the adoption and recovery of Vitória. How did this rescue situation occur and as a veterinarian, how do you advise people who witness this situation to act?
Vitória was the turning point in my life, I always wanted to adopt a pet, but on the other hand I was always “a certain fear” due to lack of time, not knowing the history of this animal, not knowing what traumas it brought, unfortunately the fear and insecurity always walk with us, until destiny puts us to the test and we face to face.
A veterinary doctor, passing by at the time of the accident, all the cars dodging this animal that was lying and injured in the middle of the road, it is very sad. Unfortunately few people would stop to render aid. Even more so this animal being alive, that was clear. I stopped the car, stopped the whole road and yes I rescued it, even though I was in danger of being run over with it. But it was an attitude, truer and purer, that I had at that moment, and it was the best attitude I had in my life. Vitoria gave me back many things that were lost inside me. She gave me a north, the truest love I could see.
The story of you two ended up moving many people in Brazil, so much so that you became symbols of this movement to rescue animals. Were you ever surprised by the repercussion your act brought? How are you dealing with the sudden recognition?
I really believe in this exchange, who sows love, reaps love. I had an act of love and today the fruits are being harvested. I am forever grateful for everything, I thank you every day when I wake up. And I am very happy to encourage many people to adopt, show our day, our adventures together and also encourage places to accept pets, hotels, bars, restaurants, stores, etc… and I see that this acceptability has been growing. That’s our goal. Where there is a pet, there is joy, especially in the work environment, they help a lot in socializing people, in concentration and reasoning. Adopt these measures, take the pets to work with you.
After all this episode, you ended up starting a healthy pet food and items venture. How did the idea of making this new investment come about?
Today we have a brand (Vitória Pet) where we produce beds and accessories for pets (dogs and cats) and a cosmetics brand within Vitória Pet. But I work abroad in the pet business, as a coffee and chocolate brand (BW COFFEE). However, both brands convert a part to help rescued animals. That’s our goal, to help pets.
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