In the city of Caxias do Sul lies a unique animal shelter run by the NGO Sociedade Amiga dos Animais (Friend of Animals Society). The NGO started the program in 1998. The complex is home to 1,600 dogs and 200 cats. Locals have taken to calling it a “dog favela,” or dog slum. The favela’s residents live on a 3-acre plot of land donated by the local municipality. According to the NGO, the animals consume about 12 tons of food per month. Many of the animals that end up at the favela are found on the streets, and some have been victims of abuse. The favela is constantly overcrowded, as the number of animals arriving daily exceeds the number of those being adopted. Stretched beyond its capacity, the NGO hopes to receive financial aid from the government to improve the favela’s tattered conditions and increase the number of animals it can care for.