The Haven is Uganda SPCA’S animal shelter, the first and only animal shelter in Uganda. The Haven is located in Mbuya (Kampala), and consists of nine dog kennels, one puppy holding kennel for newcomers, and a double cattery. The USPCA staff cook for the dogs and cats, provide daily care, and attention, oversee volunteers, and assist visitors who are hoping to adopt a dog or cat.
The Haven usually has about 80 dogs and a few litters of puppies and about 20 cats and kittens. Ideally, the Haven should hold about 50 dogs and 15 cats. The USPCA is looking for land to expand the Haven. The vision of the USPCA is to have a sanctuary where dogs can move about more freely than they are currently able to and space so that cats are not cramped or stressed; where children and adults from Kampala and Entebbe can visit to learn about and enjoy time with animals; and where USPCA staff and the dogs and cats can work and play in a relaxed environment. If you would like to learn more about the USPCA Land Acquisition Fund, please contact Karen@animal-kind.org.
View some photos below of The Haven. click for a larger view
The Uganda SPCA's shelter, The Haven, has so many beautiful puppies, kittens, and adult dogs and cats available for adoption. If you are able to, please consider adopting one of these wonderful animals.
If you are not able to adopt, please consider sponsoring one. It costs approximately $20 a month to feed and care for one dog or cat at The Haven.
Please donate today to AKI to help The Haven provide for these wonderful dogs and cats.
The USPCA understands that expansion of the Haven is not the only answer to Uganda’s unwanted dog and cat problem. So the USPCA continues to work in communities, especially to help poor families provide better care for their dogs and cats so these pets won’t end up unwanted and won’t have unending litters of puppies and kittens.
AKI asked the USPCA what it’s like to be a dog in Uganda:
Ugandans mainly keep dogs for guarding, and guard dogs are expendable. All a guard dog has to do is bark to wake the human guard (who may have fallen asleep during the night) or to alert the family or neighbors that a thief is around.(bottom) Ibra, ex-USPCA Animal Field Officer, in front of a typical dog house. If, in the process, the thief poisons the guard dog, the guard dog has already done its service by providing the bark that alerted the family to beware. The thief throws poison meat, the dog gobbles it up, the dog barks, the lights go on (or the guard wakes up and chases the thief), the thief runs off, the dog dies.
Acquiring a dog in Uganda is not costly, and training a guard dog is easy. Dogs are "trained" to guard by keeping them in a small wooden box, often not big enough to stand up in or turn around, for about 18 hours a day. Usually the box has iron sheets for a roof, and under the African sun, it gets very hot in that small space. Sometimes a few dogs share one box.
The dogs can see nothing outside the box-their world is the lifeless space of those few square feet.
Only one person is allowed to feed the dog. Everyone else is the enemy. Tough behavior is encouraged by feeding the dog hot chillies, beating on its box, prodding him with sticks to make him angry, perhaps even starving him to make him alert, always on the prowl for food, mean and angry. Usually it's the gardener or guard or a child in the family who is the primary dog handler. The training technique works, these dogs can become really vicious. There have been reports of gardeners failing to lock up the guard dog in the morning, and a child in the family goes outside, and is attacked and killed by the family dog.
During the day, there aren’t many stray dogs on Kampala’s streets. But at night, when they are released from their wooden crates, they may escape their compounds and meet at the rubbish heap to find some food. Rabies is a concern there, and loose dogs on the street may be stoned to death or poisoned—by an individual or sometimes by the City Council. Strychnine is the poison of choice, it is certainly not species specific, and children and other animals have been poisoned with baits set for dogs. It is a slow, painful death.
AKI asked the USPCA what it’s like to be a cat in Uganda:
Cats are mainly kept to keep mice, rats, and snakes away. They are usually not fed, and are expected to provide for themselves. Some people, especially at markets areas, are fairly tolerant of cats since they keep pests at bay. But most people don’t think of cats as pets to be cared for.
While this may sound dismal, many Ugandans are becoming interested in having a pet, and not only to provide guarding services, but also to just enjoy the company of another species. Click here to read about the Dog Totem (A totem represents a clan—a group of people with a common ancestral origin. Clan members can’t harm their totem, and they are supposed to protect the species that represents their bloodline.)
Livestock Transport & Slaughter: USPCA Activities Past & Present
As a Ugandan born and bred organization, the USPCA sees itself as a proponent not only for animals, but also for Ugandan animal welfarists. So the USPCA asked Ugandans what they think the USPCA should do about animal welfare in Uganda. The overwhelming majority of Ugandans mentioned the horrendous livestock transport conditions. Ugandans wanted cattle traveling from west and north into Kampala to be transported in a more humane manner. read more..
Seeing a livestock truck travel from the west upon its entry into Kampala is never a pleasant sight. The large horned cattle, Ankoles, are tied to the trucks’ overhead bars by the horns and sometimes by their tails. But during the trip over rough roads, and also because of bad driving (and no concern for their cargo), the ropes slip down around the necks, and cattle are usually hanging in the back of the truck, gasping for breath. Sometimes they die along the route. The trucks have slatted sides, and with all the knocking around, their legs end up sticking out of the slats at odd angles, often breaking along the way. Then, when they arrive at the slaughterhouse, they are roughly offloaded, often dumped from the trucks because no ramp is available, and beaten as they move into the holding pen.
The actual slaughtering is just as inhumane, and whereas slaughter could and should be a quick death, at Kampala’s slaughterhouses, it will often take five or more men to wrestle a cow to the floor to slit its throat, a process that can take 15 minutes for each animal.
The USPCA implemented Animal Check Points--ACPs, for which the USPCA covered retainer costs and transport costs for at least two policemen, one Kampala City Council Veterinary Officer, and one Senior Officer from the Veterinary Department. In addition, the USPCA covered transport (and salary) for a USPCA Officer to be at the ACP. It is important to have all these staff at each checkpoint to minimize the opportunity for corruption. click on the photo to the right.
Because of lack of funding, the USPCA has had to curtail their role in livestock transport and slaughter, and now serves mainly in advocacy and adviser roles
The USPCA told AKI about Zooey in May 2012: Zooey was found by a child on the road after being hit by a car & was brought to the USPCA's Haven, where she received immediate surgery. While her life was saved, her rear legs were left almost completely paralyzed.Over about a two month period, Zooey slowly recovered, making progress and revealing her sweet and wonderful personality! With lots of TLC and some physical therapy, she has tried to take a few steps and, while we hope she may regain some use of her legs, we don't expect her to recover fully.
UPDATE ON ZOOEY: Mandy, an AKI supporter, found Harlan with Red Flyer, who had just the wheelchair for Zooey, one that is perfect for a very small dog. Mandy connected us with Red Flyer, and they donated the wheelchair for Zooey's use. AKI supporter, Zina, carried the chair there when she visited Uganda. Zooey has since found a permanent, loving home.
Cruelty Case, the Real Story of Bobby Below - click here
Read an interesting article about World Animal Day in Uganda's Daily Monitor newspaper.