AKI Partner Organization-Liberia Animal Welfare & Conservation Society (LAWCS)
In Liberia everyone is worried about coronavirus, especially after recently going through an Ebola crisis. As of 25 March, Liberia has 4 confirmed cases. All schools are closed. Large gatherings are discouraged. Liberia Animal Welfare & Conservation Society has suspended their outreach programs and most of LAWCS staff are isolating at home. However, many of the children who LAWCS works with have LAWCS mobile numbers and they are in touch with each other as LAWCS continues to encourage the children (typically the caretakers of the family's pets) to care for their pets during the global pandemic. LAWCS's program of feeding community pets is continuing, but in a different way: LAWCS is reaching out to families to encourage them to provide food, fresh water, and love for community dogs and cats. The only available animal clinic in Lofa County is operated by LAWCS and they are continuing to provide free veterinary care for dogs and cats while following all recommended health and safety guidelines: people who bring their pets must wash their hands, their temperature, health, and travel history is taken before they are allowed into the clinic.
AKI's Partnership with Liberia Animal Welfare & Conservation Society
LAWCS started in 2004 when the founder, Morris Darbo (picture above, in the middle), and some other concerned animal lovers in Lofa County, Liberia, began to campaign about the lack of care of domestic animals, especially cats and dogs.
By 2004, the number of dogs on the streets in Liberia's cities and towns had increased at an alarming rate, with most Liberians referring to the dogs jokingly as "citizens." Street dogs and cats were abused, were hungry and sick.
Liberia suffered years of exceptionally violent and traumatic civil war. The country is still recovering. Liberia not only faces rampant animal abuse and abject poverty, the younger generation, because of the country’s traumas, is exhibiting dysfunctional behaviors. LAWCS is committed to Liberia’s recovery with a clear message of non-violence, character building, ending animal suffering and creating a just, caring, and socially responsible society.
LAWCS also holds Community Animal Care Clinics, offering free, basic animal care in Lofa County, where there is no other vet care. As a matter of fact, the only small animal vet in Liberia is hours away, in Monrovia! LAWCS volunteer, Abraham, received training to become a community animal healthcare worker, and vaccinates, de-worms, and provides other basic pet care.
After helping (advice, technical support, and visiting LAWCS, taking part in their Humane Ed and basic animal care clinics) over a 2-year period starting in 2013, we at AKI knew we wanted to contribute more to the work they're doing and to help them financially. So we made LAWCS an AKI Partner Organization in January 2016.
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LAWCS Updates from the AKI Blog
Videos and More
Photos above: Community Animal Care Clinics; the LAWCS Team at their Voinjama office, showing Humane Education material donated through AKI; Hajja, the LAWCS financial officer