In mid-May, Mbwa wa Africa's neighbor, Mama Oresti, visited the shelter with Bella, her tiny, very sick 3 month old puppy and asked for help. Bella's belly was blown up to the size of a coconut. She was very anemic and her body temperature was way too low. MwA knew these signs. It turned out that Bella was so infested with worms, she had almost no blood left in her body and her organs couldn't function properly anymore! As a result, fluids leaked into her stomach - and the parasites were about to kill her.
At Merlino Vet Clinic, fluids were released and Bella was treated for worms. Then, back at MwA, she was nursed for a week with blood building medicine, a special high protein diet, and a lot of hot water bottles to get her up and running again. Luckily, little Bella is a fighter and she made it! MwA will keep her at the shelter until she's strong enough to go home. It's stories like this that make us at Animal-Kind International so happy to be able to help Mbwa wa Africa with donations of money and supplies!
On June 1, we got this sad message from Mbwa wa Africa: "Our little Eddie just died….He was always the weakest of his litter, but with a big personality. Every time we love and fight for the tiny ones the most – sometimes we still can’t save them and it is never easy when that happens."
Eddie came to Mbwa wa Africa when he was only 3 weeks old and they gave him 6 more weeks of a fun life with a lot of love. He always had stomach trouble, although in the last 2 weeks of his short life, he was doing much better. Then, on May 31, he suddenly started to vomit, refused to eat, and had blood in his stool. MwA's volunteers spent all night with him while he was on a drip, and rushed him to Merlino Vet in the morning. Sadly, nothing more could be done. All they knew was that Eddie had a bad infection and his small body couldn’t cope with it any longer. MwA treats each cat and dog like they are someone special (which of course they are) and gives them all the love and care they deserve.
In just 1 day-on May 29, the Mbwa wa Africa's puppy pack doubled in size with the arrival of this basket full of cuteness. This is Lincon, Kimani, Olive, Sydney, and Esmeralda. They were born in a relatively safe compound, but their stray mother decided that after taking care of them for 7-8 weeks, she had had enough and it was time for them to enter the world on their own. They were in danger of wandering onto the road and getting hit, so MwA took them in. More mouths to feed! And as we all know, puppies eat a lot! And they need shots and s/n. AKI's last disbursement to MwA in April is being used to help with costs of vet care and feeding at the Mbwa wa Africa shelter, but with so many rescues just during May and early June, that will quickly disappear.
After Titus and Minou, Grimar is now Mbwa wa Africa's third ginger and white cat! Grimar was in such bad shape when Anna found him on the road. So Mbwa wa Africa decided that he needed a strong name, a Viking name, Grimar!
Sadly, Grimar's right hind leg was so badly injured, it couldn't be saved. His left leg is also damaged-the ligaments are torn and he has a big open wound-and he also needed surgery on that leg. It's heart-wrenching how sweet and patient this guy is while enduring all the handling and treatments he's needed during this difficult time! On balance, he's met his new girlfriend Minou and they seem to be in love. At first he wasn't sure about his fellow cats, and especially energetic and super-happy Titus irritated him when he jumped around trying to get him to play. It was easier to put up with graceful, caring Minou. But now, all three have bonded and hang out together.
Mbwa wa Africa held community spay/neuter clinics during the 1st week of June, where they sterilize owned cats and dogs and street cats and dogs. MwA usually puts the street cats and dogs back where they were found-if it's a safe location and if they are healthy and strong enough to survive on their own. Street animals are so common in and around Arusha--most people pay no attention, and some even feed them. The animals are resourceful and find the food they need to survive. Of course, that's not perfect, but there aren't enough homes and there's not enough space at the one shelter in the area, Mbwa wa Africa's.
So when Little Schmitdchen turned up at the gate of MwA's friend Herr Schmidt and no one in the neighborhood claimed the little dog, MwA had him vaccinated and neutered at their clinic last week. But they just couldn't return the little dog, now named Herr Schmidt, back to the street. Such a gentle soul, at 6 months old, he was way too small for his age. His bones are bent and his hip is underdeveloped-probably from really poor nutrition. But lack of nutrition is not a problem any longer! Herr Schmidt is staying at the MwA shelter until a wonderful family comes looking for their forever dog and decides to take him home!
And as luck would have it for 3 more street dogs who were sterilized and vaccinated at the s/n clinic last week, Mbwa wa Africa had just enough room at the shelter for them:
Banjo-In only 1 week, Banjo has already come a long way. He would freeze in fear when someone looked at him. Now he's approaching, not quite close enough to touch. Who can blame him? Someone must have chopped off his paw and left him with an awful injury. Banjo will need an amputation and physical, as well as emotional, rehabilitation.
Shady and Toffee-Banjo's new friends, Shady and Toffee, with her special colored eyes and fur (most likely Shady's daughter), are not only outstandingly beautiful, but also amazingly happy and friendly! Shady is still a bit wary to be touched, but she so wants to be close to you. Toffee is already there, coming to greet you and enjoying attention. They are not your typical street dogs of Arusha and will make a lucky family very happy!
Jens spotted Kadogo at the end of April, 'walking' with two deformed hind legs, she was really struggling. Jens found out that she belonged to the local butcher who told him that his dog had been hit by a car 2 or 3 months before. He was happy for MwA to to help her, but he wanted her back if possible. So Kadogo moved to the shelter and turned out to be the most happy funny and fast dog you can imagine! Her love for people convinced everyone that her owner treats her well, otherwise she would be more wary and not this super-friendly bundle of energy.
Both of Kadogo's rear legs were broken several times and the bones twisted. They had healed like that but her left leg wasn't of any use anymore and made her lose her balance. So on May 5, her left hind leg was amputated and she was spayed. Her owners, the butcher and his wife, were very eager to have her back after recovery, and of course, MwA agreed. However, everyone at the shelter had grown very fond of Kadogo, and they weren't certain it was the right thing to put her back where she had been so injured.
The day that MwA returned her, all doubts vanished. When Kadogo arrived at the corner where she used to spend her days, at least 30 people gathered to greet and admire her - there was even some applause! And Kadogo seemed just as happy to be back home as the crowd was to see her back on her corner!
Bouncer was a dog I (Karen) met when I visited the MwA shelter in April. His owner brought him to MwA because he had been kicked by a goat. At the time, we thought Bouncer's leg would need to be amputated. But the night he arrived, he started acting very strange-turned out he had worms that had infected his brain. First, he had to recover from that. Which he did. And by the time he recovered, his leg was doing so much better-no amputation was needed. So 3 weeks after Bouncer arrived at the MwA shelter as a very sick puppy, Ibrahim took his lucky, healthy puppy home!
These 4 adopters and adoptees went home from the Mbwa wa Africa shelter on May 7 to start their new lives!
In animal rescue, the happy comes with the sad-and vice versa. The evening before the whirlwind adoptions of May 7, Snoopy passed away. Sandra and Jens had found him motionless in the pouring rain next to the Arusha-Moshi highway. He looked at them with very fearful eyes, but when they carefully put him on a blanket and lifted him in the car, he didn't put up a fight. He couldn't get up by himself and was stone cold and thirsty, so they tucked him in with a lot of blankets and a hot water bottle for the night.
Next day they took him to Merlino Vet Clinic (thank you Anne T., friend to Mbwa wa Africa and AKI, for covering the cost of his examination!). Despite his swollen lower abdomen his bladder, kidneys, heart, and lungs seemed to be OK, but his pelvis was broken in 6 places! His injuries were just too severe. He died warm and comfortable and with a full belly. MwA made his last memory of this world one of love, without fear and pain.
Mbwa wa Africa needs our help to cover costs of vet care for shelter cats and dogs and local community members' pets. As you can see from these stories, so many people care about their pets, but in the region where Mbwa wa Africa works, few can afford vet care. And while we're seeing more and more people taking care of their cats and dogs, there are still far too many cases of cruelty, far too many animals needlessly injured, starving, and dying from illnesses that are so easily treated. If not for Mbwa wa Africa, we never would have come this far! Please go to the Mbwa wa Africa page on the AKI website to designate this AMAZING, LIFESAVING organization for your donation.