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  • Writer's pictureAnimal-Kind International

Why & How we're helping Mbwa wa Africa's shelter in Arusha, Tanzania

Mbwa wa Africa is 1 of 2 new AKI partner organizations as of 2017. It's amazing how much Mbwa wa Africa does for street cats and dogs and for pets that belong to poor families in the Arusha area. I couldn't be happier that we're helping them do a bit more--and I hope that "bit" keeps growing. The only thing that constrains what they can accomplish is funding!

In the previous AKI Blog post about Mbwa wa Africa (June 11), we told you about Kadogo, the dog who was beloved by the community, but just couldn't be kept safe on the busy road, where she spent much of her time (picture below).

Kadogo, when Jens 1st saw her, with 2 deformed rear legs

Her rear legs had been injured and had healed, but 1 wasn't usable, so during her 1st stay at the MwA shelter, in early May, her leg was amputated and she was spayed at the same time. MwA received a direct donation for Kadogo, and AKI covered the remaining vet care costs, including the x ray and spay. And when we last wrote, MwA had returned her to her owner, where Kadogo received a warm welcome from the community.

But the story goes on: MwA kept on checking on Kadogo and one day they found, to their dismay, that her remaining rear leg had gotten worse--maybe she had been injured again--she couldn't really get up anymore. MwA talked to the owner and together they decided that it was too dangerous for Kadogo to continue living on the street, and back she went to the MwA shelter.

And then late in July, Mathias came to visit MwA to adopt some dogs. He didn't care if they had only three legs or other "flaws." He adopted puppies Lyra and Cesar, small rescue dog, Sally, and.....Kadogo (picture below)! Now all 4 are living happily with Mathias.

Mathias and friend go home with 4 MwA dogs!

Another rescue we had reported on in the June 11 AKI Blog post was kitty Grimar (picture below). AKI donations covered his amputation and neuter. MwA had found him injured on the street 7 weeks before, and he always had stomach trouble and other issues. We're VERY sad to report that Grimar, the sweet, three-legged, "Viking" cat, passed away on June 21. While at MwA, he had a wonderful time with his fellow kitties, Titus and Minou. The day before he died, he was weak, and quietly died with Sandra with him. Sandra said, "I will miss the sessions with this friendly, purring cat in my lap, looking at me with his peaceful yellow eyes full of faith. We love you Grimar, you will hold a special place in our heart for all time."

Grimar spent 7 happy weeks at the MwA shelter

Besides Kadogo's and Grimar's vet costs, AKI donor funds covered shelter worker salaries, cat and dog food, medicines ($200 from AKI's disbursement to MwA covered DHLP vaccines-distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, and parvovirus-so everyone at the shelter could have their shots), and other vet supplies, and vet care.

And the cats and dogs keep coming into the Mbwa wa Africa shelter. On June 19, the 4th ginger & white kitty arrived to join Titus, Minou, and Grimar (picture below). A friend of MwA's, found Elska in Moshi. Only about 3 months old and very sweet and affectionate, all 4 kitties soon became good friends (although so sad they lost Grimar).

The 4 ginger & white kitties at MwA shelter in June

Sandra calls Dakota, in a loving way, their "problem child." This young female (picture below) arrived at the shelter around mid June. She was living on the street and didn't really belong to anyone, but was well looked after. MwA friend, Tizia, who lived near where Dakota hung out, even had her spayed and vaccinated.

"Problem child" Dakota

But then one morning Dakota showed up and Tizia saw that she was injured and couldn't properly use her back legs-so MwA came to the rescue. An x-ray showed that nothing was broken, but her pelvis had shifted to the back! Sadly, after some days of kennel rest, her condition worsened to the point that she still had feeling in her legs, but wouldn't put weight on them-and no one knows why. So it's physical therapy (see 2 pictures below) and water gymnastics in the MwA pool (which was kindly donated) for Dakota.

Dakota's PT session

Dakota's PT session

Simba's young owner brought her to the MwA shelter on June 27. He was looking for help for his 4 yr. old dog and she was too weak to walk on her own. When they arrived at MwA, Simba (picture below) was panting heavily and had extremely high blood pressure. MwA tried to help her (Sandra is a nurse and applies all her nursing skills to cat and dog care), but Simba wasn't responding to the heart medication or other treatment. In the end, all they could do for Simba was to make her passing as comfortable and peaceful as possible. Sandra thinks she had internal bleeding and there was nothing they could have done to save her.

Simba's young owner tried to save her

And yet another story about a dog and a young owner, who loves him, but just didn't know how to care for his dog. This is why education is the key - so so important!!!! When Victor noticed that his 4 month old pup, Bill-below (a present from his Grandpa) was seriously sick, he hired a motorbike and a driver to look for help at MwA.

Victor carrying his very sick dog, Bill, to MwA

It was almost too late... Bill couldn't get up and when Sandra tried to put him on a drip (again putting her nursing skills to work!) and when Carla Esmat, the visiting vet from Belgium, couldn't find a vein in any leg, they realized that there was virtually no blood left in this dog! They weren't sure if his condition was due to parasites or poison, but they didn't have much hope (picture below of a very sick Bill).

They kept him warm and put fluids under his skin and they hoped. And after 2 weeks, with the help of everyone at MwA, Bill was brought back to life (picture below)! They returned him to Victor, along with an educational lecture and a promise that Mbwa wa Africa would be checking back with Victor and Bill.

Bill arrived at MwA in very bad shape

Bill is looking much better after 2 weeks of good care at MwA

In mid-July, 8 kitties moved into the MwA shelter! Titus and Minou (2 of the ginger & white kitties) had left for their new home in England (and Grimar had died), so the kitty kennel was lonely! Seven of the 8 kittens-of all sizes-came from a place where there were just too many cats and the authorities threatened to destroy (poison) them. The 2 smallest ones, 5-6 weeks old, named Heaven and Sky, weren't in good shape and both had severe eye infections-which MwA treated and cured (picture below). These 2 certainly weren't shy and were very playful.

The 2 smallest kitties in the front of this picture had eye infections

Four of them were semi-wild and still in hiding, but quickly came out of their shells (below).

The kitties adjusted well!

Solaris, the largest cat, is really friendly and loves to cuddle. She arrived with a huge wound on her neck (picture below), which MwA treated and it's now healed. The 8th kitty.....on July 17, Jens found little Typhoon next to the road, where the little malnourished guy was obviously waiting for a lift and luckily, Jens came by!

Solaris arrived at MwA with a wound on her neck

Sadly, on July 22, Sky slipped away in his sleep. He was improving, and then all of a sudden, he got weaker, fell asleep, and never awoke. At least MwA was able to give Sky a lot of love during the days he was at the shelter.

Sky got weaker and died in his sleep

Lastly (although we haven't even gotten through July!), Banjo, who we wrote about in the June 11 MwA AKI Blog post, finally got his leg amputated. To recap, Banjo ended up at MwA after being caught during a spay/neuter clinic, and instead of returning him to the street, MwA brought him to the shelter because of his damaged leg. It took Banjo several weeks to get strong enough and to trust MwA volunteers enough so that he could be examined comfortably and to deal with the impending amputation. After the exam, it was clear that Banjo's leg was either hacked off or torn off, possibly after a bad fracture (picture below). The bones were flattened and compressed, the wound was still bleeding, how he survived that, no one knows. Lucky MwA intervened!

Banjo at the MwA shelter with his damaged leg

But now, after his amputation (picture below), Banjo is much better, although he still doesn't tolerate being touched--he's coming close!

Banjo after his amputation

Banjo greatly enjoys the company of the other dogs and he's even playing-especially with his favorite girl friend Shady. And best of all, he can relax and watch the world go by without terror. Thank you to an AKI donor who helped out with Banjo's vet care costs!

Banjo relaxing with MwA friends

Mbwa wa Africa has so many more beautiful stories of rescue, healing, and recovery. Please consider becoming a partner and supporting MwA's efforts; they can't do this without our help! AKI will send 100% of your donation to MwA:

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