Our last AKI Blog post about Uganda Society for the Protection & Care of Animals was on March 21 and it was titled, "USPCA & AKI: together a successful 2019, but what will 2020 bring?" We ended that post with this thought: "We don't know where this will lead and how it will change Uganda, the wider world, and the USPCA Haven. We know that in partnership--the USPCA, AKI, and our donors--we can make it through this and hopefully we will emerge stronger."
Here we are, 4 months later, and we are still unsure where this will lead and how we will be changed. We do know that the AKI-USPCA-donor relationship remains strong. Our donors have stuck with us and with the USPCA and for that we are immensely grateful.
In May, we sent a covid-19 relief disbursement to the Uganda SPCA, mainly to cover Haven salaries and cat and dog food, but of course, for whatever their priority needs are. Some local donors in the restaurant and hotel business, who had supported the USPCA for so many years with food donations, had to pause their donations; with the decline in business, they just couldn't continue donating food.
Many expats left Uganda during the pandemic. Some surrendered their animals to The Haven. Some just left their animals behind to fend for themselves. The USPCA staff rescued several dogs left in compounds with only enough food and water for a few days, but with no one to care for them beyond that meager supply.
That was the case for this old guy pictured above, left behind in Kololo (in Kampala). A security guard who is afraid of dogs, but has a kind heart and didn't know what else to do, threw bits of food over the fence for the dog. After about 2 months of this, the dog started to bark and cry and neighbors realized that the dog had been left behind when the owners moved out. The neighbors called the USPCA and Alex and team brought the dog to The Haven.
Since our March 21 post, Uganda has gone through a range of covid-19 restrictions, including a strict curfew and ban on movement of personal vehicles to-the current situation-requiring standard safeguards of mask wearing in public and social distancing. Except for the 1st few weeks of the strict lockdown, the USPCA Haven has been deemed essential and USPCA staff have continued to work. But in the early days of the pandemic, USPCA staff couldn't travel to rescue animals and getting to and from work was very difficult, especially within curfew limits.
It was during the 1st few weeks of the pandemic, in April, when the USPCA received a call about a dog in a culvert along the road. The caller had to send her vehicle, which had a permit to travel during the lockdown, to pick up the USPCA team. It wasn't an easy rescue (2 pictures below), but in the end, it was successful, and the dog was brought to The Haven.
Luckily, after a few weeks, the USPCA received permission to drive their vehicle during the lockdown since so many cats and dogs needed their help.
In April, the USPCA was notified about a puppy who wasn't receiving proper care. They visited the owner, who agreed to give the puppy up. She was covered with maggots. As soon as they returned with her to The Haven, the USPCA team went to work. They removed 82 maggots from her tiny body (below)!
On June 3, Wambui sent an SOS to the USPCA: "My names is Wambui, am a Kenyan stuck here in Uganda due to the lockdown. Today as I took my usual walks I came across a stray dog near Kitintale market that had an amputated front leg may be due to a trap or accident, the dog is really emaciated, in poor health and needs urgent help. Am available to give direction if need be." The USPCA team found the dog-suffering from a severe case of mange- and brought him back to The Haven for treatment. Thank you Wambui!
In May, the USPCA rescued these 2 puppies near Victoria Mall in Entebbe. In this picture below, they're relaxing comfortably at The Haven. But imagine if these-and many others rescued during April, May, and June-had to be left in place because of covid-19 restrictions on personal vehicles. We are grateful that the USPCA was considered essential-we knew all along that they were!
Adoption numbers plunged after coronavirus struck Uganda, especially when personal vehicles weren't allowed on the street, making it difficult-almost impossible-to visit The Haven to adopt a dog or cat.
This little girl (picture above) was a stray. She was wounded-we don't know what happened-but the wound got infected with maggots. She was rescued on April 23, when her rescuer saw her on a street in Lubowa. He brought her to The Haven. Then in May, he visited The Haven and adopted her! He named her Yuuki (below).
In April, only 14 pets were adopted (2 pictured below).
Even though adoption numbers have been lower than usual, many people did-and continue to-open their hearts to Haven dogs. On May 11, Yvonne adopted 2 kittens.
On June 3, just in 1 day(!), 5 pets were adopted from The Haven! (picture of 1 of them, below)
In May and June, 55 pets were adopted from The Haven. In the past, that many cats and dogs would be adopted in just 1 month But still, we are so happy that 55 animals have real families now:
On June 20, Anna adopted 2 dogs from the USPCA, Pirate (one eye) and Howler (below).
Slowly, life is returning to normal (although of course this could be short-term and we know we need to be prepared for anything and everything). Together, you-our donors- AKI, and the USPCA will grow stronger, rescue more animals, save more lives, and spread the message of kindness to animals throughout Uganda. Thank you for donating.
Here's how the USPCA used your donations to AKI from January through May 2020: