March 2023: From Uganda with news
Kindness to Animals has no Boundaries
Dear Animal-Kind Friends,
(Live links have been removed, but you can always go on our website to read more.)
This newsletter is long and newsy and may just be the longest AKI newsletter I’ve ever written. That’s because our Partners and Grantees are doing so much, working so hard…and have so many needs. We know that’s the case everywhere, but for our Partners and Grantees, you are all they have. Sending this from Uganda….with LOTS OF NEWS…..
Animal-Kind International Blog (March 2023)
Read our breaking news in these three articles published in March in the AKI Blog:
Two more of our nine 2022 Africa-Based Animal Welfare Organization Grant Program (see AKI Blog page) recipients completed their grant projects (only one left, Zambezi Working Donkey Project):
If I could give Save Animals (in Kinshasa, Congo) a standing ovation or a prize for the bravest animal advocates, I would. Their 6-month grant project, “Let’s Promote our Valued Dogs,” sponsored an event to promote dogs as pets (not for fighting, guarding, eating), and then, volunteers went undercover to expose-and work with the police to arrest-dog fighters. The arrests not only put an end to some of the worst offenders, but put all dog fighters in Kinshasa on notice—you will be caught and you will be arrested, your dogs will be confiscated. Dogs are pets, not meant for fighting!
Pwani Animal Welfare in Mombasa, Kenya also completed their grant project, "Providing safe living quarters for rescued stray cats and dogs." What we find so remarkable about this project is that Nusrat, founder of PAW, works in a part of Kenya that is predominantly Muslim, and as Nusrat (photo below with neonatal kittens) told us, she had “gotten resistance from the Islamic community in our advocacy against cruelty and violence towards dogs and demystifying the notion that dogs are impure in Islam. This has however changed since 2021 where a lot more Muslims in the community are becoming more informed due to the Pwani Animal Welfare community advocacy forums on kindness to dogs."
Here’s an update from Save Animals-Armenia (see AKI Blog page or SA-Armenia page on our website), our only Partner Organization outside of Africa and Latin America/Caribbean. Most recently, with funding from AKI, Save Animals-Armenia used your donations to feed shelter dogs and street dogs and to get street dogs spayed.
More News from our Partner Organizations
Earlier in March, disaster hit the Sauvons nos Animaux shelter (again). Eastern Congo is dealing with the effects of climate change; while they’ve always experienced heavy rains and flooding, the storms are less predictable, occur more frequently, and at greater intensity. When the perimeter fence at the SnA shelter blew over, it was because of unusually high winds, but also because the ground was saturated from so much rain.
As you can see, the shelter backs up to an almost vertical slope, so the fence not only kept dogs safely in the shelter property and intruders out, it also kept mud and landslides at bay.
Eventually, Sauvons nos Animaux plans to build a wall, mainly along the shelter’s rear perimeter. They need a permanent and solid structure to keep the shelter and its residents safe. But that is an expensive undertaking. For now, they need to repair the fence so that the dogs can once again spend their days outside their pens, in the beautiful grounds of the SnA shelter, and so that SnA supplies, equipment, and animals are safe from intruders. We and Sauvons nos Animaux need your help to make this happen!
At the Uganda SPCA….
At the end of 2022, we asked for your help and you gave it. The USPCA had a backlog of over 50 dogs and cats at The Haven who needed to be spayed or neutered. The USPCA just wasn’t able to keep up with the large number of intakes. They’ve now s/n’d a total of 56. From Alex, Haven Manager: “Thank you so much AKI, we still have more to s/n and more AKI funds to use.” (Photo: a Haven dog being spayed, one of the 18 cats and dogs s/n’d in March)
I’ll be visiting AKI Partner Organization Uganda SPCA later this week (when my work week ends) and will report from there in the April AKI newsletter.
Over the weekend, I’ll also be visiting Bam Animal Clinics-Uganda at their headquarters in Iganga, where I’ll bring sutures and other supplies for their dog and cat clinics and donkey welfare program. More about Bam’s work in the April newsletter also.
Just since January, the AKI-Have a Heart-Namibia Emergency Fund has helped 25 cats and dogs (not to mention the Dip Days we’ve sponsored-these also help to keep already spayed/neutered pets healthy, happy, and parasite-free, part of Have a Heart’s promise to their s/n clients that they will help provide Life Time Care.)
The tiny kitten, most likely unwanted and dumped, was found in Windhoek in a terrible state. She was alone-no mom in sight, starving, and too weak to move. A kind-hearted person found her close to death and brought her to a local vet who works with Have a Heart and knew of our AKI-HaH Emergency Fund. She was put on a drip, kept warm, given food and water, and stayed several nights at the clinic before going to a foster. For this “unwanted” kitten, there was no one else to cover the vet costs, only the AKI-HaH Emergency Fund! As all of you who are reading this know, there are just too many cats and too many of them have kittens (as hard as HaH works in Namibia to prevent that!) and there aren’t enough homes for all of them. Even as cute as Tiny is, she’s still waiting for hers.
And then there’s very cute little Milo, who came to Dr Olivier's clinic in Rehoboth when his mom, a pensioner (state pension is N$1200/month, about US $80), noticed he wasn’t feeling well. Dr Hileni found an obstruction in his esophagus, urgently needing attention. Luckily, the AKI-HaH Emergency Fund was there to help Milo! He is still recovering at home, but will soon be fit enough to be neutered by HaH. “Thank you so much AKI and donors, Milo is much needed by his mom, and loved!”—from Geesche (HaH)
Of the many AKI-HaH Emergency Fund cases, it’s always so hard to choose 1 or 2 to highlight in our newsletters. In the AKI Blog-where I have more space for more details, I try to include all of them, and next month, I’ll do just that. But I couldn’t send this newsletter without Bella’s story:
Bella came to Dr Erna after being in labor for 48 hours. She was pregnant by a bigger dog. Her desperate owner took her to the state vet but they wouldn't help and in her desperation she went to Dr Erna. Bella and her family live in Gibeon (75 km away from Mariental, population of about 3000 people). Bella’s mom felt bad that she was unable to afford the surgery, but offered to help HaH by arranging for volunteers, a location, and by helping at a s/n clinic in Gibeon. Geesche wrote, “This is fantastic, we have never been in Gibeon before! This is just the best way to get started there! Not only that, both Bella and her baby would be dead without AKI! THANK YOU!!!I” It was a difficult lesson, but Bella’s mom learned how important it is to SPAY, not only to prevent unwanted puppies, but for the health of the pet as well. (Bella will be spayed)
From Deborah (our Partner, Kingston Community Animal Welfare): “I've been seeing this sweet doggie for a couple of weeks now sitting on the sidewalk whenever I'm coming down the hill. He is always there waiting for me now. I assumed he belonged to one of the houses on that road until an old lady came to the gate and thanked me for feeding him as she hardly had any food to give him. She said the dog used to live a bit down from her but the owners moved and left him. I was heartbroken for this little dog. The lady seemed to care about the dog so I struck a deal for her to keep him in her yard if I provided most of his food and care. She said yes!! Now the sweet boy will be safe and looked after if even temporarily until he is neutered and united with a forever owner, whomever that may be. I’m working on it though!”
It’s bath day at the Helping Hands for Hounds of Honduras Sanctuary. Beto and Thor love their baths (wet dogs after baths: Thor-top, Beto-2nd photo below).
Born in early 2016, Thor’s owner brought him to a vet to be euthanized because his leg and paw were “deformed.” The vet suggested an alternative—surrendering him to HHHH, and Thor’s been at the Sanctuary ever since.
Beto was found in 2019 on the street in Tegucigalpa, starving, had a bad case of mange, and wouldn’t have lasted much longer on those mean streets (photo below soon after Beto’s arrival at the Sanctuary). Pilar again worked her magic, and Beto is now this handsome clean boy in the middle picture. Although Pilar tried to find homes, since they are rottie/dobie type dogs, people want them for guard dogs-and neither of these dogs have any interest in guarding!
The Six Freedoms-Ghana (@thesixfreedoms) visited the Labadi stables in Accra (photo below), where sadly, nothing has changed since their last visit. Change comes slowly, it requires persistence and patience—2 things that T6F have in abundance, but one thing they don’t have—a way to show people and teach people what good horse care and handling look like. T6F wants to purchase land for a rescue and training ranch, where Ghana’s grooms, horse owners, vets, animal caretakers, and others who have horses or are involved in horse care in any way, and the public, can visit, touch horses, ride them, and learn all about horse behavior, care, and what it takes to be a responsible horse owner.
This is a HUGE (and a very expensive) need. The 1st step is a Business Plan, and the Six Freedoms and AKI are hoping to find a volunteer to help with this. Do you have experience in preparing business plans? Do you love horses and want to help Ghana’s horses have more dignified, kinder lives?
We need you! Send me a message!
All of this—everything—in the above stories and so much more are only possible thanks to your support. Animal-Kind International receives no government support, we don’t get grants, we only have you! As always, we are very grateful to you for your kindness and generosity. Our success is your success, our achievements for animals are only possible because of your support. We Are Very Gratefully Yours, Karen Menczer, Founder/Director & the Animal-Kind International Board AKI has Partner Organizations in Uganda (2 partners), Namibia (2 partners), DR Congo, Ghana, South Sudan, Liberia, Honduras, Jamaica, and Armenia. You can donate to AKI’s general fund or designate your donation to one or more of our Partner Organizations. Our 2022 grantees work in: Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa (3 grantees), Zambia, and Zimbabwe. AKI: Since 2007, helping animals and the people who care for them in some of the poorest countries. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization; donations to AKI are tax deductible in the US to the extent the law allows. 100% of your donations are used to support our Partner Organizations & our Africa-Based Animal Welfare Organization Grant Program. Remember to use Goodshop when you shop online!
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