Kindness to Animals has no Boundaries
Dear Animal-Kind Friends,
(Live links have been removed, but you can always go to our AKI Blog page or the individual Partner Organization page to read more)
To Be a Dog in Congo
Just yesterday I returned from eastern Congo, where I spent a few days with Paterne Bushunju, founder & director of AKI Partner, Sauvons nos Animaux. It will take a while for everything to sink in—it was one of the more enlightening, thought provoking visits to an animal welfare organization that I’ve ever had.
For now, I’m overwhelmed with two thoughts/memories of my time with Paterne. The 1st is that Paterne, with some encouragement (and funding) from Giancarlo, a Facebook friend, started a a movement, not just a shelter, a movement-in Bukavu, DRC, which had never before seen or heard of animal welfare/rescue/sheltering. I’m sure that neither Paterne nor Giancarlo would have believed that a Facebook friendship could lead to what Sauvons nos Animaux is today. (Sadly, Giancarlo passed away, but he did see some of the great strides that Paterne has made.)
Sauvons nos Animaux is more than a shelter: It’s a Kids Club, 1st photo below, where school kids gather every day after classes to help with shelter tasks, play games, learn about cats and dogs. They are the 1st generation of school age kids that is benefiting from having an animal shelter in their midst! What changes will we see? Will changes will they see? And what changes will they make themselves as far as treatment of animals in Bukavu? (If you haven’t already read our article about SnA’s animal friendly kids’ camp, please do read it on the AKI Blog.)
Sauvons nos Animaux is more than a shelter: It’s an event, photo above, where every Sunday 100s of people gather in central Bukavu to run, walk, ride bikes, chat with friends, and take their dogs! TAKE THEIR DOGS! This is in a city where, still, most people have no feeling for dogs. Yet this movement called Sauvons nos Animaux is responsible for showing people that dogs are our friends, even our best friends.
The 2nd thought is one that weighs heavily on me: In the face of such a high incidence of poverty and so much human need, there are people who are helping animals. But, the very difficult thing is that there’s nothing to spare-there’s no food to spare, no money to spare, no supplies, for many, there’s no feeling to spare. And it shows. The dogs at the shelter are skinny (the cats are doing ok).
Even though skinny, a life at the shelter is SO much better than a life on Bukavu’s streets, where as Paterne told me, if a dog strays beyond his home, he will probably be killed. Without any possibility of a local donor base (Paterne has tried to get food scraps from hotels, donations from the supermarket-no luck), this movement is reliant on us. Paterne and I did the calculations: at the current shelter population (45 dogs, 20 cats, plus puppies and kittens, a total of 75 animals), to purchase high quality food for one year for both cats and dogs, the cost is about US$9840. That’s our goal now-to raise an extra $9840 so that Paterne has enough food to keep the cats and dogs happy and plump throughout 2023!
The dogs in the picture above are the most recent SnA arrivals. They come from the streets of Bukavu-and if you can believe it, were even skinnier when they arrived at the shelter. Two of these dogs have an even sadder story: Paterne rescued them from their home, where their owner left them when he moved away, chained with no food or water!
While I was with Paterne, we bought enough cat and dog food to last about a month. Over the next few months, I’ll tell you more about my visit with SnA, about SnA’s hopes and needs and challenges, and about the progress—we hope with your help!!!—that we’re making to reach our goal of raising $9840 for Sauvons nos Animaux’s cats and dogs!
Donate to SnA for cat & dog food-help us reach our goal!
Partner & Grantee Updates
Below are our most recent AKI Blog posts with updates from our Partner Organizations, Liberia Animal Welfare & Conservation Society, Bam Animal Clinics-Uganda, Save Animals-Armenia, and Have a Heart-Namibia; and a Progress Report from 1 of our 9 Africa-Based Animal Welfare Organization Grant Recipients, Botswana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Sannie & Jannie, the story of 2 kitties from Namibia (Have a Heart) - This story from Geesche (HaH), about how the AKI-HaH Emergency Fund helped 2 kitties and their person during really hard times, is one of my favorite kitty stories ever and the pictures are hypnotizing.
Save Animals-Armenia: October 2022 - We’re grateful to AKI friend, Gayane, who personally delivered AKI funds to SA-Armenia in early October. This post is about how Nune/SA-A spent some of the funds (and there’s more money left over to do more good work!)
Bam Animal Clinics-September 2022 Update - AKI donors continue to help donkeys in eastern Uganda via Bam’s humane saddle making training classes and free community vet clinics. This post is full of great pictures that show what life is like for donkeys without Bam assistance and the transformation when Bam provides humane saddle making training and vet care for a community’s donkeys.
Liberia Animal Welfare & Conservation Society: October 2022 - LAWCS knows how to celebrate World Rabies Day! Over 200 cats and dogs received rabies vaccines and many, many more people received information about how to prevent rabies and how to identify and avoid animals who may be infected. Mis-identification of dogs thought to have rabies, but who do not, has led to horrible-and avoidable-endings, easily prevented by AKI-supported LAWCS’s awareness raising efforts.
Botswana SPCA’s Spay/Neuter Grant Project: Kick-Off! - This is the 1st of our Africa-Based Animal Welfare Organization Grantee Progress Reports that we’ve published. I selected this one as the 1st—even though ALL our grant recipients have been really busy—because I think BSPCA is using a replicable methodology and I wanted to get the information out to others who hold community s/n projects. I love the way they involve the community at every step—and by “community,” we mean everyone, from pet owners to business people, to all interested vets, to local authorities/government officials—everyone plays a part and has a role in s/n of a community’s cats and dogs!
Uganda SPCA in Dire Straits & a Plea to You, Our Supporters
The new USPCA shelter is looking GREAT (2 photos above of the new kennels and the kitchen). The USPCA has made amazing progress, but progress at the new site has put the USPCA’s budget for day-to-day operations at risk. The USPCA continues to rescue cats and dogs in record numbers (like the 7 puppies pictured below, dumped in October near the new Haven, but taken to the old Haven, to get the vet care and staff attention they need).
This transition period, with both locations still operating (a wall, a cattery, office/reception, and more needs to be built before everyone can be moved to the new site), has been and continues to be one of the most difficult periods for the USPCA. We know that donors are feeling drained (by your generous donations, which we are grateful for, and the global economic situation). Our-USPCA’s and AKI’s-pool of donors is limited, so we’re asking you to help us get the word out-beyond our usual supporters. If you love the USPCA as much as we do-and we know you do!-please tell your friends and family about AKI and USPCA and as the holidays approach, if you feel comfortable, please ask for their support. The USPCA needs you now more than ever.
Kingston Community Animal Welfare & a one-of-a-kind rescue story!
Deborah, the face, the compassion, and the whirlwind of energy behind AKI Partner Organization KCAW, has undertaken some awesome rescues (check out the AKI Blog posts on the KCAW page on the AKI website). I wanted to share this one with you because it ranks as one of the best! Not only that, it has a really happy ending (and we like to end our newsletters on an upbeat note!)
From Deborah: There’s an abandoned house not far from me, where I saw 2 little pups sitting outside on the sidewalk. Then another appeared, then another, then the mama. I couldn't believe it. They were so hungry and she had no milk. They ran away when I got too close, their little legs weren't faster than me but they knew to run under the gate of the abandoned house. I couldn't reach them.
So I did the next best thing since they seemed safe enough in there. I went back home and got food. Then I began feeding them every day, twice a day.
This went on for a while until they got used to me. I found very nice homes for 3 of the pups but left 1 to stay longer with mama. He had gotten bitten very badly by a bigger dog. I didn't think he would make it. But he did.
When he got stronger, he would still run from me when I came by. Sometimes I wasn’t sure where he ran to, but this time I heard his screams, they were so loud. I followed the sound to a bushy section of my neighbor’s yard. I couldn't get in as they had guard dogs who were out so I made a frantic call to Carlene, my neighbor, who told me thankfully that her son was home asleep. She called him and he was so helpful and gently disentangled the pup who was stuck in thick vines that were cutting into his skin [Click on the picture below to watch the neighbor cut away the vines from the puppy—amazing!]
I had to syringe feed him for the first 2 days to keep him hydrated. He was so weak he couldn't lift his head. He had a raging fever that broke on the second day. I started him on antibiotics and he improved rapidly until he was fully recovered from the trauma.
The mama dog was adopted by an old couple who just lost their beloved shepherd of 13 years. And then the little pup, who got into some scary predicaments in his short life, was adopted:
Every day I’m touched by the great lengths our Partner Organizations and Grant Recipients go to to rescue animals, help them recover, and find them great homes; their outreach to spread the message of kindness to animals; their courage in the face of too much cruelty and hardship. If these stories of rescue, sheltering, and advocacy touch you and if you’re impressed by the effectiveness of AKI-supported organizations, we hope you decide to donate. That is the only way that the rescuing, sheltering, and advocacy can continue.
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As always, 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 go to our Partners & Grant Program.