As of today, Liberia has had 212 cases of covid-19 and 20 people have died. Lofa County, where LAWCS is located, has had no confirmed cases. However, schools are closed, and for the most part, LAWCS Humane Ed/Community staff are sheltering in place. The LAWCS clinic is open, but with safeguards in place.
Even with the restrictions, LAWCS staff are still active in their communities, as they continue to monitor, work with, and help pet owners care for their cats and dogs, as well as communities' free roaming dogs and cats. They do this remotely and sometimes in person using protective measures such as masks, hand sanitizer, and distancing.
It's only because of LAWCS constant presence in their communities, acting as role models, providing advice, and when possible, providing food and supplies such as, de-parasitizers and shampoos, that the relationships you'll read about below are possible.
Kezelee is a member of a LAWCS Animal Kindness Club, an after-school club of students who are interested in learning about and advocating for animals. Because he grew to love dogs from learning about them in his Animal Kindness Club, Kezelee decided he wanted one. So about one year ago, Kezelee brought Meakey home. His parents weren't fond of dogs and weren't too happy about having Meakey around. But when Kezelee's parents saw how dedicated Meakey and Kezelee were to each other, his parents grew to accept and even love Meakey. Kezelee's friends also learned from watching the two of them about what fun it is to have a dog as a good buddy. (3 pictures below)
One of the ways that LAWCS is staying in touch with many of the children in their Humane Ed Programs and Animal Kindness Clubs is by texts and calls to their mobile phones. Remotely, LAWCS continues to encourage them to care for their pets during this difficult time and to report cases of cruelty, especially of the free-roaming dogs and cats, who so rely on the kindness of strangers.
Gawu Jallah is a great example of the effect the LAWCS program can have on young people. During the covid-19 crisis, she and her friend Lion are growing closer, spending a lot of quality time together. (2 pictures below)
Joseph has been working with LAWCS for over 4 years. Due to covid-19, he's been spending more time at home with his family, while reaching out to many of his Humane Ed students on the phone and through social media. His human and pet family are enjoying the extra time spent together! (picture below)
Krubo is a star pupil of her school's Animal Kindness Club. With the closure of schools due to covid-19, Krubo is home with her family. Looking for things to keep her busy, Krubo took her puppy Bush to the river for a bath. (2 pictures below)
Krubo safely carried Bush across the deep river!
One of the positive outcomes of the pandemic is that children are spending more time with their pets, who are a source of entertainment and are safe friends. This is creating stronger bonds between children and pets and will help raise a generation of advocates for being kind to animals.