Have a Heart-Namibia Update: August 2023
Have a Heart-Namibia told us that their top priority needs are an emergency fund and lifetime care of their spayed/neutered clients. We listened, and those are the HaH priorities that we're supporting.
We haven't yet tallied the total for 2023 (through August), but it looks like the AKI-HaH Emergency Fund has helped about 50 cats and dogs just in the 1st 8 months of the year and at a cost of about what a few visits to an emergency clinic in the US might cost! Here are some of their stories.
August: Huisbaas (Afrikaans for Landlord, boss of the house/running the business of the house) is one lucky dog! He had TVT and was very sick.
His dad is Quintin. They arrived at the vet clinic in Mariental for help and thanks to the Emergency Fund, Huisbaas started receiving weekly chemo treatment right away.
After the 2nd treatment, Dr Erna wrote:
"Huisbaas came for his second TVT treatment yesterday and his tumors have shrunk to half of the initial size within 2 weeks!!"
Quintin had also brought another lucky dog, Witfoot (Afrikaans for White Paw) and his owner to see Dr Erna. Poor Witfoot needed help urgently. He had TVT and paraphimosis, a very serious problem that can happen in uncastrated males. Witfoot had to stay at the clinic until "he can tuck his member back in so that it doesn't end up getting full of dirt and bruised again," according to Dr Erna. He was also started on weekly treatment for TVT.
From Geesche (HaH): Thank you so much AKI for being there for Namibia's dogs! This is animal welfare and education at its best, there is no better way! THANK YOU for yet another success story! Of course both of these dogs will be neutered once they're healthy enough."
August: Barbie was brought to a well-known cat rescuer in Outjo because she obviously needed help, but had no apparent owner. It was clear she had a broken front leg and was in so much pain, yet she remained a friendly cat.
Barbie got a lift to the closest vet, 70 kilometers away in Otjiwarongo. There, Dr Elvira took x-rays and messaged Geesche that Barbie had a badly broken front leg and would need to go to Windhoek for surgery. Geesche confirmed that this homeless kitty, in so much pain, could be treated using the AKI-HaH Emergency Fund. Dr Elvira made sure that Barbie was pain-free, and the search for a lift from Otjiwarongo to Windhoek started.
Luckily, a day later, Barbie got a ride to Windhoek and off she went for another 250 kilometers to Rhino Park Vet Clinic, where Dr Minty successfully operated on her leg. He also spayed Barbie. She stayed at the clinic for 3 weeks of cage rest.
During all of this, someone came forward who knew how Barbie had been injured: someone had thrown a rock at her! She couldn't be put back on the street, where she had been subject to such cruelty. Barbie needed a loving home.
When no potential adopter came forward, even after many posts flew around the rescue groups in Namibia, Bubu's Animal Haven, one of our 2023 Africa-Based Animal Welfare Organization Grant Program recipients, offered Barbie space at the Haven. No better home could have been found for Barbie: on a farm with a family who adores her and will look after her forever, and she'll have many cat friends. Well traveled Barbie got another lift 500 kilometers from Windhoek to the farm, hopefully her last long ride.
From Geesche: "So AKI made a double wonder happen for Barbie. She was helped through the Emergency Fund, and at the same time, a home was secured through the AKI grantee, Bubu's Animal Haven! THANK YOU, AKI, FOR SUPPORTING NAMIBIA'S CATS!!!"
August: This young ginger male, neutered, and tame, was found at the psychiatric ward of Central Hospital in Windhoek:
He had balance problems (vestibular syndrome: lack of coordination, falling or circling to one side, involuntary darting of the eyes back and forth, head tilt, and often nausea or vomiting) and was in urgent need of a vet. Ronja from Triglav Trust spotted him during her feeding rounds and thanks to the Emergency Fund, he was treated at the local vet clinic immediately. After two days at the vet hospital he was feeling a bit better and Ronja fostered him. Still, there was hope that his family was looking for him and they could be found.
But then on August 25, we heard from Geesche: "They had to put him down this morning as he made a turn for the worse but at least he was looked after, had a warm place to stay and good food and water. Thank you AKI for making all this possible!! He needed help asap and AKI was there for him. THANK YOU!!!"
June: Unas is her name, but it's not pronounced Unas, its with a loud click first (the one done in the front at the teeth) and then Unas more in a Spanish way, rather than English way.
HAH received a message from Dr Erna (500 km from Unas's home): "We got an old dog in at the clinic, a HaH steri from 7 years ago in Luderitz. She broke her radius and ulna. She is at least 9, I think closer to 11. She should ideally get a plate, screws in radius, pin in ulna. But she is old so there is a risk she may not heal. But I will give it a try if you want to."
Then Dr Erna wrote, "Unas is doing so well! She is bearing weight already. I'm just struggling with her a bit because she has fear aggression."
Then Dr Erna decided to foster Unas (at no cost!) until she was 100 % healed.
Geesche sent thanks from all of us: "Thank you Dr Erna for all the heart you put into your work!!!"
And finally, in mid-August, we heard that Unas was back home, after a couple of months of recovery with Dr Erna in Mariental, Unas traveled 500 km to Luderitz for the happy reunion!
Unas is 11 years old, but after being loved and cared for for so many years, she and her family deserve to spend as much time together as possible!
Mid-July: Chico seems to be the most unlucky dog - soon there will be no vet left in Namibia who doesn't know him! He's been a multiple time recipient of the AKI-HaH Emergency Fund (maybe that makes him a very lucky dog!)
This time he had very itchy skin. Chico's owner tried to help him with dip (Ectodex) but it didn't help, so when Chico had to travel from Rehoboth to Windhoek (80 km one way) for follow up x-rays of his leg (his previous visit under the Emergency Fund), the vet noticed how itchy Chico was and prescribed Bravecto, antibiotics and cortisone.
Then, on July 29, Chico went for another check up at Aanwo Vet Clinic in Rehoboth. The clinic team, knowing him very well at this point, organized a food donation for him as dogs are often given milliepap to eat and his allergic reaction could have been from this food.
17 July: From Geesche: "Again we want to say the biggest THANK YOU to Animal-Kind International for supporting Namibia's dogs and cats with an emergency fund! Beautiful Pretty is an old Have a Heart family member, living with her two cat siblings a happy life with her responsible family. But even if owners care a lot, accidents happen and this is how Pretty ended up now being hospitalised with Dr Erna at her clinic in Mariental."
Pretty tore her hock tendon and Dr Erna put her on strict cage rest at the clinic. Pretty is getting treated for an infection and as soon as it's cleared up, Dr Erna will then either do a nylon suture prosthetic which will come out later if the tendon heals well or she will fix the tendon if it's still strong enough. So Pretty will be boarding with Dr Erna for a while. And then on 29 July, we got this update on Pretty from Dr Erna:
"I did the hock tendon op yesterday, but there was barely any tendon left. It was eaten away almost completely by infection, so I strengthened and shortened what was left with strong nylon and at the moment, Pretty is actually stepping on the foot without problems, but the chances are it will fail at some point and she may need an amputation so as not to not chronically injure her hock. Unfortunately cats don't do well if the hock is just fixed in position permanently because they like to lay with the hock flexed under them. But I'll figure it out! She is doing well so far at least and being a model patient.
Sweet little girl." Check out how happy Pretty seems to be, softly purring:
We have so many more Emergency Fund cases, watch for the next post!