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My Visit to the Uganda SPCA Haven (March/April) & Beyond (May-July)

USPCA Haven Staff

During March and April, I spent 3 weeks in Uganda (for my job with US Agency for International Development) and I spent all 3 weekends, both Saturday and Sunday, at The Haven. What better place to be when in Kampala?!

Since I had last been in Uganda (about 2 1/2 years before), The Haven has added more staff, which is great news. In the group picture above you can see, from left: Jackie (Vet Assistant when I visited in April, but recently promoted to Assistant Shelter Manager), Moses, Alex (Shelter Manager), Fred, Irene, Lydia, and Dominick. Not in the group picture, but in pictures below, there's Mary and Vincent:

Mary, USPCA Haven animal caretaker

Vincent, USPCA Haven animal caretaker

Even in the short time I was in Uganda, the number of dogs at The Haven increased (there were about 230 dogs when I arrived). Two mama dogs with puppies were rescued in Lubowa. Here's a picture of one of them with her puppies:

April 9-Mama dog and her puppies rescued, resting comfortably at The Haven

I participated in the rescue of a young male dog, who was saved by a kind woman who chased away some kids who were beating him. She then called the USPCA to get the dog to safety at The Haven (rescued dog pictured with Dominick):

Dominick holding the dog we rescued from kids who were beating him

Myra rescued this girl in April along Ggaba road. She was full of mange, ticks, and fleas, but now is healthy and happy. Before and after pictures below:

This puppy-below-was rescued on April 4 with a broken leg. While I was in Uganda, she was recuperating with that large cast, but now she's doing well and walking without pain.

On average, 1 dog/day was rescued over the 3 weeks I was in Uganda. A few cats, including a litter of still nursing kittens (picture below)--were rescued and brought to The Haven during those 3 weeks too.

A litter of still nursing kittens was rescued and Sue helped with their frequent feedings.

On April 4, the USPCA team rescued 4 cats in Ntinda and brought them to The Haven:

How many dogs and cats were adopted during the 3 weeks that I as in Uganda? Four dogs (2 of them puppies) and 2 cats. Not much balance!

The numbers of cats and dogs at The Haven are only increasing-they never seem to decrease. I think this is not necessarily because there's more cruelty, but because more people know about The Haven and because cruelty has become less acceptable. Most of the people who report dogs and cats in need of rescue, most of the people who actually rescue animals and bring them to The Haven, and most adopters are Ugandans. About 50% of the people who came to volunteer while I was volunteering were Ugandans. 

With the ever growing numbers of cats and dogs at the USPCA Haven, it's become even more critical to find a larger plot of land for the shelter. But it's not only that; I was shocked by the new construction next to and across from The Haven (see picture below)--Kampala is booming. We expect that the noise of the dogs barking and even the smell will get some complaints from these new residents (I think The Haven is kept very clean, but I'm sure people will complain!)

New development across the road from The Haven

Most available plots of land aren't suitable for the USPCA--too expensive, too inaccessible, too small. Still, purchasing a piece of land remains a priority for the USPCA. You can donate to the Land Purchase Fund here,

(designate land fund).

While I was in Uganda, I participated in a community spay/neuter clinic in Kawempe:

Community Spay/Neuter Clinic in Kawempe-free vet care and pet care advice in poor communities

These clinics are the only opportunity for cats and dogs to be seen by a vet and to be s/n'd. People in Kampala and Entebbe's poor communities (aka slums) can't afford private vet care. It never fails that many children show up to USPCA clinics with their pets. But they also stick around for the day, usually fascinated by what's taking place at the clinic. The community clinics are a great way to build more caring communities.

In the weeks since I left Uganda, the record-setting number of rescues has continued.

In April, the day after Alex returned to The Haven from his short break during the Easter holiday, the USPCA team was called to rescue a mama and puppies from a drain. It took about 3 hours but all were safely removed and taken to The Haven.

It took 3 hours for the team to rescue 6 puppies

Six puppies were rescued from this drainage

Mama dog rescued with her puppies, who were in a drain

May turned out to be an incredibly busy month with 79 animals arriving at the shelter (13 dogs, 33 puppies, 16 cats, 17 kittens)! But the imbalance continued with [only] 31 lucky animals adopted: 7 puppies, 8 dogs, 7 kittens, and 9 cats. The shelter was home to 246 animals during May!

Some of the May rescues were:

Chikita, rescued on May 7 from Zirobwe village: She had a bad case of mange. Since then, she's fully recovered (picture below):

Also on May 7, the USPCA team was called to rescue this cat, stuck in a hole in the wall! The team performed another successful rescue and brought the kitty to The Haven.

Alex rescuing the kitty stuck in a hole in the wall

Jaguar was abandoned in a compound for about 2 weeks before a neighbor called the USPCA on May 24. Turns out the owner moved back to his home country and left Jaguar behind. The team brought Jaguar to The Haven (picture below).

The rescues continue....we can only show a small sample.

On July 4, Mr. Alvin reported a dog in a drainage channel who needed to be rescued. The dog had been hit by a boda boda and couldn't move. She was lying in the ditch for 4 days before Mr. Alvin saw her and called for her rescue.

At The Haven, she couldn't walk, but after 5 days of care (thanks to Dr. Singh, the USPCA's new vet), "she can walk like a little baby who is trying to learn how to walk," Alex said.

On July 9, the USPCA got a call about this boy with severe mange, who needed help. The USPCA team brought him to The Haven, where he is currently undergoing treatment.

Your donations to AKI for the USPCA help every cat and dog at the's how:

AKI and USPCA are grateful for your kind and generous support. Without our AKI donors, the USPCA wouldn't be able to rescue and help so many.


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