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November 2023: Visiting Congo, Uganda Pet Food Fund, & more!

Kindness to Animals has no Boundaries November 2023 Dear Animal-Kind Friends,


Having just returned from working in eastern Congo (non-AKI related) and taking some days off from work to visit our Partner, Sauvons nos Animaux in Bukavu, I wish everyone on this mailing list could have a chance to see this peaceful, serene sanctuary and meet the cats and dogs who live there and the kind staff who care for them. Amidst the chaos of eastern DRC, the Sauvons nos Animaux shelter is a refuge for the 60 dogs and 10 cats who are lucky enough to have this safe place as their home.


One day we tried to reach the shelter in a rainstorm-traffic, mud, a van with a flat tire, a taxi with a malfunctioning engine held together with ropes (photos below-click on each for a larger view), and police checkpoints, all got in our way, making what would be a 30 minute journey more than a 2 hour trip.


But we did make it! Paterne never seemed to doubt we would; I had my doubts. Paterne and most people in the DRC have to put up with much worse than this every day. And if it’s difficult for people, it’s much more difficult for dogs and cats to survive in these conditions.


volunteer and kitten
Tomas, a volunteer with SnA, studies software engineering in Burundi. He loves cats & when home in Bukavu during school holidays, volunteers at the shelter. When he’s done with school, he hopes to bring cutting edge technology to the shelter.

cooking dog food
Olga & Nabintu cook dog food in SnA’s makeshift kitchen, where dogs gather waiting for their meal.

reading about animals
SnA founder/director Paterne & Moraba read magazines I brought with me to the shelter. Moraba visits the shelter daily & helps out where he can. One day, he hopes to work at the shelter, taking care of the cats & dogs & actually getting paid to help the animals he loves!


 

Although life is difficult in eastern Congo, YOU have eased the pain: the SnA Pet Food Fund, helping pay SnA staff salaries, building the wall around the shelter (protecting it from flooding, landslides, and thieves), donating a laptop and camera, and your ongoing moral support mean so much. But there’s still so much need: salaries for 5 animal care staff, 1 vet, and a night security guard (to be hired once funds are available), shelter repairs, construction of a building to house a vet clinic, storage room, kitchen to more safely cook cat and dog food, and a room for staff and the children who visit daily, and of course, continued funding for pet food, vet care, and shelter supplies, the Youth Club, and community public awareness/education.


 

As Giving Tuesday approaches, we ask for your help, but most important, we ask for your support year-round. If you are passionate about helping animals, in areas where poverty is rampant, donations for animals are rare, but where local, community-based organizations do so much with so little—please donate to Animal-Kind International. You can donate to Animal-Kind International (where it’s needed most) or select one or more of our Partners or 2023 Grantees to receive your donation. Besides Sauvons nos Animaux, some of our other needs are:


We established the Uganda SPCA Pet Food Fund based on what we, with USPCA, identified as their greatest current need. The USPCA budget has shrunk to the point where they are uncertain how they’ll cover their costs in 2024. In just the last few days, the USPCA has rescued 2 mama dogs with 9 puppies each. In almost an instant, the population at the USPCA shelter increased by 20 mouths! And sadly, this is not an unusual situation.


mama and her 9 puppies
Mama with 9 puppies rescued on November 16 in Jinja. With help from several animal lovers in Jinja, the USPCA was able to get this mama and her puppies to safety at The Haven.


 

If you’re an animal lover (and I assume you are if you’re reading this), one of the best uses of your donations is the AKI-Have a Heart-Namibia Emergency Fund. But as of mid-November, the Emergency Fund has been depleted (in 2023, the Emergency Fund provided vet care for 43 dogs, 28 cats, and 1 horse!)


Kitsy is a great ambassador for our Emergency Fund, which helps very low/no income pet owners get emergency vet care for their pets who were already spayed or neutered by Have a Heart (and thereby are part of the HaH family) or who agree to get their pet s/n’d as a condition of getting their vet care covered. Kitsy’s emergency care (we suspect she was attacked by a dog when heavily pregnant), which included 2 x amputations (leg and tail), emergency C section (her kittens didn’t survive), crazy amount of stitches, long-term care at the vet clinic, blood transfusion, and medication cost only US$195.40! (Once recovered, she was also spayed).

cat and friend sleeping
Kitsy at home, sleeping with her friend

 

AKI Blog posts bring you news about animal welfare from around the world with a focus on our supported organizations (our Partners and Grant Recipients) and what they accomplish thanks to AKI donors. Our 18 supported organizations in 13 countries need your support this holiday season!


Bosnia then and now: observations from a friend - We asked a friend of AKI's, an active animal advocate and animal welfare volunteer, to tell us about changes she's seen for cats and dogs from when she 1st lived in Bosnia in 2006 to 2009 to now, when she is again living there (AKI has previously had 2 Partner Organizations in Bosnia). These are her personal observations.


Doggy Tuesday - Notes from a Twala Trust Volunteer - Twala Trust-Zimbabwe is a two-time recipient of AKI’s Africa-Based Animal Welfare Organization Grant Program. This year’s grant supports dog food for almost 5 months of Doggy Tuesdays. AKI supporter, Amanda, spent one month as a volunteer at Twala Trust during April and May 2023 and this is her account of the experience.


Bam Animal Clinics-Uganda: October Donkey Clinics - With support from AKI donors, our Partner Organization, Bam Animal Clinics, holds free community vet clinics for donkeys in eastern Uganda and teaches donkey owners to make and use humane saddles out of easily obtainable sisal sacks. During one of their community clinics in October, Bam treated a donkey (below left) whose eye was injured during a fight with his buddy (male donkeys can get pretty rough with each other and with females too).


Kingston Community Animal Welfare rescue escapades - KCAW’s rescues never cease to amaze us. Deborah does everything in her power to help Kingston’s dogs and cats. And your support helps her feed, rescue, spay/neuter, and provide needed vet care to Kingston's cats and dogs living on the street and helps very low income families in Kingston provide good care for their pets-so they won't end up on the street.


 

Watch for our December newsletter, where we’ll have news about whether we’ll be adding or dropping any Partner Organizations in 2024 (the AKI Board meets in December to make the decision about the following year’s Partners) and we’ll announce a new way to support us by shopping for artwork and print-on-demand products from Animal-Kind International, including: wall art, home decor, apparel, phone cases, and more!


With gratitude for your kindness and your much-needed and appreciated support, Karen Menczer, Founder/Director & the Animal-Kind International Board AKI has Partner Organizations in Uganda, Namibia, 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 2023 (6th annual) Africa-Based Animal Welfare Organization Grant Program grantees work in: Zimbabwe (2 grantees), Tanzania (2 grantees), South Africa (2 grantees), Morocco, and Namibia. 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 A-KI 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.

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