October 2021: Eyes on Africa's Animal Rescues
AKI News-October 2021
I’ve gotten many messages lately-especially over the last 6 months-from people who want to support animal rescue organizations, mainly in Africa, but are unsure if the rescuers they’re reading about on social media are the real thing. As more and more people use and often abuse social media, it’s often difficult to tell the real from the fake.
We’ve done some checking on Facebook and Instagram, in particular, and we’ve found that some posts, purporting to be by animal rescuers, are really from dog breeders playing on peoples’ emotions to get donations by claiming that their breeding dogs and puppies are rescues (when they are not). But more often, we’re finding that as sincere as an individual may appear on social media, even in individual correspondence, the entire profile is 100% fake, the individual does not actually exist.
But don’t despair, we can help! This is one reason why I started Animal-Kind Int’l, so you can be sure your donations are going to the real thing, not a fake Instagram profile (amazingly, some of these have raised many thousands of dollars). Of course, these fake individuals are taking away much needed funds from the real ones. And they are doing damage to all animal welfare organizations in Africa (it’s happening in other regions too, but there seems to be a boom of fakes in Africa recently). Before you donate, based on an Instagram or Facebook post, make sure you’re donating to the real thing. Get in touch, and we may be able to help you untangle the real from the fake.
Our October AKI Blog posts are about two AKI Partner Organizations and what they’ve accomplished with AKI donations and three of our AKI Grantees and the progress they’ve made on their grant projects.
HorseSafety-Ghana: Providing healing, care, and health for the horses- One of our nine 2021 grant recipients, HorseSafety treated Arrowboy (above with caretaker Emmanuel) for abscesses from an injection given by a non-professional-surprisingly, this is more common than you’d think and sometimes the effects are devastating. You can still see the scars from the abscess on Arrowboy’s front legs. We’re supporting HorseSafety so they can improve the care of horses at Kingdomstable and also do outreach to get care to many more horses. This AKI Blog post chronicles their progress, thanks to the AKI grant, from August through September.
Liberia Animal Welfare & Conservation Society-helping people help their animals- AKI Partner, LAWCS, continues to reach remote areas to hold community animal clinics in places where there are no vets; through their Humane Ed Program, raise awareness of animal welfare and care among students and other community members; and showcase good feeding for cats and dogs (photo below) to counteract the common practice of throwing bones to the dogs, and otherwise letting them scrounge for their food among piles of trash.
Veterinarians for Animal Welfare Zimbabwe makes great progress with their grant from AKI- The VAWZ team so far sterilized 40 animals (13 more will be sterilized with grant funds) and vaccinated 200 (grant funding will cover 89 additional animals). This AKI Blog post shows why it’s so important to continue to sterilize and vaccinate dogs in rural communities in Zimbabwe.
Save Animals-Armenia: for the love of old dogs- Nune Mehrabyan, founder & director of AKI Partner SA-Armenia, has given her life to the dogs at her shelter, now all seniors-every day she's with them, her money is spent on them, her every thought is for them. This AKI Blog post is about how your donations help Nune care for these lucky senior dogs, rescued from spending their lives on the streets of Yerevan.
Sauvons nos Animaux in the DR of Congo hires staff, buys meds, & starts sterilizing!- For the 2nd year in a row, we awarded SnA an Africa-Based Animal Welfare Organization Grant. With this year’s grant, SnA purchased meds and hired a vet and vet assistant to spay and neuter all the cats and dogs at the SnA shelter and to provide other needed vet care. Little did we realize how grateful we’d be that Dr. Astride had been hired. In addition to s/n, she’s been called on to provide some intensive care, in one case to a dog who was shot and in another for a dog who fell in a ravine and was unable to escape. -Read about them in this AKI Blog post.
AKI’s Africa-Based Animal Welfare Organization Grant Program 2021- We’ll be posting progress reports from all of our 2021 grantees on this page. This year, every single one of our 9 grantees is doing an amazing job, helping so many animals—cats, dogs, horses, and donkeys. This is entirely thanks to you. Our grant program is 100% donor-funded.
Eyes on Africa
As is so often the case, especially when it comes to health and economic crises (and these past 2 years, we’ve had a double whammy, with both health and economic crises), Africa feels the brunt of the impacts. We’re finding this to be the case now for animal welfare organizations in Africa.
Even organizations that had previously been able to raise at least the minimum to keep their operations going are now suffering from significant drops in funding. Yet their services are being called upon ever more frequently.
For example, AKI Partner Uganda SPCA saw an increase in animals coming into the shelter early in the COVID-19 pandemic mainly due to expats leaving the country and leaving behind (either by choice or for no other choice) their pets; some people surrendered their pets to the USPCA Haven because they could no longer afford to care for their pets; and some believed the false information that COVID was transmitted from dogs and cats to people. But as the USPCA tried to adjust to the increased number of animals at the shelter, they saw a significant drop in donations, including in-kind donations of food from restaurants and supermarkets. Now, we’re facing a situation we never thought we would: every day, USPCA staff wonder how they will afford the daily food required for the 300+ cats and dogs at the shelter.
AKI Grantee, Sauvons nos Animaux, is having the same issue for a different reason. SnA had well-established donor base of overseas supporters, but over the past 1 1/2 years, donations have plummeted because of the precarious economic situation. SnA even had to halt the spay/neuter surgeries funded with the AKI grant because the cats and dogs were too thin and the vet didn’t think they were strong enough to withstand surgery.
My goal had always been to strive to NOT beg for donations for food for shelter animals; I felt that if you started a shelter, you have to be prepared to do anything to make sure the money is there for food, even if for nothing else. But of course, I never anticipated COVID and the effects a pandemic can have on animal welfare organizations, especially those in Africa.
So this year, as you make your list (literally or figuratively), yes, we are begging you to remember Animal-Kind International and our supported organizations, as they do all they can to make sure their shelter animals (and those who feed street animals too) get fed (and hopefully, s/n’d and get the vet care they need and deserve). (Two pictures below: our Grantees, Tikobane Trust and Humane Africa Trust, working in partnership, are providing food, raising awareness, and providing vet care for cats and dogs whose owners (usually children) are unable to afford it. They’re helping the next generation become good pet parents).
100% of your donations go to AKI-supported organizations, our Partner Organizations in 9 countries: Uganda (2 partners), Tanzania, South Sudan, Namibia (2 partners), Liberia, Ghana, Armenia, Jamaica, and Honduras; and AKI's 2021 Africa-Based Animal Welfare Organization Grant Recipients who work in Ghana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe (3 grantees).
Please help us get the word out about AKI by forwarding this message to your friends and family who love animals.
With Gratitude, Karen Menczer, Founder & Director & the AKI Board