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  • Writer's pictureAnimal-Kind International

Sauvons nos Animaux-DR Congo: February 2023 Update

First, we are grateful to so many of you, for your generosity and concern for Sauvons nos Animaux, our Partner Organization in Bukavu, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Late last year, we created the Shirlee Christensen Memorial Pet Food Fund for Sauvons nos Animaux and your response cheered us all, from here in the US to Bukavu, DRC! Essentially it also saved the lives of the 40 to 50 dogs at the Sauvons nos Animaux shelter. They got (and will continue to get) healthy, plentiful, nutritious food and they put on weight, have more energy, their coats look healthier, and they are much happier dogs!

Ari remained a bit of a concern though. We posted in mid-January that he wasn't gaining weight, and there was no obvious reason. Many people replied that Paterne needed to have a blood sample analyzed, but that is easier said than done! The closest vet lab is at the Lwiro Chimp Sanctuary, when roads are in good condition, a couple of hours' drive. Plus, it's not SnA's lab, and there's no guarantee of access. It turned out to be impossible to get a blood sample analyzed there.

But thanks in part to the Shirlee Christensen Pet Food Fund (and also a donation directly to SnA), Paterne had the money to buy everything Ari needed to start on the road to recovery, meat and multivitamins, and he was fed in a pen by himself so he cold eat at his own pace without competition.

Here's Ari's evolution going backward in time from mid-Feb (at top) to the picture #7, the 1st we have of Ari early on when he arrived at the shelter:

dogs at the shelter
Paterne & Ari with Mizu to the right (see Mizu's "before" pictures below)
shelter dogs
Ari & Mizu (mid-Feb)
Ari in mid-Feb
Ari, he gained a little weight, but still not enough-late Jan/early Feb
shelter dog
Ari in mid-January; obviously he wasn't well or happy
Ari in early January; he wasn't gaining weight
The 1st picture we have of Ari, you can see Ari's evolution from this to the 1st picture above

This is Mizu, before he put on weight (thanks to those of you who donated to the Shirlee Christensen Pet Food Fund!) With good food and without the stress of being a dog on the street in Bukavu, Mizu turned into the healthy and well adjusted dog you see in the top 2 pictures.

Mizu, when he 1st arrived at the shelter
Mizu, upon arrival at the shelter, he was so skinny, had no energy; he was despondent

Sauvons nos Animaux's year started out with this rescue, the 1st of 2023, on January 2. Paterne found a kitten in a sewer pipe in a densely populated part of Bukavu city. He was immediately put under Dr Arstide's care at the shelter.

cat rescued
Kitty at the shelter, minutes after he was rescued and arrived at the shelter
kitty rescued
Dr Arstide treated the kitty, and slowly, he came back to life!

We received more good news in January from SnA, this one about a puppy who Dr Arstide rescued while I was at the SnA shelter in October:

puppy rescued
Dr Arstide rescued this puppy, who he found on his way to the shelter one day. I didn't think she'd survive, but look at her now (below)
The puppy now!

Paterne rescued this dog in February, when he was in central Bukavu and saw kids walking with him. When Paterne asked the kids about him, they said they were planning to sell him to a man who was planning to eat him. With the help of a police officer, Paterne confiscated the dog, explained to the kids that this was wrong, invited them to the shelter, and brought the dog to the shelter. Paterne is sure that this sweet, friendly dog belongs to someone, but so far, no one has claimed him.

One of the kids who Paterne witnessed with a dog and was suspicious of their intentions-which turned out not to be good ones

This is SnA's newest shelter volunteer, Olga. The dogs love her (and she loves them!) Thanks to your donations to Animal-Kind International, SnA has money to pay shelter staff salaries!

shelter dogs getting fed
Olga and shelter dogs at feeding time

As always, Paterne's focus is not 100% on the shelter, although it's a wonder he has time for anything else! Here are pictures from a Sunday (February 5) gathering in Bukavu city, where as they do every Sunday, 100s of people gathered, some with their dogs, to hang out with friends (two to four-legged), jog with their dogs, walk with their dogs. Paterne is always there, and would like to hand out de-wormers, cloth collars, and other supplies that we know would be so appreciated, most of them not readily available in Bukavu. (Now it's a matter of getting these to Paterne!)

Thank you to our donors and to all those who got in touch with us about your concern for Sauvons nos Animaux. Together with SnA's dedicated staff, you have made it possible for SnA to help so many cats and dogs.


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