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  • Writer's pictureAnimal-Kind International

Sauvons nos Animaux-June 2022 Update

Sauvons nos Animaux in the Democratic Republic of Congo is AKI's newest Partner Organization, having become a Partner in January 2022. Paterne Bushunju, founder and director of SnA, started the only animal shelter in eastern DRC and cares for 200 cats and dogs. Paterne's top priority is providing dog and cat food for the shelter animals and he used the bulk of the last AKI disbursement for food-at approximately US$70/day at the very lowest, it is not easy to raise that kind of money in the DRC.

Even with AKI's support, money for cat and dog food is still short and Paterne has to beg for donations of food and of money to buy food.

Sauvons nos Animaux was also an AKI grant recipient in 2021 (prior to becoming a Partner Organization). Paterne used grant funds to spay and neuter all the shelter dogs and cats who hadn't been sterilized over the covid-19 pandemic period, when vets weren't able to come to the shelter on a regular basis.

But given the shortage of dog food, some of the dogs were too thin to sterilize and are still not at their optimum weight and health to withstand the surgery:

Paterne and we are doing all we can to get enough nutritious food to these dogs so they can put on weight, be sterilized, and live healthy and happy lives (and we are grateful for your help!).

Besides food, there are many other concerns and challenges at the Sauvons nos Animaux shelter. Abandonment and cruelty are just two of them.

This homeless mama dog lived in a village a few kilometers from the SnA shelter. To protect her tiny pups-their eyes were still closed, she placed them in a burrow for shelter. It's not safe to be a mama dog with young pups, living on the street--and she knew that. Fortunately a kind person saw her and immediately informed SnA. When SnA found her, she was weak from starvation and dehydration. At the shelter, she was fed, given water, placed in a quiet, safe pen, and when she adjusted to her new home, she had a nice bath. And at the SnA shelter she was able to safely care for her pups:

mama dog and pups
For safety, mama dog placed her puppies into a burrow

Mama's one week old pups

bathing a dog
Once she got used to the SnA staff, they bathed her

Mama's puppies are growing quickly and they are safe and well cared for--and can enjoy puppyhood-- at the SnA shelter:

The volunteers are the lifeblood of the Sauvons nos Animaux shelter. Here are some of them as they go about their daily activities:

For the most part, the cats and dogs live carefree, happy lives at the SnA shelter:

But cruelty is always out there--beyond the shelter "walls." And SnA has seen far too much of it. Warning: This is a sad story, but we hope the outcome will be happy. I'm putting this here because it is reality for dogs (and cats) in the DR Congo (and of course, not just there):

Since Saturday, June 11, SnA has been trying to save a dog who was beaten. Paterne was alerted on Saturday night about the beating and he went to rescue the dog. When Paterne arrived, he thought the dog had been beaten to death, the dog had been thrown into a ditch. But Paterne felt he had to bury the dog with dignity. He removed the animal and saw he was still breathing and off they went to the shelter, where they tried to resuscitate the dog.

The dog was unconscious but stable. The vet is doing everything he can to save the dog--and make sure he's not in pain.

On June 19, Paterne said, "I hope a miracle will happen. He has opened his eyes, we are feeding him but he is not eating on his own. He is trying to land on his feet which is a good sign."

Please keep this dog and the SnA staff in your thoughts for everything to turn out well.


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