Uganda SPCA: My visit to the old & new shelter
On my work trips to Uganda (never Animal-Kind International funded), I always make sure I have plenty of time to visit the USPCA and meet with the staff and Executive Committee (the USPCA Board).
During my visit in March and April, I had a chance to spend time at the old Haven, visit the new shelter twice, meet with the USPCA women (Jackie, the assistant shelter manager and assistant to the vet; and animal caretakers Irene, Lydia, and Mary), meet with Shelter Manager Alex Ochieng, with Dr. Kassim, the new USPCA shelter vet, meet with the USPCA Secretary, with the USPCA bookkeeper, and go shopping!
Alex and I shopped for staff uniforms and gum boots, two of the things the women mentioned, during our meeting, that they desperately needed. The last time they got new uniforms was 4 years ago--and as you can imagine, their uniforms are put through a lot of wear and tear. Animal-Kind International donated 11 uniforms and 11 pairs of gum boots. David, Sharp, and Frank, the staff at the new shelter, are modeling their new uniforms in the 1st picture below; and in the 2nd picture below, 7 of the 8 staff at the old Haven are showing off their new uniforms: Fred, Mary, Obote, Lydia, Irene, Tadeo, Alex. Jackie took the picture.
Alex and I wanted to make sure we got good quality gum boots, so we went to the Bata shoe store (see picture) where we bought 11 pairs of boots.
And for uniforms, we went to Nakasero Market, to the same woman who we bought them from 4 years ago.
Another issue the USPCA women brought to my attention is that the last time they received their rabies booster was 2 years ago, which means they were 1 year overdue, which put the 11 USPCA staff and Dr. Kassim at risk. We felt this was a top priority for the USPCA, so AKI agreed to pay for 12 rabies boosters.
One of the most important things accomplished during my visit was that my friend and colleague, Dennis Kamoga, met a few of us on-site at the new shelter and agreed to help the USPCA, on a volunteer basis, write a letter, prepare follow-up documents, and submit the required documentation to the National Environmental Management Authority. We've already moved forward with this, and have a packet of information ready for Dennis to use for his work. We will keep you updated on the NEMA process, which has for too long prevented any further construction at the new site.
Many of you have met Alex Ochieng in person, or if not, you certainly know him from the many rescue stories we've posted. Alex planted a tree at the new shelter (see 1st photo below), and I was honored to plant one too, a frangipani (see 2nd & 3rd photo below, the dogs are helping me plant my tree).
Thank you to all of you who have stuck with us, donated, sent kind words, and who, along with us, look forward to the day when all the USPCA dogs and cats can be relocated to this beautiful property, where currently, 33 USPCA dogs are enjoying the best times of their lives! (In the photos below you can see the dogs enjoying their pens and the beautiful, cool grassy areas.)