USPCA & AKI: together a successful 2019, but what will 2020 bring?
Upon closing out 2019, we put together this pie chart showing how the USPCA used AKI donations: salaries for Haven staff, monthly rent for The Haven, and dog and cat food top the list, comprising about 75% of the funds from AKI:
What does this mean in actual numbers?
(From the USPCA's Annual Report for 2019)
The Haven cared for 1,138 dogs, puppies, cats, and kittens in 2019, up 61% from 2018 when the shelter cared for 705 animals.
367 lucky animals were adopted from the USPCA in 2019. Dogs were the most adopted companion animal (152 adoptions), followed by cats (85), kittens (78), and puppies (52).
204 animals were at The Haven at the end of the year.
The number of new arrivals more than doubled over the past two years, outstripping the re-homing increase.
The USPCA had to euthanize 148 animals this year (13%), with a further 283 passing away naturally (24%). Many of these animals arrive at The Haven in a terminal state or with such extensive injuries that it was more humane to peacefully put them to sleep. Others were already suffering from diseases such as parvo, which particularly affects very young puppies, and from which, sadly, many are unable to recover.
The USPCA is very committed to community outreach work, with an emphasis on spay and neuter. In 2019, the USPCA spayed or neutered 693 animals living in communities (essentially street dogs, accepted by the local community) and in homes, where owners are unable to afford veterinary care for their animals.
Previous AKI Blog posts (for example, this one) tell some of their stories. Here are just a few of USPCA's end-of-the-year rescues:
On November 24, on their way back to The Haven from Lugala, where Jackie and Alex rescued a puppy with an injured back leg, a puppy appeared from "nowhere" into the middle of busy Mbombo road. Jackie jumped from the car and scooped up the puppy (picture below), and the team returned to The Haven with 2 lucky puppies!
Also in November, Paul contacted The Haven about a dog in Nsambya, who needed help. The dog's legs had been tied together at her ankles (you can see the wounds in the picture below). She was skeletal-thin, but her demeanor wasn't harmed, she was friendly and sweet.
At The Haven, the staff named her Rose. Today Rose is a happy, well-adjusted, healthy dog (picture below). From Alex: "She is so happy all the time at the shelter and she is gaining weight everyday. We would like to THANK Ulli Iglauer for sponsoring her."
Also in November, someone informed the USPCA about this poor boy (photo below). His owner neglected him, giving him inadequate food and a sleeping area-and therefore, his whole body- infested with fleas and ticks. When the USPCA arrived, the owner willingly handed him over to the USPCA, where he received the good care he needed and regained his health (of course he won't be returned to the neglectful home).
December is usually a slow month for adoptions, as many people travel overseas or to their villages, and are busy with holiday celebrations. But this past December was about average: 29 animals were re-homed. Here are 5 of the lucky ones:
Already 2020 has seen many rescues and several adoptions (more about those in future AKI Blog posts). As the USPCA, along with The Haven shelter, gains more and more visibility and spreads the word, throughout Uganda, about responsible pet ownership, they get more visitors, including some high level officials. On February 26, the Nakawa Division Mayor, LC 1 Chairperson, and other local government officials visited The Haven for the first time (2 pictures below). The Mayor said that he was happy with the work of the USPCA and he was unhappy about the use of poison (still far too common) to control the street dog population. Looking to 2020 and beyond, he will be a great ally of the USPCA.
With more visibility comes more demands for the time of USPCA staff. Luckily, they-with the help of some volunteers-are able to oblige most requests. On February 21, the USPCA team along with a few Makerere University student volunteers spent almost 12 hours doing community sensitization in Mubende district! From 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, they moved around to different schools (3 pictures below), and from 5:00 to 7:00 PM, they did a radio talk show about taking care of animals.
What a busy and promising time the end of 2019 was for the USPCA! But then....coronavirus arrived and everything changed. Many of USPCA's committed volunteers may have to leave the country. The Haven's doors may not be able to remain open to everyone at [almost] all hours.
We don't know where this will lead and how it will change Uganda, the wider world, and the USPCA Haven. We know that in partnership--the USPCA, AKI, and our donors--we can make it through this and hopefully we will emerge stronger.