Changing the Lives of Suffering Street Dogs
Millions of Street Dogs in Asia live without even the most basic care. In addition to starvation, painful illnesses, and road accidents, many also suffer horribly at the hands of humans. One reason for the abuses hurled at them is fear, for the diseases they often carry (rabies and a variety of bacterial and viral zoonotic infections) have them viewed as vermin, and they are often shot, snared, or poisoned. In addition to street and feral dogs, many (if not most) village dogs living with human families suffer from mange, tick fever, injuries, and need vaccinations for parvo and rabies, along with sterilization to stop the cycle.
In addition to Street Dogs, we also treat Family Dogs in rural villages. Although it stretches our funding to the limit, we know you too would feel the call to help if you witnessed the fear and pain in their eyes before they receive the help they desperately need. When that help is given, the changes we’ve witnessed in both the animals and the people is astounding and renews our promise to never turn away, to always find a way to help, no matter the cost. When villagers witness the impact of a few systematic changes (and receive the support to enable those changes to occur), lives are truly changed forever. With sustainable intervention, these dogs and the people around them can live much happier, healthier lives.
We’ve treated hundreds of dogs in Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand, traveling by tuk tuk, motorcycle, bicycle and on foot. From walking in food and medicine to a mama dog’s den in the jungle to trapping “alpha males” off the side of the road for sterilization to running mobile medical clinics for Family Dogs at the village school or temple, every situation is different and we keep learning (and teaching) how to best help these innocent animals. It’s incredible to see the healing that happens, even while working in rough conditions with limited supplies, and equally amazing to see fear turn to love through Humane Education and Compassionate Action.
All of our work is done free of charge. Many subsistence farmers have no way of getting to a veterinarian (often over an hour away, and villagers only have overcrowded government buses to travel there, impossible with a dog), but they also lack the ability to pay for even basic treatment. Family Dogs are pups of street dogs (not purchased dogs), so that is one less starving dog on the run, and their humans are doing their best, but they do need help. Villagers come pouring out of their homes, sometimes literally chasing us down the road with their dogs, puppies, and even their cats, traveling on foot, pedal bike, or even by tractor, often waiting patiently for hours in the stifling jungle humidity, to help their animals get well.
We admit that it’s easy to anger when a Family Dog looking like this fellow shows up at one our Mobile Medical Clinics. And yet, his family DOES love him, walking a long way in the scorching heat and cross-monsoon, attending 3 clinics in a row to get the help they wanted but could not access or afford. Look at him now, happy, healed, and healthy! This is just one example of what your support for Dogs With Heart does time and time again. And the Street Dogs, although often scared and always extra-challenging to help, are getting the intervention they need to be free of pain and disease. We won’t give up, and one day when Sterilization Clinics are finally funded, we will stop that cycle of pain altogether. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for helping us help them live in a kinder world…
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Education, Empathy, and Outreach — all together they can create positive change for animals large and small, and for the people living among them. Please help us extend that outreach by making a quick donation for Dogs With Heart!