A difficult question we would like to answer.

October 12, 2021

A few days ago, we were asked a question that we’d like to respond to. It’s a question that we get a lot, in various different forms. This person meant no harm, and their question deserves a genuine answer. 

The question was along the lines of ‘What about the humans suffering across the world? Euthanising these suffering dogs might be better so that our donations can go towards people’.

Firstly, we want to say that we think it’s important, and great, that people support other causes. And it’s okay if you don’t even like dogs. Dogstar might not be for you. Our work, whilst our incredible supporters understand the vast impact it has, might not be the cause you want or need to support. We love charities. All are important. All do great work. All have value. 

Sri Lanka is a country that, for many historic, complex and nuanced reasons has an imbalance of available homes for unwanted animals. Because of this, roaming dogs are a part of life here. If you haven’t lived in a country with roaming or street dogs, it can be difficult to understand how this came to be, because it is so different from your own normal. 

The pandemic turned all of our worlds upside down.

Here in Sri Lanka we experienced a military-run lockdown. People had to stay indoors 24/7, shops, restaurants, bars, hotels closed. Suddenly, the support that roaming dogs and cats received disappeared. 

We were left with a stark choice. Step in and feed the animals, or watch them starve. As an animal welfare NGO that had already sterilised over 90% of these dogs, we knew we had to get to work. Thanks to you, and with the support of local authorities, we were able to step up and meet the very real need of these animals. 

Things are yet to return to normal here. We are in a state of emergency, and have just come out of our fourth national lockdown. Currently, the need to continue feeding alongside our day to day spay/neuter, preventative veterinary care, and community led education programmes continues. So of course, with your love and generosity, we will continue. 

Whataboutism is never useful.

We would never ask a person with cancer, 'what about a person with kidney failure'. And so on.

So many charities and causes exist because there are so many things, situations, people and animals that need help. No one person or organisation could ever meet and answer all those needs. 

We are never claiming that our work is more important than anyone elses. In fact, we love watching other charities grow and garner support. We want to live in a world where all needs are met. Some causes speak to us more loudly than others, and one charitable person can donate to so many types of causes. 

We suspect so many of our supporters feel the same, and will have many different causes they feel passionately about. We want to say we are so deeply grateful for every donation, message of support and like or share that we receive. And we are also grateful for any donation any other charity receives. Because the world that we envision will not get built without them succeeding too. 

In the future, we want to see a world where everyone’s needs are met, and where Dogstar is no longer needed. It’s people like you who are making that future a reality. 

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