February 18, 2021
Owned dogs can often experience chaining, excess kenneling, poor diet, lack of water, pups being removed too early and little access to medical care. So whether a dog is owned or roaming, the people living around dogs hold the key to transforming welfare.
So what’s stopping dogs and humans living in harmony?
Broadly, there is a general lack of knowledge about common conditions in dogs, and how it can be prevented. When we first started curing dogs with mange, some people were amazed as they thought in some dogs it was just inevitable. Equally, many people were unaware that male animals could be sterilised too.
It’s why such a large part of Dogstar’s mission is focused on working with the community to improve animal welfare knowledge. We run a successful children’s education program where we are training the next generation of Dogstars to be animal advocates. And we’re regularly out and about talking to owners, arranging rehoming agreements and handing out information.
Of course there are some financial issues that impact animal ownership. Many local households live on as little as £3.50 a day. And whilst lack of respect for animals is not a common issue, some people do have no idea about an animals emotional needs.
But from our experience, educating the local community brings about subtle shifts in attitude. We now meet families wanting to adopt, owners bringing in their animals to be sterilised, and people approaching us about treatment for an animal. Slowly but surely, we’re building a new generation of Dogstars.
Most dogs in Sri Lanka are reliant on humans in some way. Whether it’s for regular food, access to shelter or just a bin to rummage through. So putting humans at the centre of our work to transform animal welfare makes sense. Thanks to you, we’re able to run community outreach schemes and be on the ground everyday helping Sri Lankans take control of their dog population.