Giving dogs a life worth living
Canine animal welfare issues here in Sri Lanka are not as easy as “street dog bad owned dog good” ,
Owned dogs in Sri Lanka can face just as many welfare issues as street dogs . Many are permanently chained or kenneled often without access to water. Poorly socialised and rarely handled they can develop aggressive behaviour to the point that owners cannot even approach them.
The reasons these animals are chained or kenneled vary from a lack of empathy or understanding of animal welfare to misguided efforts to “keep the dog safe” but the suffering for the animals is the same regardless.
There are no enforceable animal welfare laws here , there are no fines or punishments for owners and we have no rights of access . We have to work directly with these owners to make the changes and it can be very hard emotionally on me and my team to have to regularly witness animals suffering in this way. last week we visited a house where a dog has become so aggressive due to perminant chaining the owners are resorting to physical violence. They were amazed to see that both Mark and I were able with some patience to get close to the dog and handle him safely. The plan is for us to work with the dog and family over the coming weeks but its going to be long process.
Whats needed longer term is a cultural shift in how owned dogs are viewed. In the way we have changed perceptions on adopting female street dogs and general attitudes to sterilisation we need to challenge and change the general acceptance that chaining is okay.
Via Project Liberty we hope not only to carry out this vital work ourselves but become a catylist for others and provide support , guidance and resources to those here in Sri Lanka that agree with us that every dog should have a life worth living.