Over the last few weeks, I have seen literally thousands of dogs as part of the mass vaccination program. Sadly the sight of an owned dog living in a tiny prison like “kennel” like this one is not uncommon and not the worst kennel I have seen by far. It is a common misconception that owned dogs equal good welfare. So often people think that being an owned dog is safer or better than being a community/street/beach dog and it makes sense to think that but it’s not that clear cut.

In reality, there are risks to welfare being in either group and what each and every dog needs is a guardian or a community/NGO that can provide food, water, and veterinary care. All dogs, regardless if they are “owned”, have physical and emotional needs and often, owned dogs suffer from these needs not being met. As part of our program going forward as well as providing sterilisations, we will be running education and awareness programs aimed at children and adult caregivers. There is so much to do and its an almost overwhelming task to tackle this often hidden cruelty and poor welfare.

It was the plight of a sick Temple dog and the issues of street dog overpopulation that made me start Dogstar. But it’s the fate of so many of these kennelled and chained dogs that keeps me awake at night.

caged owned dog in sri lanka