Sri Lanka has approximately three million street dogs on the island. Every year, there are an estimated 26,000 road traffic accidents involving street dogs, not to mention the thousands that fall ill from other causes, especially because they don’t have access to neutering and vaccinations. Being a dog in Sri Lanka is a tough life. The rising number of street dogs across Sri Lanka poses many risks and challenges, including poor treatment, terrible injuries, malnutrition, untreated diseases and the concern of human deaths caused by rabies. Help protect and care for these wonderful canines and improve the animal-human relationship in the community.
Rabies is a fatal disease which is transmitted by various animals, but in Sri Lanka, it is most prevalent amongst dogs. This viral infection is spread via the saliva of a rabid animal; hence it can be passed on through a bite or contact with an open wound. Unfortunately, rabies will continue to exist until there are further efforts to eliminate it. There are a large number of dog bite cases in Sri Lanka, which is a cause for concern for tourists and locals alike, as well as creating huge bills for Government hospital treating the victims. This fear leads to poor treatment of stray dogs and poor awareness of how the local community can help.
In June 2019 I visited Sri Lanka for two months volunteering in a small town called Ambalangoda on the West coast of the island. One evening I was sat on the beach and I found three stray puppies, barely surviving and in terrible condition. There was nothing I could do and I felt helpless. But now this is going to change. I was lucky enough to have a coordinator called Ashika who shares the same vision of ending the suffering of the dogs in Sri Lanka.
A new charity that focuses on more humane methods to control the population and spread of rabies, focusing now on neutering and vaccinating stray dogs. As a result, there has been a significant drop in the number of human rabies deaths and incidents. Our mission is to continue these efforts in our local community.
By offering vaccinations and neutering it helps to manage the population of stray dogs and reduce the risk of diseases, especially rabies. Many female strays produce multiple litters each year, many of which are dumped at temples or on the roadside. These puppies have a low chance of survival, as they are at high risk of contracting diseases, malnutrition or being involved in road traffic accidents.
The team have an on-call rescue facility to transport dogs that have been found injured, disabled or abandoned. They will be brought back to the project so the team can conduct a general health check and provide assistance. At the Dog Shelter, you can observe or assist the Vet with their weekly general check-ups, vaccinations, medical treatment or minor surgeries.
This programme aims to improve the wellbeing of street dogs in the local area by providing a safe home for vulnerable, sick and disabled dogs, with daily care, vaccinations, rehabilitation and rehoming.
The shelter also tries to find new loving homes for the healthy vaccinated dogs with local families, with education about how to properly care for their new pet. With your help we can produce and provide animal welfare education to the community, to improve the understanding, attitude and treatment between humans and dogs. The aim is to introduce this on a community level and bring about long term change.