Increasingly, in much of the enlightened world there is a sense of companionship and understanding between caring dog owners and their cherished pets. These relationships are mutually beneficial, incredibly rewarding and never stop growing. If only ALL dogs were so lucky.
Network for Animals’ Dog Meat Trade campaign began in 1998 and continues to take direct action for dogs, today. Sadly, as this campaign has progressed, we have become increasingly aware of the worldwide suffering of dogs outside of the dog meat trade. Poisoning, starvation, abandonment, overpopulation and abuse claim millions of canine lives each year. This is often at the hands of individuals, but also through the neglect or actions of governments and local authorities.
Network for Animals “Dogs In Distress” campaign aims to give as many animals as possible a life free of pain and suffering – a life full of joy and compassion – a life protected by the governments of the countries in which they live and supported by caring and responsible people. Here are just a few of our worldwide projects:
In late 2016, Network for Animals began work at the Zarkovica Animal Shelter in Dubrovnik, home to 300 desperate dogs. They have a wonderful view overlooking the famous tourist city, but that’s all they have. They need food, medical care and proper shelter. And the city of Dubrovnik, the richest place in Croatia has failed to help.
Sandra Sambrailo, who has run the shelter for 14 years, has been gifted land where a new shelter can be built, and Croatian law says the city of Dubrovnik must build a proper shelter for the dogs. Incredibly, Andro Vlahušić, then the mayor of Dubrovnik, would not cooperate with Sandra and despite repeated promises created no alternative shelter. Instead, in the middle of the night, when there was just one defenseless woman protecting the animals, he ordered local officials, supported by armed police, to grab 65 dogs and send them to kill shelters. His actions were illegal and the dogs were eventually returned.
Subsequently Vlahušić was forced to step down by his own council after he told Network for Animals on camera that he had bought 120 dog houses for an incredible $57,000. This was complete fantasy; it turned out the dog houses do not exist and it is not yet known where the money went. In the middle of winter this left the 300 dogs at Zarcovica in a nightmare situation. Because he failed to provide support for the only shelter in Dubrovnik, their only hope is a few brave women and Network for Animals.
Network for Animals provided Zarcovica with funds to build more enclosures and helped pay for all 300 dogs to be vaccinated, an essential condition the Croatian government laid down if the shelter is to remain open.
Because the mayor did not provide Zarcovica with running water or electricity, Sandra and her team shelter in an unheated container, in sub-zero temperatures and hand-carry buckets of water and bags of food up the mountain to feed and water the dogs.
For Sandro Sambrailo and her team at Zarcovica, the next few months are critical. There will be no new mayor until the elections in May and that means no help for the dogs until then at the earliest. Network for Animals will be there to help.
In Havana, the government captures stray dogs, flings them into trucks and take them to an extermination camp where they are poisoned with strychnine, one of the most brutal poisons known to man. The dogs die in agony, muscle spasms spread to every muscle in the body and death takes twenty minutes.
Network for Animals is campaigning in Cuba to end the governmental poisoning of dogs, and working to provide impoverished carers, shelters (like the one above) and volunteer vets with the surgical tools, food and medicines that they desperately need.
Cuba is a very difficult place to work but we are making progress and look forward to improving animal welfare in Cuba in the coming months and years.
In 2015 the Britain’s television station the BBC reported the following on the dogs of Greece becoming victims of homelessness and hunger, following years of financial crisis in that country: “There are more than a million strays in Greece because people are simply abandoning pets they can no longer afford to keep.”
Brian Davies led the Network for Animals team into action, rented a van and set to work. It was clear that the scale of the problem hadn’t been overstated. Dogs roamed abandoned in industrial parks, old factories, and through struggling neighbourhoods. They were hungry, homeless, and often in need of medical attention.
We teamed up with volunteers from Ghost Dogs of Aspropyrgos who were doing their absolute best, with very limited resources to feed hungry animals, take care of their veterinary needs and offer hope to dogs facing overwhelming circumstances. Every week the volunteer group feed scores of dogs.
Network for Animals has committed a total of 50,000 Euros over a five year period to provide support, including dog food for volunteer feeders who have seen their wages cut in half and cannot afford to feed the dogs from their own pockets, veterinary support, for poor dogs like Orion who would have died without urgent veterinary care AND assistance in adopting Greek dogs to other countries, where they can find a loving forever home, and never know misery again.
In Montenegro, the official policy is to brutally kill stray dogs. The innocent animals are rounded up and taken into shelters to await death after just one month. We are working with volunteers to support Zoran Mrdak, the director of the Azil municipal pound that serves Kotor.
Zoran believes in saving lives not destroying them and he has the support of the local community. NFA is dedicated to assisting Zoran and his small team of volunteers, who have enormous financial difficulties.
With your crucial support, Network for Animals has helped save the lives and secure the future of 640 dogs that live at Sasha’s Shelter in Niš, in southern Serbia.
When Sasha, a truly brave devoted animal lover, laid criminal charges of animal cruelty against the municipal pound, a place where there is overwhelming evidence of appalling cruelty, the authorities responded by threatening to close Sasha’s Shelter.
Thanks to our international outcry, the dogs were saved, and the municipal pound placed under strict new regulation. Volunteers now have the right to remove any dog they feel is being ill-treated or not receiving appropriate medical care.
We continue to fight for meaningful improvements to the care of dogs in Serbia, and to help support the dogs remaining in the shelter.
Network for Animals is delighted to be collaborating with The Emma Animal Rescue Society (TEARS), in a drive to give the hundreds of dogs in Vrygrond a happier, healthier life.
TEARS, is a very small organisation and its dedicated volunteers work tirelessly to improve the lives of dogs in impoverished areas of South Africa. Financial stability is a real concern for TEARS, so when Network For Animals heard about the wonderful work they were doing we knew we had to offer our support.
Vrygrond is a very poor area of South Africa where many people have barely enough food to feed their families. For the next year-and-a-half, Network for Animals is committed to helping TEARS ensure that all the dogs in the area are spayed or neutered, treated for disease and monitored on a weekly basis.
Fallen Angels is a search and rescue shelter for injured and abandoned dogs and cats in Yzerfontein in South Africa’s Western Cape, a rural area with a large population of poor people. Fallen Angels is home to 255 dogs and 40 cats, all of which are spayed and neutered and available for adoption. Staffed entirely by volunteers who take no salaries, the shelter provides an essential service, without which many dogs would die. Network for Animals is providing funds for food and veterinary care and assisted in the purchase of a much-needed dog rescue vehicle.
Because of your backing we have been able to support the Thai Animal Sanctuary, a brave, shoestring rescue group operating out of a remote and poverty-stricken corner of Thailand. Their selfless efforts mean that hundreds, and ultimately thousands of dogs and cats have a chance at life that simply didn’t exist before.
Were it not for their on-site veterinarian, the next closest care for gravely ill and injured animals would be an arduous four-hour journey away. For puppies like Potato who was born with a deformed spine, Thai Animal Sanctuary has literally been the difference between life and death.
Today she has a home in the UK, and a unique set of wheels to replace her rear legs and provide her mobility! With your support, Network for Animals will offer more Thai dogs the lives that they deserve.