Duke, a sick dog rescued by KZN Valley Dogs Duke, a sick dog rescued by KZN Valley Dogs

Dogs in Distress

Humanity in general cares deeply for dogs and know that they care about us in return, offering us companionship, love and unshakeable loyalty. But statistics reveal that far too many dogs are in distress. According to National Geographic, there are more than 300 million street dogs worldwide. India alone is home to an estimated 35 million of them.

As the first domesticated species, dogs have been man’s best friend for a very long time. While the timing and location of dog domestication remains a controversy, several researchers believe that the event took place somewhere in northern Eurasia between 32,00 and 18,800 years ago. What we do know for sure is that our ancestors chose to live with dogs and even be buried with them. In exchange for picking the bones of hunts, ancient dogs defended humans against potential threats. Today, in similar fashion, dogs beg for our scraps and remain as protective as ever. Dogs have always had our well-being in mind… so why do so many people fail to show them kindness?

Suffering from extreme hunger, deadly disease and human cruelty, street dogs have an average lifespan of just three years. Network for Animals works to provide these poor creatures with food, safe shelter, and timely medical attention, including vital vaccinations and sterilizations. One of our focal points is the dog meat trade in Asia and parts of Africa where thousands of dogs are brutally slaughtered and sold for human consumption. Working with animal protection units and using our influence to lobby local government, it is our hope to bring this barbaric practice to an end once and for all. We understand the value of long-term solutions, which is why our organization also runs public awareness and educational outreach programs to change people’s mindsets about caring for their animals.

NFA’s “Dogs In Distress” campaign aims to give as many animals as possible a life free of pain and suffering. We support projects in Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Mali, Mexico, Montenegro, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay and Zimbabwe.

Herzegovina 🇧🇦

In Trebinje, a small city in southern Herzegovina, abandoned dogs lived in a hellish, decrepit, dangerous and unhygienic shelter. It perched on a rubbish dump where garbage was burnt daily. As soon as we saw the conditions the dogs were living in, we knew we had to help. Working tirelessly with the local municipality, we constructed a state-of-the-art shelter, leading the way for a new approach to dealing with abandoned dogs in the region.

The new shelter (Azil Danica), almost entirely funded by NFA, was opened in May 2023, and we immediately relocated all 78 dogs to their new home. Each dog received a full health assessment, tests for common diseases, vaccine boosters as needed and a passport. The dogs are loving running in the large central playground and playing in the doggie paddling pool at the new shelter.

This is only the beginning, and we are committed to ensuring that the shelter lives up to its stated aim of “turning street dogs into pets” by providing funds for ongoing management and staff support, training, advice, and small contingency funds for dogs with exceptional health needs. Our biggest challenge going forward is to ensure that high standards of care are maintained and that the City of Trebinje maintains its commitment to meeting these standards so that the dogs can find their forever homes as quickly as possible.

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Azil Danica, the new shelter, almost entirely funded by NFA, was opened in May 2023

Greece 🇬🇷

Ghost Dogs of Aspropyrgos

There are more than a million street dogs in Greece, many of them abandoned pets. COVID-19, following a massive financial crisis, made things so tough people could no longer afford to feed their dogs.  Aspropyrgos, a huge, semi-rural area near the city of Athens, is a dumping ground for unwanted animals, once there the dogs face deprivation, starvation and the chilling prospect of being captured and used in illegal dog-fighting prevalent in the area’s  numerous gypsy camps.

The dogs are so afraid that they become “ghost dogs”, so-called because when our team arrives to feed them, they appear, eat and then disappear into their hiding places like ghosts.

Together with our partner organization, Ghost Dogs of Aspropyrgos, we feed, provide veterinary care and sterilize street dogs and try to find them loving homes.

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Athenians dump their unwanted pets in the semi-rural area of Aspropyrgos. Together with Ghost Dogs of Aspropyrgos, Network for Animals helps feed and care for them.

Kenya 🇰🇪

In Nairobi, Kenya, we support the Kenya Society for the Protection & Care of Animals (KSPCA), a shelter home to over 250 dogs. They are also on the frontline of emergency rescue, cruelty investigation and community-based animal welfare programmes. We provide the KSPCA with a monthly grant to help cover the cost of pet food and vital veterinary care. Recently, we also provided critical funding for the mass sterilization, vaccination and general treatment of street dogs in impoverished slums in Nairobi.

In Nairobi, Kenya, we support the Kenya Society for the Protection & Care of Animals (KSPCA), a shelter home to over 250 dogs. They are also on the frontline of emergency rescue, cruelty investigation and community-based animal welfare programmes. We provide the KSPCA with a monthly grant to help cover the cost of pet food and vital veterinary care. Recently, we also provided critical funding for the mass sterilization, vaccination and general treatment of street dogs in impoverished slums in Nairobi.

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NFA supports the Kenya Society for the Protection & Care of Animals (KSPCA)

Jordan 🇯🇴

Al Rabee Society for Nature and Animal Protection (RSNAP) in Aqaba, Jordan

Ah Rabee Society for Nature and Animal Protection is a Jordan-based non-profit organization that was set up in 2013 by Rodica Athamneh. The Al Rabee shelter is the only shelter of its kind in Aqaba and is home to more than 500 dogs. For the past three years, we have supported the Al Rabee shelter with the care of their dogs and daily administration in a very remote area of Jordan where resources and assistance are very limited. Our regular support also helps cover sterilization campaigns, food and vet bills.In 2022, we assisted them with moving their shelter to much larger, better suited premises. We also assisted with the installation of solar panels to help mitigate the shortage of electricity supply.

When tragedy struck in 2023 and much of the new shelter was destroyed by devastating flash floods, Network for Animals once again stepped in by raising emergency funds for the shelter repair.

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Network for Animals campaign director, Luke Barritt, greets some of the many dogs waiting to be rehomed at the Al Rabee shelter in Jordan.

Al Rahmeh in Amman, Jordan

Al Rahmeh was established in 2017 by a group of animal lovers who wanted to counter the abuse and demonization of the ancient Canaan dog breed in Jordan and animals in general. Their pro-life shelter is home to around 60 dogs, additionally, they have cats in foster homes. They also run a trap-neuter-release program to keep the local cat population healthy and controlled. A number of the animals they care for have special needs, including blind, three-legged and paralyzed dogs. Network for Animals has supported the Al Rahmeh shelter and the ongoing care of their dogs and cats for the past five years.

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A dog at Network for Animals’ partner, the Al-Rahmeh Association for Animals, receives affection from NFA’s campaign director Luke Barritt on a recent trip to the shelter in Jordan.

Mauritius 🇲🇺

In Mauritius, we support Second Chance Animal Rescue (SCAR), a sanctuary for 167 unwanted cats and dogs. With no suitable animal shelters in the region, founder Sameer “Sam” Golam took rescued animals into his home. In December 2021, Sam was ordered to remove the animals from his house by February 2022, if he did not do so, every animal under Sam’s care would be at risk of being seized by the local municipality and killed. Network for Animals raised the funds to (temporarily) move the animals to safety. We have also found an appropriate replacement location and are financing the construction of a new shelter for the animals.

SCAR now cares for 70 dogs and 60 cats, living in foster homes, while the new shelter is expected to be fully equipped and ready for occupation in late 2024.

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Dogs in kennels at Second Chance Animal Rescue.

Mexico 🇲🇽

Fiona Animal Refuge (FAR)

In Hidalgo, Network for Animals supports the Fiona Animal Refuge (FAR), an animal shelter that focuses on reducing overpopulation and animal abuse. We provide FAR with a monthly grant to assist with food and essential veterinary care for street dogs. Recently, we provided funding for doggy wheelchairs for the paralyzed dogs who live there.

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Weso (pictured above) was saved by the Fiona Animal Refuge (FAR) from deplorable conditions. His horrific injuries included two broken legs. NFA supports FAR in its work to help Mexican street dogs.

Montenegro 🇲🇪

We support several projects in Montenegro, a small Balkan country which only became independent in 2006, following the break-up of Yugoslavia and the subsequent civil war. The country is still in a period of socio-economic transition and animal welfare and associated reforms remain a low priority in the country. We have had some success in encouraging the government to improve the laws and some positive measures were passed in late 2023. The projects that we support fall under the following broad categories:

Animal welfare legal reforms and awareness raising

We funded a nationwide survey of all Montenegro’s animal shelters, and submitted it to the government. Subsequently, one of our partners in Montenegro, Tijana Kovačević from the Association for the Promotion of Coexistence (Korina), was appointed to a national government animal welfare working group to revise animal welfare laws, giving Montenegro’s animals a voice at the highest level for the first time. We now fund Korina to provide an animal welfare legal advocacy project, offering support and representation for animal cruelty cases, training of municipal police to improve enforcement of animal welfare laws, monitoring and taking direct action to enforce the work of the competent authorities in prosecuting cases, and lobbying to include animal welfare issues in the criminal code of Montenegro.

We have also funded the distribution of educational materials on animal care to schools.

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NFA supports the Kolasin Animal Shelter in Montenegro.

Support to improve municipal dog shelters

We endeavor to work alongside municipal authorities to make lasting improvements to dog shelters, where conditions are often very poor. Much of this work involves direct action on the ground.

In Nikšić, Montenegro's second-largest city, we provided funds for shelter improvements in return for its commitment to change the shelter to a no-kill shelter and to take a broader approach to dog population management. We provided insulated water tanks, fencing, kennels, CCTV and medical care, and equipped a medical clinic at the shelter. In Nikšić, we also fund the NGO NUZZ to provide a feeding project for street dogs who do not live at the shelter, making sure they get a daily meal. The municipality also now funds a TNR (trap, neuter, return) programme.

In Kotor we have provided a puppy house, and funds for a new quarantine area to reduce the risk of death of newly arrived unvaccinated dogs and puppies.

In Kolasin and Ulcinj we are lobbying the municipalities to develop sustainable solutions to the problem of dog over-population, abandonment of street dogs and shelter care.

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Support to improve the care of abandoned dogs

A handful of individuals, despite themselves living in conditions of economic hardship, continue to show their humanity by rescuing and caring for Montenegro’s many abandoned, neglected and sick street dogs. We endeavor to help as many of these small private shelters as we can, by providing funds for essentials such as food, medical care, kennels and fencing. In a farming area near Nikšić, for example, we support an impoverished farmer named Zelijana Delibasic who cares for a large group of abandoned street dogs and numerous feral cats in and around her property. We regularly provide food for her 33 dogs and numerous cats, and have funded microchips, vaccinations ,parasite treatments and the construction of a shared kennel to provide the dogs with shelter from snow and icy winds. We have also promised to provide fencing to prevent the animals from running into the busy main road nearby.

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Zelijana Delibasic with some of the abandoned street dogs NFA helps her she care for on her property near Niksic, Montenegro.

In Kolasin, located in the mountainous north of Montenegro, Network for Animals provides funds for regular food deliveries to 150 street dogs living in a hugely underfunded shelter run single-handedly by Danijela Vuksanovic, who is suffering from advanced cancer. In the winter we also delivered a number of new heavily insulated kennels to protect them from the bitter snow and cold. We hope to raise further funds for new fencing to allow the most traumatized dogs their own safe areas to run in.

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A Network for Animals team member gives attention to two dogs at the Kolasin Animal Shelter we support in Montenegro.

Mozambique 🇲🇿

Protect Xai-Xai’s Furry Friends (PXXFF) in Xai-Xai

Network for Animals supports a cat and dog sterilization clinic in the rural area of Xai-Xai in Mozambique. This sterilization program hasn’t only curbed the birth of unwanted animals, but has helped to improve the overall health of the animals of the region.

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Network for Animals supports a cat and dog sterilization clinic in the rural area of Xai-Xai in Mozambique. Credit: Xai-Xai

South Africa 🇿🇦

Network for Animals is a registered charity in South Africa, which is home to some of our most important campaigns. In a country that is suffering from massive government corruption which has devastated essential services, the need has never been greater for the nation’s street dogs. We work with multiple local organizations and shelters on the ground to help ease their suffering:

Calvinia, South Africa

In the impoverished farming town of Calvinia in South Africa, a broken economy has left animals starving. We work with partners on the ground to sterilize the animals of Calvinia’s Blikkiesdorp township and to provide critically needed veterinary care, treatment and food to the hundreds of dogs and cats who live there. Since our work began there in 2021, we have helped bring hundreds of animals back from the brink of death, conducted several mass sterilization drives, and delivered literal tons of pet food. We continue to work closely with the community to help keep their animals healthy and fed.

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NFA team members treat a tick-infested puppy in Calvinia, South Africa.

Fallen Angels

Fallen Angels Pet Rescue works in South Africa's Western Cape primarily in deeply impoverished urban areas. It focuses on the rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming of domestic animals that are Forgotten, Abandoned (abused), Lost, Lonely, Emaciated and Neglected (FALLEN). Network for Animals has supported Fallen Angels for the past five years by providing food, funding sterilization drives and assisting with emergency dog and cat rescues and rehabilitation.

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A puppy receives veterinary care during a community campaign in Mitchells Plain, South Africa, organised by Fallen Angels Pet Rescue Haven with the support of Network for Animals.

Fur-Get-Me-Knot

Dogs are often condemned to lives of misery in the Westlake township, located in the South African city of Cape Town. Animals there are often subjected to neglect, starvation, abuse, dogfighting and over-breeding. We support Fur-Get-Me-Knot, a small group of volunteers who help animals there. Together, we help by providing food, medical care and vital vaccinations, and sterilization. We also educate owners on how to properly care for their animals.

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Network for Animals team member Taylor Kirkby feeds a street dog during a campaign in the Westlake community in Cape Town, South Africa.

KZN Valley Dogs

In the Valley of a Thousand Hills in South Africa, more than 1,000 dogs are tragic victims of extreme poverty, ignorance, uncontrolled breeding and utter neglect. Many of these dogs are so emaciated that their ribs are visible through their scarred, parasite-riddled skin.

Our partner teams venture into the region every Sunday, rain or shine, to feed and care for as many dogs as possible.

In some places in the Thousand Hills, unemployment is more than 50%, animals live off what they can scavenge, and that is very little.

To add to their misery, many of the dogs experience terrible abuse or suffer from dangerous infections and diseases, intestinal parasites or horrific dog-fighting injuries, including broken bones and painful lacerations.

Here, dogs are exploited by illegal syndicates known as “taxi hunts.” This barbaric sport sees groups of up to 30 men and packs of more than 100 starved and frightened street dogs set out to kill. Dogs in these hunts are deliberately starved and are then sent to hunt small animals. Dogs are rated and bets are placed, and those that don’t “make money” are killed, often in gruesome ways. Even more are abandoned with broken bones and festering wounds.

We support KZN Valley Dogs by financing rescue missions, critically needed food and emergency veterinary intervention for countless battered and bruised dogs.

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Network for Animals campaign director Luke Barritt comforts Duke, a sick dog rescued by KZN Valley Dogs. Network for Animals provides funding and support to KZN Valley Dogs so they can continue to rescue dogs like Duke.

Shaygam Newman

Hangberg is a South African slum near Cape Town, where 28,000 people live in grinding poverty and squalor. Riots and lawlessness are commonplace. The area is a base for gangsters involved in illegal dogfighting. Working with local activist Shaygam Newman, Network for Animals has made substantial progress in feeding and providing veterinary care for the community’s dogs.

Orphaned as a child, Shaygam was so abused by a drunken uncle that he slept on the streets, finding love with the street dogs who kept him warm at night. He swore to repay the dogs, and today he is their voice, their champion.

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With NFA’s help, local animal activist Shaygum Newman rescues and cares for many dogs in his community of Hangberg, South Africa.

With NFA’s help, local animal activist Shaygam Newman rescues and cares for many dogs in his community of Hangberg, South Africa. In 2016, Network for Animals started guiding Shaygam on how to help dogs more effectively. He now feeds, dips and rescues many of the community’s dogs. Many of the dogs Shaygam rescues were destined to end up torn to pieces in dog fighting pits. Gangsters see dogs as expendable commodities to be exploited for profit.

These horrible people torture dogs, starve them, lock them in small cages for months at a time, before throwing them into a pit to be torn to death by dogs trained to do just that. Shaygam can’t fight the gangsters alone so he recruited ‘Shaygam’s Crew’, a team of local youngsters to teach people kindness to animals and to patrol and protect the area’s animals.

TEARS

Network for Animals supports TEARS (The Emma Animal Rescue Society) in Cape Town, South Africa. TEARS is one of the country’s preeminent animal welfare organizations, working around-the-clock to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome hundreds of dogs every year. The TEARS dog shelter is well run and provides excellent veterinary care. Of particular importance are its outreach programs in impoverished communities. Teams rescue and rehome street dogs and provide care for pets whose owners cannot afford sterilizations and medical treatment. Our supporters have allowed us to help animals at TEARS for close to a decade by providing funding for much-needed food, vital search and rescue missions, equipment and veterinary care. Most recently, we have helped them buy a new outreach vehicle, tough enough to withstand the poor roads in township areas.

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Our supporters have allowed us to help animals at TEARS for close to a decade. Credit: NFA/Zara King

Spain 🇪🇸

We are a source of hope for Spanish hunting dogs

In Spain, hunting dogs – known as galgos – are tortured in their thousands each year. These poor creatures are frequently subjected to the horrifying fate of being exploited for one hunting season and then cruelly tortured and discarded like trash. The depth of suffering they endure is unimaginable: they are starved, hurled into dark wells, savagely beaten, targeted in shooting practices, poisoned or, possibly worst of all, hung alive from trees. We cannot stand idly by with clear conscience as this abuse persists.

We are working with two organizations – Foundation Jadoul and PACMA – who work tirelessly to provide the best possible care to animals in need, like abused, traumatized and discarded galgos. With your support for this project, we can help to treat, rehabilitate and rehome these animals so they never again have to feel the brutal hand of abuse ever again.

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Spanish hunting dogs are one of the most abused breeds in the world. Credit: World Animals Voice

Tanzania 🇹🇿

In Tanzania, Network for Animals supports the Arusha Society for the Protection of Animals (ASPA), a small but dedicated organization that works tirelessly to improve the overall welfare of Tanzania’s suffering street dog population. In addition to the monthly grant we provide for food and veterinary supplies, NFA helps finance emergency rescues, regular mobile clinics and educational outreach programs.

ASPA

NFA helps finance emergency rescues, regular mobile clinics and educational outreach programs.

Turkey 🇹🇷

Turkey is the scene of an appalling animal welfare scandal. In a 20-square mile (50-square kilometer) area around Tepecik in southeastern Turkey, there are thousands of abandoned or wild dogs who exist by foraging on the diseased carcasses of chickens, dumped by egg-factories in the area.

Local authorities who by law must provide shelter, food and medical care for the dogs, do not do so.

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One of thousands of homeless dogs left to fend for themselves in the Turkish town of Tepecik.

There are two municipal feeding stations for the dogs but never any food in them. The only sources of water are streams polluted by effluent from local factories.

When an animal lover exposed the scandal, the authorities took him to court, alleging he killed dogs to create bad publicity for Turkey.

The area where the dogs live consists of forest, wilderness and fields. There are 200 chicken farms in the area and a large number of fertilizer factories. The dogs survive by eating the carcasses of diseased chickens dumped by the farms and, we are sad to report, by cannibalism of puppies.

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Network for Animals Executive Director David Barritt feeds street dogs in Turkey.

Network for Animals has exposed shocking conditions at the chicken farms – conditions that breach Turkish law and international hygiene standards. Because so many dogs are dying, we are lobbying the government to test the level of toxins in streams polluted by fertilizer. So far, the authorities have not honored promises to do so.

A small animal shelter has been constructed near the town which houses only 50 dogs. We later obtained a sworn confession from a former municipal worker saying he and his colleagues had been forced to illegally kill or abandon some 14,000 dogs over a 20-year period on the instruction of local officials.

NFA lobbied the Turkish government asking the officials to step in and ensure that the dogs have the humane care prescribed under Turkish law. Action was promised but the situation remains unchanged.

Uruguay, Montevideo 🇺🇾

We have supported Montevideo’s animal shelter, A.P.A El Refugio, since 2018. Even with no support from local authorities, the shelter tirelessly cares for 360 street dogs and 40 cats. Network for Animals helps cover the monthly cost of expensive food and specialist medical care. In recent years, El Refugio has been overwhelmed by gangsters, fire and flood. Thus, we also provide the shelter with emergency funding for essential supplies during times of crisis.

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Sick dogs at the El Refugio shelter in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Zambia 🇿🇲

The Cactus Foundation

We partnered with The Cactus Foundation in 2022 after we helped them care for 69 dogs rescued from horror conditions in Zambia. The animals had been snatched from the streets and tightly imprisoned in an unairconditioned van, en route to the vile dog-meat markets of DRC (the Democratic Republic of Congo). By the time this torture chamber on wheels had been stopped by Zambian officials in the dusty, impoverished town of Mkushi, many of the dogs had suffocated to death in scorching, airless conditions, having been in the van for a number of days. Most tragic of all, some died after being rescued, and the 19 survivors were ordered to be shot by the authorities.

We rushed to Mkushi and helped provide funding for critical medical care, shelter and food for the survivors, as well as to help fund Cactus Foundation’s legal battle to save the dogs’ lives – which they subsequently won. Since then, we have been assisting the Cactus Foundation by providing funds for shelter upgrades and expansion as the number of street dogs in Zambia continues to soar. We also provided emergency funding when a fire broke out, destroying large parts of their animal shelter. Monthly, we help to provide funds for food, veterinary care and other critical needs the cats and dogs may have, and are in discussions to help Cactus Foundation build a better-equipped and more favorably located shelter. This will give the animals happier lives and a greater chance of being adopted.

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Zimbabwe, Harare 🇿🇼

The Friend Animal Foundation (FAF)

In Zimbabwe, we support Harare’s Friend Animal Foundation (FAF). Following the death of its previous owner, FAF was on the brink of financial ruin and closure. Hundreds of animals were at risk of being euthanized by the authorities. With the help of our generous supporters, Network for Animals kept the doors of FAF open, initially delivering 4,134 pounds of food to the dogs and providing staff to help care for the animals. We continue to assist FAF with much-needed renovations and improvements for all the animals in its care. Alongside almost 500 canine residents, the no-kill shelter is a sanctuary for 145 cats, horses, goats and a donkey.

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Staff at the Friend Animal Foundation in Zimbabwe provide love and care for hundreds of abandoned and unwanted dogs

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