The Kandy Association for Community Protection through Animal Welfare (KACPAW) is a program in Sri Lanka dedicated to helping dogs. Throughout the programs existence, KACPAW has helped more than 4,500 dogs and has found homes for more than 3,500 of them.
The program also focuses on informing the public of important issues such as adoption, sponsoring homeless dogs, spay/neutering programs, and rabies awareness.
After Care2 member and Secretary of KACPAW, Champa, wrote to us with her success story, she was kind enough to answer a few questions about the program:
What is KACPAW and what does it do?
“KACPAW is a non-profit making, registered, non-governmental organization. Our Mission is to establish humane systems in the control of the dog population. Our Vision is a rabies-free Sri Lanka in which both man and dog can live safely. While running the shelter, we have always worked towards the establishment of a long-term, practical solution to our country’s dog and rabies problem — one that can be applied on a national level.”
When was KACPAW established?
“Nearly 12 years ago. We started our work in November 1998 and formally established in January 1999.”
What major achievements have you accomplished since that time?
“In 2002 we ran the first ever conference on rabies control. We believe that this conference provided a much needed impetus to dog welfare activities in Sri Lanka. Several new local animal welfare groups emerged soon afterwards and the momentum towards the care of animals is still very much alive. We feel satisfied that we have made a difference to dog welfare in Sri Lanka at a national level.”
Among many achievements, Chamba also listed:
“KACPAW serves in the Advisory Committee of the National Spay Programme of the Government at the Health Ministry. We introduced early-age neutering and the humane handling of dogs to Sri Lanka. We established a model by which dogs could be spayed, kindly and efficiently, across the country.
In 2000 we introduced — in the Central Province — the red collar that identifies rabies-vaccinated dogs. At that time dogs were routinely rounded up and killed, but those wearing the red collar were spared. Today the collar is widely recognized as the sign that its wearer has been vaccinated against rabies.
In June 2009, we established a free spay service at the Vet Faculty of the University of Peradeniya via a notice that we distributed to all households in Kandy and Peradeniya.
And, our unique and very popular re-homing program. We used to take spayed vaccinated dogs from our shelter to various areas in the country and get people to adopt them. This is how we were able to reduce the shelter dog number to 35 at the time of closure.”
How can other people help with KACPAW or get involved?
“Locally we ask people to get dogs spayed in their areas. We encourage this by saying ‘if you can afford it, help poor dog owners to have their dogs spayed by sponsoring the surgery cost at your local vet clinic.’ Adopt one of our destitute pups — free to kind homes with follow-up free sterilization. We also offer free sterilizations at the Vet Faculty of the University of Peradeniya. Make use of this service.
Donations of any kind are great, especially dry pet food — to feed the very few pups we look after now — and items such as old newspapers, plastic containers, old towels, etc.
Lastly, you can sponsor one of our six unsponsored dogs.”
Last May KACPAW closed the shelter of 12 years due to various constraints — at which time there were only 35 adult dogs. Champa went on to explain how there is still hope for the remaining dogs:
“These 35 dogs could never be re-homed as some of them are nervous and very old, among other complications. We simply could not — and would not — euthanize or abandon them. Almost all of them came to us as pups of one or two months of age.”
“So we designed a sponsorship scheme where some low-income people are looking after these dogs where we [KACPAW] provide a monthly stipend of Rs. 2500 (about US$22 or GBP 15) for the rest of the dog’s life, to their new owners. Close monitoring of the dogs’ well-being is carried out regularly.
Does KACPAW have a website for more information?
“Check out our Facebook page and share it with others. We are working on a new website, which has not been published yet.”
We are so happy to share this story with you. It proves that Care2 members around the world — just like you — are capable of making a difference and helping animals in need.
We encourage all Care2 members to share their success stories with us by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
photo credit: KACPAW