‘Embark’ celebrates five years of care for street pooches in 2012

Saturday, 21 April 2012 01:19 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Embark, the unique community animal welfare initiative supported by the popular fashion label of the same name, completed five years of promoting care, humane reduction of population and re-homing of street dogs in March 2012.

The innovative programme launched by Otara Gunewardene in 2007 has been responsible for nearly 20,000 interventions on behalf of homeless dogs and been instrumental in creating awareness in the community about their needs.

Reviewing the work done since inception on the occasion of its fifth anniversary, Embark announced that it had sterilised, vaccinated and treated over 10,000 dogs and found homes for more than 600 homeless puppies. Embark has also conducted 16 education and awareness programmes and five fund raising projects in its first five years.

One of the principal sources of funding for the programme is the allocation of part of the proceeds from the sale of clothing and accessories bearing the Embark label sold exclusively at ODEL stores in Sri Lanka. What began with five T-shirts has now grown into an array of categories. The brand focuses on making the street dog fashionable and calls its followers ‘pashionable people’ - fashionable people with passion for a good cause.

“As we celebrate five years of commitment to the cause of Embark, I would like to pay tribute to the passion of the team and the generosity of our loyal customers, who have adopted the brand and the cause with enthusiasm,” Gunewardene said. “It is truly encouraging to see so many people who love animals making an effort to show they care.”

The programme’s largest humane dog population and rabies management project to date was launched during 2011 in Maharagama, in partnership with the Blue Paw Trust and the MoH Maharagama. Focused on sustainability and results, this comprehensive project also conducts primary and secondary school education on bite prevention, rabies, and responsible pet ownership.

ODEL’s commitment to community animals through the Embark programme won international acclaim in 2011 at Animals Asia Welfare Awards 2011. ODEL was the only corporate entity to receive an award at this event.