An appeal to support AWPA’s sterilisation programs

Saturday, 19 September 2020 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Animals’ Welfare and Protection Association (AWPA) is the oldest animal welfare organisation established in 1964 and runs two shelters for rescued street dogs and cats in Dehiwala and Kahathuduwa. Apart from this service they continue with their rescue efforts of injured or sick street dogs and cats, conducting sterilisation programs for low income pet owners and raising awareness on the plight of stray dogs and cats. 

The Association is run by a committee who are all volunteers and depends on donations from kind hearted animal lovers to run their shelters and conduct these activities. Given the current situation in the country it is short of funds to run its shelters and its finances are in the red with pending sterilisation and rescue bills. 

Sterilisation campaigns in both urban and rural areas are held whenever funds are available for community animals and those owned by low-income households. A veterinary team with a mobile clinic works on the field at a selected location; to sterilise all animals brought in. For this to happen, a local coordinator has to inform the general public in the area of this campaign, and influence/inform people to bring in their owned dogs and cats, as well as those on the street who they may look after. 

The vet team includes dog catchers – who will catch and bring in the strays around the respective area. Coordinators/carers will be responsible for the aftercare. The AWPA uses their social media platforms to raise awareness about these programs as well. 

The AWPA also runs a referral program, where you may take a community dog or cat to your local AWPA approved vet for sterilisation at the cost of the AWPA. Through these outreach schemes, amidst the current COVID-19 situation in the country approximately 1,000 animals have been sterilised in 2020 pre and post lockdown. Campaigns have been conducted in Dehiwala, Athurugiriya, Monaragala, Maharagama, Mount Lavinia, Kalutara, Hanwella and Kaduwela. There are plans in the pipeline to hold more campaigns during the rest of the year and the demand is continuous, from hospitals to garbage dumps and pets of low income pet owners; we can do so much more with more funding. 

However, as we all know, if a female dog litters an average of four pups every six months, she will have 5,000 descendants over the next five years. A pup or kitten can be sterilised from the age of six months. Female cats can be sterilised as soon as the kittens are weaned (four to six weeks). Males – both cats and dogs – need to be sterilised, too, as they pose a risk of mating with unsterilised females. Sterilisation is humane dog population control and will result in less unwanted puppies and accident victims and is an integral part of dog/cat welfare.

Sterilising of animals has a host of other advantages for our cuddly critters. It is beneficial in preventing certain medical conditions, such as pyometra (uterus infection) ovarian and testicular cancer, anal tumours, and various forms of prostate disease in males, and is known to reduce aggression in males – making communities and families safer. It needs sponsorships to sustain these sterilisation programs and appeals for support.

It humbly requests you to help out by donating towards its pending bills. Every Rs. 100 matters! You can donate directly to the AWPA account. Its accounts are audited and its financial statements are shared with its members every year at the AGM. Your donations are receipted as it is mandatory for audit purposes! 

The AWPA has opened a separate account to manage the sterilisation programs and the account details are as follows:

Account name: Animals’ Welfare and Protection Association

Account number: 86131576

Bank name: Bank of Ceylon

Bank branch: Kollupitiya Super Grade 034

Please email [email protected] or call Iromi Salgado on 0776565181 for more details about future sterilisation programs or if you wish to donate or sponsor a program. Once you do make a donation please inform her so they can make sure you receive a receipt.