Sep 29, 2011
The internationally-renowned singer supports WSPA’s campaign to protect dogs and communities from cruelty and rabies.
In a video message released today, Leona discusses how 20 million dogs are cruelly killed every year in misguided attempts to control rabies – despite the fact that an effective, humane alternative solution exists: mass vaccination. With the spotlight on Leona as she prepares to launch her new album, ‘Glass Heart’, the singer urges fans to support WSPA’s Collars Not Cruelty campaign, which advocates that dogs be vaccinated against rabies and given red collars so that communities know they are safe from the disease.
"I think it’s absolutely horrific that 20 million dogs are killed every year because of the fear of rabies when there is an alternative solution," said Leona Lewis. "I really want to help WSPA to spread the word worldwide and end the cruelty that is happening at the moment. By educating people and getting vaccinations out there, we’re helping both humans and animals."
When confronted with the problem of this fast-spreading disease, national governments sometimes turn to what they believe is the only way to wipe out rabies: wipe out the dog population. The animal-loving singer witnessed shocking footage showing how dogs are poisoned, beaten or gassed to death as part of these culls.
"I was devastated when I saw these images! I have grown up with dogs and for them to be destroyed, to be killed like that – I can’t actually express how upsetting it is! It is like a nightmare that this is allowed to happen," Leona said.
But with successful rabies control projects in countries across Asia and Latin America, WSPA has proven time and time again that a world without rabies is not a world without dogs.
"No one needs to die of rabies – not dogs, not people! Rabies is entirely preventable. Vaccinating a dog against rabies costs just a fraction of what one person would need to spend on getting treatment after being bitten by an unvaccinated dog!" said Leona.