Canine casualties of the war in Sierra Leone

Dogs at a clinic run by the Sierra Leone Animal Welfare Society, a member society

During Sierra Leone’s civil war, tens of thousands of people were killed and more than a third of the population was displaced.

As the country recovers, the devastating effect of war on domestic animals has also become clear, prompting WSPA to act.

When peace was restored in 2002, overcrowding and desperately poor living standards in the capital Freetown overwhelmed the authorities.

A build up of refuse and biological waste provided a food source for stray dogs and they bred freely. Diseases such as rabies caused great canine suffering and threatened human health.

Freetown is now believed to have one of the highest population densities of stray dogs in the whole of Africa – around 100,000.

With such a large stray population, a humane solution is desperately needed.

Providing community-based solutions

A rabies vaccination certificate from WSPA member society SLAWS

WSPA is working with the Sierra Leone Animal Welfare Society (SLAWS) to address the problem by:

  • Neutering, de-worming and vaccinating dogs in large numbers.
  • Lobbying the government to tighten animal welfare laws and take responsibility for the control of stray dogs.

By visiting households in Freetown, collecting their dogs, treating and returning them, SLAWS increases the local awareness of animal welfare and humane dog control.

As the spread of disease is checked and people become less fearful of dogs, they will be more willing to welcome healthy dogs back into their communities as valued companions.

With WSPA’s support, SLAWS is able to promote responsible pet ownership throughout Sierra Leone.

Please make a donation today so we can continue to support vital animal welfare projects around the world.

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