Help vaccinate stray dogs in Africa under threat of culling on World Rabies Day (September 28)
Ten years of civil war followed by the Ebola epidemic has left a stray dog population on the verge of catastrophe
Many dogs are roaming and look for scraps or rely on handouts from the community
We're calling on supporters to help vaccinate the 100,000 stray and roaming dogs in Sierra Leone, Africa, at risk of culling because of the fear of rabies, on World Rabies Day, September 28. Rabies has become rife amongst dogs and people, with over three human rabies cases for every 100,000 people. It's vital that dogs are vaccinated before communities put pressure on local authorities to eliminate dogs through inhumane culling.
This is because stray dogs in Freetown, Sierra Leone are seen as both a nuisance and a threat to the communities. As a result, dogs are being abused, cruelly killed, or starved - with only four veterinarians in the entire country to try to protect and keep dogs out of harm’s way. Culling is a common method used by governments in answer to stray dog populations, as seen currently with the government in Kerala, India.
99% of human rabies cases are transmitted by dog bites, resulting in the deaths of around 59,000 people every year, however it is almost 100 per cent preventable. And although canine rabies has been eliminated in Canada and across the developed world, it is still a threat in countries like Africa where it kills 24,000 people a year, most of them children and mainly caused by bites from contaminated dogs.
At World Animal Protection, we're working with local and national authorities in Sierra Leone and the Sierra Leone Animal Welfare Society (SLAWS) on humane stray dog control. Earlier in 2016, we began looking at potential sites in Freetown in which to potentially launch a joint rabies vaccination program in 2017.
“The situation in Sierra Leone is critical as the tension between the vast stray and roaming dog population and community increases. Rabies is an entirely preventable disease and we are calling on supporters help raise the money needed to vaccinate the Sierra Leone dogs and prevent any more cruelty and suffering,” said Josey Kitson, Executive Director at World Animal Protection Canada.
We've had success in ending the suffering of dogs - recently we celebrated a major milestone after delivering one million rabies vaccinations as part of our Better Lives for Dogs campaign. However, we need your help to vaccinate about 100,000 dogs in Sierra Leone today.