Still a lucky dog, Bruno is going strong


Bruno's case represents the resiliency and strength that her community and its dogs posses.

"I have learned a great deal about how to best care for my dogs. As you can see, they are very happy and content and this gives us joy and peace as well."

In 2016, we met a special five-month old female puppy who ended up being the #oneluckydog of our Better Lives for Dogs campaign in Kenya.

She represented the millionth dog to recieve a rabies vaccination, in our work to end the mass culling of dogs through vaccination and education against rabies.

Owned by Joseph Mutui and his wife and children, Bruno was naturally protective of her family and home at a very young age.

Two years later, in April of this year, we find Bruno thriving with her family.

As soon as we arrived at Joseph Mutui’s home, we quickly realized that it was a protected territory.

While there’s no fence to keep strangers at bay, Bruno, now the family's full-time watch dog, makes sure that nothing gets past the entrance uninvited.

But, despite her role as a guard dog, she's undeniably sweet and relaxed around strangers.

Bruno also looks healthy and happy.

We found her calmly strolling in the compound – always keeping one eye on who’s coming and going.

Joseph told us that he couldn’t imagine his home without her and she's the key to protecting his maize farm from squirrels.

Healthy companions

At the heart of Makueni County Joseph's family of five live in Mikese village, with their two dogs Bruno and Simba.

One year ago Bruno was their only pet, but they have since found her a companion and helper in Simba.

The Mutui family have now got another dog, named Simba (pictured), who is Bruno's companion.

Joseph enjoys watching Bruno stay active alongside other friendly dogs.

"She’s a bundle of joy and loves playing with Simba and her friend Kilaka, a friendly neighborhood dog. When she’s not in the mood to play, she rests near Joseph’s granary until the next adventure comes along or until Simba decides to interrupt her peace," said Joseph. 

Bruno's growth

Dogs are not just companions, they are also possess instincts that make them natural and loyal guardians. 

Joseph has marveled at Bruno's maturity and reliabilty as a member of the family.

"I am very passionate about farming but our village is highly infested with squirrels. This affects the quality of our produce."

Joseph holding Bruno back in 2016 when we first met them.

"However, since I got Bruno, she’s been instrumental in protecting my farm. Earlier this year when I was tilling my land, she spotted a squirrel and ran after it very quickly,” Joseph tells us while smiling in contentment.

Bruno is now two years old.

She’s vaccinated every year against rabies during the county’s annual vaccination drive.

In communities like Joseph's, it is critical that Bruno remain up to date on her vaccinations, as rabies is more widespread and in these areas.

Better lives for community dogs

Joseph is now a community health volunteer and educates his neighbors about responsible dog ownership, with an emphasis on dog vaccination.

Because of Joseph, more and more people take their dogs to get vaccinated and bring home a vaccination card, which is a great source of pride.

Relationships between dogs and the community have improved as well.

Joseph with Simba and friendly neighborhood puppy, Kilaka.

“Since World Animal Protection came in I have learned a great deal about how to best care for my dogs. As you can see, they are very happy and content and this gives us joy and peace as well," he explains.

Joseph and Bruno are a testament to the impact of our Better Lives for Dogs campaign in Africa.

We're proud to restore hope to a community that has faced the threat of rabies for far too long.