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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I just wanted to share some pictures. (All pics from Lilongwe Society for the Protection and Care of Animals facebook page.)

First, I'd never heard of the country either, here is a map to help you :)


My best friend is a Peace Corps Volunteer there right now. She's acquired her own local dog, named Dora, that she hopes to be able to bring back to the states. Also a male cat, Squiggles. She does what she can on her own time to try to teach the people the proper way to treat animals but it's slow going as the culture is so very different. Here is Dora and Squigs.


People treat animals so differently there. In general, dogs and cats are not pets. Dogs especially are nuisances. There is basically no veterinary care. All dogs are intact, and not vaccinated. They do have very basic veterinary care- one other volunteer took his male dogs to be neutered. It was done without any kind of anesthesia or even numbing the area first. You can imagine how those poor boys screamed. My friend tells me how kids throw rocks at the dogs to keep them away. The people think it's funny and strange for dogs and cats to have names. It's a different culture. The people are also very poor and can barely afford to feed themselves, let alone pets. Even then, the only dog food available is low-quality brands like Pedigree. Inflation has been extremely bad lately, with prices having risen 100-200% in the last year. Generally the people DO NOT purposefully injure dogs or cats, but just as in the United Sates there are some jerks who do it. Most often, the dogs are in bad shape simply because they live a street-dog type life.

I found it interesting how almost all the dogs look alike! Most are brown and have similar features. If not brown, they are brown and black.


The Lilongwe Society for the Protection and Care of Animals is doing all they can to help. Attitudes and practices are slowly changing.

Though it is illegal to sell animals on the roadside, it is gaining in popularity. Often the puppies and kittens are only a week or two old.


This man was arrested for it, this puppy confiscated. Puppies and kittens may be thrown into bushes on dropped to the ground when a roadside seller sees police coming. One man slipped trying to escape, dropping a puppy and a kitten into traffic. Fortunately the police stopped traffic in time. The man escaped.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Warning, here come some graphic pics.

Injured or emaciated dogs are usually found, and sometimes people will bring them in.


It's unfortunately common to use chain or wire around the dog's waist as a leash.


They found this girl near death. She's now happy and loving life.












Fleas and ticks are a HUGE problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The LSPCA holds spay/neuter clinics.


Momma dog at the LSPCA, nursing her last litter as she was spayed.


The LSPAC called this dog a Rhodesian Ridgeback. I don't see it.. though many dogs there do have the dorsal stripe of fur.


Rescued puppy, with a badly fly-bitten ear.


Dogs at the LSPCA




And you ready for this? They had a dog show with a little agility course! Blew my mind.
 

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People are sick to be able to walk past an animal that looks like that without a second thought :(
People are sick to be able to let an animal get that far anyway!
Thank God there are still people with hearts.
 

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This does not just happen in Malawi. It happens all over Africa. I've lived in South Africa for 12 years and regardless of how you try to bring it to these people, they simply do not care for animals in a way that people on this forum would. Trust me, it's a different WORLD altogether. I think there are more bad than good cases here, as I lived between two major townships. Dogs ALL look like this and are treated worse than inanimate objects. Everything is taken out on them. Feeling angry? Kick the dog. Are we drunk? Tie the dog up for Guy Fawkes and burn him with fireworks or put a burning tire around his neck. I have experienced a man running unto our farm beating his dog with a "Panga", which is a machete! The dog was shot on location by the police as there was no saving it. It doesn't just happen to dogs, it happens to donkeys who are beasts of burden there. They are beaten until they fall down, they are not fed well and worked until they literally die. They start getting donkeys to pull a cart from the age of 1 or even below - they do not care.

NOT all of those people are like this, but speaking from experience it has angered me and frustrated me all my life of being there how they treat their animals. It's like a piece of your heart is burnt, and on one side you know they are in poverty but on the other side they do not respect other lives - or their own! Sometimes there is just simply no dignity in the people living in the townships. I worked for the SPCA, and many of the black people working there were really different from the guys around them; we discussed it often how they could not understand HOW their culture can be so cruel sometimes! One of the guys had refused a traditional cultural event which is when they kill an animal (usually a goat) for the ancestors, for which the rule is: the louder it screams, the better the ancestors can hear it. I was shocked when I heard this! He told me he refused to do it regardless of the pressure, he couldn't handle it, and got beaten by his father "not being a real man".

On my farm there was also one man who took his donkeys onto my father's land to fetch pumpkins. He said that he walked his donkeys through his house, cut their own grass from the fields behind the township and tried to get his son to graze them everyday. And regardless of being empty-pocket poor, he made a comfortable harness by hand. He told me that he did not understand his own people sometimes. He is really one in every fifty that do this - if even... it's terrible to experience.

Say what you want, but there are many cultures that do not feel the need to be cruel to animals - even though it happens all over the world. I could name so many more things that happened in our townships on daily basis: raping of little girls (I mean, from babies to women), pouring boiling water over a racing horse (the horse was going to the slaughter house because it couldn't race, and was then 'donated' to be a cart horse after which youngsters decided to pour boiling water over it to see what would happen. I was there when they put down animals due to these cruel things, and I've also seen how cruel the people can be to one another. It's really crazy, but there is not much a person can do if you are not willing to deal with the unmoving cultural differences and therefore the cruelty that moves through this. It's crazy, it may sound biased but it is a very hard reality.

Aaanyway, I realize this may come over as really negative... I think I've seen too much to be positive sometimes, I guess it really challenges my belief in the human race sometimes. I'm more for animals and less for humans, so I guess I don't always like seeing what people can do to animals. They say Cesar Millan is cruel... and sorry, but sometimes I'd love to post what I've seen (like these photo's) and say this, this is real cruelty.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That was incredible to read, thank you for sharing your own experience.

I've always loved the quote by Ghandi, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
 

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That was incredible to read, thank you for sharing your own experience.

I've always loved the quote by Ghandi, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
All you can do is spread awareness, really... not sugar coat things to make them more 'acceptable' for people to read. I believe people are rather self centered in that way, when they get mad at things like this being shown. It is a harsh reality we cannot just go about avoiding. No one will save the world, but at least one person can try to fix their part in it. I love that quote; although it does mean that the moral progress of South Africa's people is below 0! (Which saddens me to say the least...) I'm glad there are one or two people that are so good. They awaken my hope in the people, even if they are so little to come by.

But thank you for the nice comment. I am glad to see such an accepting comment! I wasn't expecting it. :) *little bit more hope in people* ;)

p.s I love your dog's names! Denali is so cool, it is a name that also appears in the movie Brother Bear, the Indian Brother (the wise one) is called Denali. Nice name!
 

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This is so incredibly sad. There's just no words for it.

In Venezuela, where I grew up, there's little to no consciousness about animals. People feel that animals don't feel anything. The streets are full of strays and most of them have scabies. They just roam the streets, and eat what they can from the rubbish. I am not sure if there is any institution for the care of animals, but the general population is opposed to it, since they believe people will only kill the animals. They say there's just too many animals. The first time I came to The Netherlands I was so amazed because there were no dogs on the streets! People fear strays and their diseases so they can be extremely cruel to them. People also fear that the stray dogs will attack them, but I've never met a stray that ever attacked me. I've had far more incidents with "pets" than I ever had with strays. However they did break into zoos and hunt there. Most notably they once broke into a zoo close to where I lived and hunted the kangaroos and ate them. I once had a stray follow me and at first I was really scared (he was huge!) and I guess I'll never know if he was just a lost dog that was looking for his family and became attached to me (this is what I thought), or if he was a hungry dog who saw a small child like me as a yummy appetitive (like my grandma said at that time- then again my grandma hates animals).

There are vets, but those are for the middle class and rich people's dogs. The middle class in Venezuela is full of people who just want to show off their dogs. Small dogs will live in an apartment all their lives and become little demons because of the lack of exercise. Big dogs will not be taken out either, but kept as guard dogs. They mostly live in confined spaces. They are never allowed in the home and tend to be so violent that small children are not allowed in their presence. In fact, they will be aggressive to anyone -and this usually includes family members. Aggression is seen as something that just has to be in order for a dog to be a good guard dog. There is a very abusive way of training the dogs in general. People will generally never castrate or spay their pets. Unwanted litters are sold on the streets or abandoned.

However, there is hope sometimes. Some communities of extremely low income will adopt local strays. They will sometimes feed the dog, collect enough money to take them to the vet, or they will give him a bath against fleas and such.

I was quite young when I lived there and my family didn't allow pets (we lived at my grandmother's apartment). I did try sneaking in a few cats (I was afraid of dogs, since both my dad and my grandma hate dogs. I eventually grew out of my fear but one of my brothers never did), but my family would always discover them and turn them to the street. The Venezuelan population is so ignorant of the right methods of training, I myself didn't know any better than to practice negative reinforcement and positive punishment until a couple of years ago when I first started to consider adopting my first dog. I am so glad for the internet!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The mother of my friend's dog Dora has given birth again. My friend was finally able to get her hands on the puppies now that they're a few weeks old and was horrified to see them covered with bot fly larva. Each puppy had over 50. Tips of tails, between toes, on their faces, everywhere. She's getting out every one that she finds.






Tiger is so skinny, but she's a good momma.
 
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