Engagement is the most powerful tool in our box. By engaging with people in local communities, we can redefine concepts of animal ownership and responsibility in Sri Lanka.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: people are at the heart of any movement to change the lives and well-being of street animals. Dogstars like you recognise that, to make the long-term change we all want to see, we must engage with the communities we serve. We’re so glad you value this approach as much as we do.
The next generation of pet guardians
Teaching children how to interact positively with animals and about rabies saves two, three and four-legged lives. Rabies is endemic in Sri Lanka, with dogs as the main reservoirs and transmitters. That’s why dog bites and the fear of dog bites can sometimes trigger calls for dog culls.
We developed an interactive Children’s Education Programme, where we use interactive sessions, role-play and colouring activities to discuss animals. It covers everything from an animal’s basic needs to respect, positive handling, bite prevention and even what to do if you are bitten. At the end of the session, every child signs a pledge to ‘Be A Dogstar’. We couldn’t be prouder to be establishing the next generation of animal advocates in Sri Lanka.
Engagement is for adults too!
You’ve funded a series of information leaflets that provide an overview of animal welfare, including specific examples and positive changes that even the most low-income household can implement.
A lot of the animal suffering we see is caused by neglect of basic emotional or physical needs. This might be an owner who hasn’t sought treatment, a lack of understanding about diet, or misguided treatment or actions which can cause poor welfare. It’s not deliberate cruelty, but it can still result in suffering, distress and even death. We have to intervene.
We hand them out to any owner who brings an animal to our clinic and hand them out village-wide during outreach clinics. And thanks to you, in 2024, we’re expanding our programme to distribute leaflets at our children’s education sessions, local temples and engagement talks in community centres.