While we strive to vaccinate as many owned dogs as possible, we still fall short of the optimum vaccination rate because the Lilongwe stray dog population Through William and Charlotte Parks Foundation grant, LSPCA will is going to run a pilot project for catching, sterilizing, vaccinating and releasing all the caught dogs to increase the number of vaccinated stray dogs while reducing the number of unwanted births. LSPCA is partnering with the Lilongwe Agricultural Development Division and the Lilongwe City Council for this activity. A team from the Humane Society International are flying in to capacity build all the stakeholders in capture methods and all the activities around the project.
Dog Population Management is an on-going program looking to empower government departments with the tools to address this issue efficiently. Through lobbying the Ministries of Health, Local Government and Agriculture, we are making some advancement towards managing this internationally recognized problem. LSPCA has engaged the Lilongwe City council on the need for animal control officers t since this falls under the council’s jurisdiction. In 2011 we held a census on the roaming dog population and estimated 5000 stray dogs in Lilongwe alone! In 2011, the LSPCA lobbied the Lilongwe City Council to stop the shooting of animals as a means of controlling rabies and the number of stray and roaming dogs.
Through the office of the Inspector General, we were allocated one Criminal Investigator and Prosecutor to pursue all Animal Welfare reports and ensuring the general public appreciates the criminality of violating it the Animal Protection Act. These two Animal Welfare Police Officers have successfully rescued a lot of dogs and cats and prosecuted unlawful citizens since April. The officers work under the Ministry of Agriculture structure but directly with the LSPCA.
Community veterinary clinics address the glaring need for veterinary care and provide treatment free of charge to low income communities. These clinics also take the form of farm animal days. These clinics are conducted at the heart of a local community to treat as many livestock as possible. The majority of these animals could easily go without a veterinarian through their lifetime! Chickens are vaccinated, cows and goats dewormed, ecto-parasite control as well as general free advice is given at the clinics.
We run Humane Education lessons in all public schools in Lilongwe. The lessons aim to promoting compassion towards animals in pupils and instil a sense of responsibility to the well-being of the animals under their care. These classes narrow the very wide knowledge gulf between the correct handling and basic care of animals and the norms in our society. Also we dispel the several traditional myths and beliefs that impact on perceptions held in certain communities about animals. Our education programmes aim to reach out to school going children and orient their thinking to cause an attitude change and in both the individuals and the society they live in. This year, LSPCA has shifted to formation of clubs in all the participating schools in Lilongwe. Through the kind support of the National Council of SPCAs, we have so far established 11 Animal Kindness Clubs and look to roll this out to the rest of the 54 schools in Lilongwe. Through this Humane Programme we reach over 6,000 pupils and 100 trainers through the year!
The LSPCA Veterinary Clinic located on Acacia Road in Area 9 provides a high standard of veterinary care at affordable costs, or free to those who are unable to pay. We have a well-equipped clinic and can provide ultrasound scans, x rays, blood tests, gas anesthetics dentistry, orthopedic procedures as well as routine services such as vaccinations and preventative treatments. Our hospitalization facilities ensure we can provide intensive care if your animal needs to stay in the clinic overnight.
We are involved alongside the Ministry of Agricultures through the Department of Animal Health and Livestock Development and the Malawi Police Services in the Promoting and Reviewing the Animal welfare Law of Malawi. Whilst Animal Protection Act was enacted in 1970, this was largely ignored or not prioritised. In 2011, a national police sensitization workshop was help at the Police Headquarters. The result of this was a big revelation to the police of the existence of the law and bore immediate results. This was supported by the RSPCA International and the Scotland Yard in the United Kingdom.
Rabies Vaccination Program is jointly run with the Lilongwe City Assembly and the Ministry of Agriculture (through the Lilongwe ADD). We also vaccinate all the animals that come to either the spay and neuter clinics or the farm day as part of the same program. This is to cover as many dogs with rabies vaccination as possible to address the issue rabies incidents in humans. This year LSPCA will avail all the rabies vaccination for all the city dogs free of charge.
The Pet Rehoming Program is indeed traditional to most animal welfare organisations. Here we rehabilitate rescued or confiscated animals. All animals are quarantined before they are paired with an appropriate owner for a happy life there-after. Quarantine is done for thirty days for all the animals that are handed over, either as a rescue or confiscation in accordance with the MoU with the Ministry of Agriculture and in line with the Lilongwe City Council. Through quarantine, we are able to rule-out rabies. All animals are vaccinated, dewormed and sterilised before a new home is located. Also behaviour assessments are carried out to eliminate aggression and other vices.
Spay and Neuter Clinics (dog and cat sterilizations) are geared towards reducing the stray animal population and the incidence of rabies in Lilongwe through the reduction of unwanted puppies and kittens. LSPCA runs two free of charge spay and neuter community clinics twice a week. We visit the same community every week until the number of dogs/cats in brought forward for sterilisation dwindle. All the animals seen are vaccinated for rabies, treated for fleas, dewormed and issued a vaccination certificate. All this is offered free to the community and these animals benefit from some veterinary care while the unwanted puppies reduce and possibility of rabies also drops.
The Lilongwe Veterinary Clinic is our newest Programme. This is designed to offer free or affordable veterinary care at a high standard to the community while at the same time subsidize all the veterinary expenses incurred in the underprivileged communities free veterinary clinics. In addition to fundraising for our programmes, the clinic greatly complements our animal rescue programs as having this facility and in-house veterinarians which greatly reduces our veterinary bill.