By Stephanie Scott, SPCA International Director of Communications
Tomorrow our team leaves for Tanzania. It will take 18 hours in flight to arrive at Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest city, where they will rendezvous with our longtime partners Tanzania Animal Welfare Society (TAWESO). TAWESO is an extraordinary organization driving spay and neuter efforts in remote areas, implementing promising public awareness campaigns, championing humane legislation and saving the lives of homeless, desperate animals daily.
Executive director, Meredith Ayan, and program manager, Lori Kalef, will make the arduous journey into remote countryside of Tanzania to work with TAWESO on critical, groundbreaking outreach projects. They will be reporting from the field about animals in need and lives saved.
In addition to their enormous work with dogs and cats in the region, TAWESO is rushing to the aid of suffering donkeys in the rural areas of Tanzania. As a working breed, donkeys suffer terribly from back and neck injuries caused by lack of harnesses, overloading, beating. They go almost entirely without rest, treatment or veterinary care, and instead are made to work through injury and sickness until they collapse.
Donkeys are critical to the survival of people living in rural Tanzania. For many families they are the sole source of transportation for themselves and the resources they need to survive. Donkeys can be the only way to carry water from natural source points to homesteads, they are relied on to transport an enormous amount of weight in crop, charcoal, building materials such as cement bags and crushed stones to building sites.
There is a general lack of understanding and empathy towards these gentle creatures by the locals. There have been occasions that when the donkeys eat other farmers’ crops in the field and in response a farmer has severed donkey’s body parts at random by using sharp knives or machetes, which results in very severe wounds, excruciating pain and death.
TAWESO is meeting these challenges head on with the launch of a mobile donkey veterinary clinic and outreach campaigns. Meredith and Lori will travel to the some of the poorest parts of Tanzania to work with TAWESO on the educational outreach, healthcare, hoof trimming, dentistry and emergency care for donkeys in the area.
Please follow along with Meredith and Lori on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as they report live from the field in Tanzania, Africa. They will also be emailing with the most urgent cases they find in order to get you involved in saving lives in this desperate region. Together, I hope we can all meet the challenges they bring to light.