Eradicating Rabies One Vaccine at a Time

World Rabies Day calls attention to a harsh reality. Over 50,000 people die from rabies every year. Heartbreakingly, many who die are children from impoverished communities in developing countries. 

Thankfully, rabies vaccines provide a solution. That’s why SPCA International is providing targeted grants to five partner organizations in Africa and Asia that are holding World Rabies Day events this month. Though they work to vaccinate animals and educate communities all year long, this day is particularly important for bringing attention to rabies vaccines. 

In much of the developing world, many dogs are not vaccinated, which means they can contract and spread rabies to humans. This puts people and dogs at risk of death. It also stigmatizes dogs which means they suffer from unnecessary neglect and cruelty. 

SPCA International is proud to support the rabies vaccination efforts of Stray Animal Foundation of India, Tanzania Animals Protection Organization, TAHUCHA, Lake Zone Animal Welfare and Tanzania Animal Welfare Society this World Rabies Day. 

By making rabies and other vaccines available alongside rabies education to at-risk communities, their efforts will save lives and improve conditions for dogs and people.

Funding Rushed to Pakistan Flood Victims

Thanks to a generous outpouring of support from the SPCA International community, Spikey and the other animals in the care of LAPS (Lucky Animal Protection Shelter) are safe!

It hasn’t been easy for them. Since the initial evacuation, which left dogs stranded on the roofs of their kennels during a long and scary night, the animals have been moved three times to safer locations. All along, your support provided food, veterinary care and attention for these pups. 

As they wait for the water to recede from the shelter, our partners at LAPS are exhaustedly continuing their work. Every person has been working overtime to care for the animals, even as many of their own homes are underwater. 

Despite all the trauma of the situation, we are excited to share that Spikey is available for adoption. Please contact LAPS directly if you have space in your heart and home for this sweet boy with special needs. 

The animals’ needs are being met now thanks to your support. In the coming weeks, LAPS will face yet another challenge as they begin to rebuild their shelter and make it safe and welcoming for the animals once again. Several walls caved in, and with standing water in the shelter, the full damage has yet to be seen. Please consider an additional disaster relief donation.

Home at Last

Peggy and 19 other pups have finally been reunited with the military service members who adopted them while serving overseas. These dogs’ journeys were delayed by CDC rules that restricted the import of animals from over 100 countries for a year. 

Though the CDC has recently eased the restrictions, SPCA International had implemented creative procedures to reunite pups with their soldiers. Dogs from the restricted countries were being flown to Canada for a six-month quarantine period before being cleared to travel to the U.S. and their waiting families. This process was complicated and costly. 

We are thrilled to share that 20 pups have now made it from Canada to their service members in the U.S. Peggy is just one of them, but her reunion with Marine John Kurulgan warms our hearts. 

John had adopted Peggy during a deployment in the Republic of Georgia. She was just a tiny pup and he looked forward to making her part of his family with his fiancée in the U.S. Heartbreakingly, John’s fiancée never got the chance to meet Peggy. While Peggy was stuck in limbo, John’s fiancée was killed in a car accident. 

John says that amidst the tragedy, one of the only things he had to look forward to was his reunion with Peggy. Now, a year after they parted, Peggy is home with John and his other pups on Staten Island. 

SPCA International’s Operation Baghdad Pups: Worldwide also rescued Peggy’s siblings and mom for John’s fellow Marines and they are looking forward to getting the pups together for a reunion sometime soon.

Shelter Spotlight: Big Fix Uganda

As the only animal welfare group in the war-affected northern region of the country, Big Fix Uganda is indeed making a big impact. SPCA International is proud to support their multi-faceted approach to community-based animal welfare. Big Fix Uganda provides community education, veterinary services for animals and a companion animal program for people traumatized by war.  

Community Education:

Through a combination of school presentations, community events, radio show participation and community murals, Big Fix Uganda is changing attitudes and behavior toward animals. The concept of dog care and training is new to many families, so education is a key component of improving conditions for animals in this area. 

Veterinary Services:

Because war has left this area with few economic resources, community members typically can’t afford veterinary care for their dogs and cats. Through bi-weekly field clinics, Big Fix Uganda is treating an average of 185 animals every two weeks for free. They provide rabies vaccination, de-worming, treatment of wounds/injuries and sterilization services.  

Comfort Dog Project:

Big Fix Uganda places rescued and rehabilitated dogs with war trauma survivors as part of a psycho-social rehabilitation program. The guardians make a lifetime commitment to care for their dogs and they attend weekly training sessions. Upon graduation, the dog-guardian teams become project ambassadors – visiting villages and schools to support the educational component of Big Fix Uganda’s strategy. 

Join Milo the dog to celebrate Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy launch on PC Game Pass

We are thrilled to announce that SPCA International is teaming up with Xbox to celebrate Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy now available with PC Game Pass. Xbox will be hosting a live playthrough of the game, while Cosmo the Spacedog’s biggest fan, a handsome Labrador Retriever named Milo watches along in his space suit! You don’t want to miss this!

During the livestream, Milo will be eating, playing and just being an all-around adorable pup in his costume. SPCA International will be featured prominently during the stream, and viewers will have the option to donate directly to SPCAI on Twitch via Tiltify. 

Tune in to the Xbox Twitch channel on July 20th at 3pm PDT to join our cosmic adventure and raise money for SPCA International.

But wait there’s more! Don’t miss your chance to win your very own cassette player modeled after Star-Lord’s cassette player from Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Starting today you can enter #TheGalaxyHasGuardians sweepstakes to win this 80s classic, otherwise known as a Portable Bipedal Frequency Streamer!

For your chance to hold the Portable Bipedal Frequency Streamer in your hand, just follow @SPCAINT on Twitter and then follow the instructions posted. 

Flights to Safety: Saving Animals from Euthanasia

SPCA International is partnering to help clear the Bakersfield, California, city animal shelter, which is at capacity. The number of animals coming into the shelter simply eclipses the number of animals being adopted. 

Without help, they’ll have to euthanize around 30 animals each day. The staff are heartbroken by this reality, so they are committed to moving approximately 180 adoptable animals to Canada, where adoptive families are waiting. 

SPCA International proudly sponsored the first of three flights operated by Pet Rescue Pilots. This huge undertaking involved the Bakersfield city shelter, Marley’s Mutts, Pet Rescue Pilots, BARKs Rescue and many volunteers from each group. 

On June 25th, the sponsored flight transported 60 animals 1,275 miles from Bakersfield to Great Falls, Montana, where BARKs volunteers received the animals. BARK then coordinated the final leg of their journey to Canada and loving adoptive families. 

In addition to saving the lives of animals at risk of being euthanized, this rescue mission allows the staff at the Bakersfield shelter to move out of crisis mode and focus on long-term solutions. They are focused on efforts to reduce the number of unwanted animals by providing community education and advocating for local ordinances that require pet sterilization and restrict backyard breeding.

Clean Futures Fund Visits Chornobyl

SPCA International partner Clean Futures Fund recently completed a successful visit to Chornobyl, Ukraine. Thank you to everyone who helped make this trip possible through a donation! 

Clean Futures Fund supports both the people and animals living in and around the Chornobyl Nuclear Exclusion Zone, but they have been unable to visit because of the pandemic and the Russian invasion. 

The area has hundreds of stray dogs that are the descendants of dogs left behind when the area was evacuated after the 1986 Chornobyl nuclear disaster. Clean Futures Fund provides food, veterinary care and sterilizations for these dogs, reducing suffering and humanely decreasing the stray dog population.

Though local citizens persevered in feeding and caring for the dogs to the best of their abilities, dogs living at the nuclear power plant began to starve during the Russian invasion. The workers at the power plant typically fed the dogs daily, but when they were captured and detained by Russian soldiers, no one cared for the dogs for a month. 

When the Russians withdrew from the area, Clean Futures Fund mobilized to send dog food as quickly as possible to the starving animals. During their visit, they found the dogs’ conditions to be much improved thanks to the dedication of the power plant workers. 

Thank you again to everyone who made this long-awaited and critically important visit possible. We’ll keep you updated on future developments from Clean Futures Fund and their work in and around Chornobyl, Ukraine.

Rescuing Pups from the Meat Trade

The dog meat trade is one of the most terrible animal welfare issues we focus on here at SPCA International, but it is immensely important.

Despite public outcry in China, a select number of people continue the barbaric practice of slaughtering and eating dogs. That’s why SPCA International remains committed to supporting partner organizations on the ground in China.

We are proud to share that since the beginning of the year, our partners at Bo Ai Animal Protection Centre have rescued over 90 dogs from the meat trade by focusing on legal pressure and community awareness. Once dogs are rescued, they work to provide veterinary care and ensure the pups learn to trust humans again. Then, they find safe and loving homes for the pups in China and abroad.

Despite the year-round work, each June brings a particularly horrific event – the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. Our partners at Plush Bear’s Shelter are at the festival to save as many dogs as possible. They can’t save every single animal, but they certainly make a difference. They alert the police when traffickers and butchers engage in illegal activities, and they even buy dogs from butchers to save their lives.

Unfortunately, the pups are kept in terrible conditions that cause immense trauma and illness. Nevertheless, our partners in China are steadfast in their dedication to this life-saving work.

Even though photos and videos of the Yulin event are banned, our partners have been able to capture some images to share with us so we know what is happening. Please be advised that these images below are disturbing.

Photos provided by Plush Bears Shelter

Help end this practice. DONATE NOW to support organizations in countries where dog and cat meat is still consumed.

Dogs and Soldiers will Reunite Thanks to Relaxed CDC Rules 

When the CDC suddenly announced restrictions on the import of dogs coming from over 100 countries, the SPCA International team mobilized. The new rules directly affected our Operation Baghdad Pups: Worldwide program and the many soldiers who count on us to reunite them with the dogs they rescue while serving overseas. 

We quickly expedited as many dogs as possible so they could travel before the restrictions began, we partnered with other animal welfare groups to ask lawmakers and the CDC to reconsider their decision, and we implemented an alternate rescue route that involved a six-month quarantine period in Canada. 

Now, nearly a year after the initial rule changed the way we rescued dogs from many countries, we are pleased to announce the CDC has eased their rules. We will now be able to bring our U.S. service members’ dogs directly to the U.S. through designated ports of entry. This means soldiers will be reunited with their battle buddy pups sooner, keeping the bond and the health of soldiers and pups strong. 

Thank you to everyone who has provided unwavering support for the Operation Baghdad Pups: Worldwide program during this past year. You made it possible for SPCA International to provide food, shelter and medical care for dogs during this unprecedented situation. 

The soldiers waiting to be reunited with their dogs are ecstatic to know their pups are on their way home. All of us at SPCA International are thrilled to be returning to a more direct and faster route of reuniting soldiers and their pups.

Portugal Spayathon Success!

Stray cat populations are manageable with intentional TNVR (Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate, Release) programs, which is why SPCA International proudly supports SOS (Sterilize our Strays) Algarve Animals in Portugal. 

Their recent spayathon reached 293 cats and 90% were strays! This is significant because stray cats are highly likely to reproduce. If left to their own devices, a female cat can have two or three litters a year and produce hundreds of kittens in her lifetime. 

Sterilizing female and male stray cats drastically reduces the number of stray cats, allowing the existing population to better access food and care from their human neighbors. It also means cats don’t become a nuisance in their communities and people can better respond when cats are visibly hurt or sick. 

In addition to treating cats, SOS Algarve Animals also sterilized 21 dogs during their recent campaign for a grand total of 314 animals. We look forward to all they will continue to accomplish on behalf of animals in Portugal!