It's time for another quarterly update and we have some awesome news to share.
As you know, most of our day-to-day revolves around rescue, care and rehoming dogs, but WAG team members are currently running two exciting dog-related research studies. One seeks to get a better understanding of the number of dogs in Kigali and the rate of dog ownership, as well as the demographics of the dog population, including vaccination status. This project is currently in the data analysis stage and is the first study in Rwanda that has sought to find out the number of dogs in Kigali. The second study investigates the knowledge, attitudes and practices of responsible dog ownership amongst dog owners in Kigali. Data collection for this study will start next month, and it is hoped that the findings will inform dog ownership policy in Rwanda. We are super proud of our team and enthusiastic about how this information will help inform decision-making and plans for WAG's growth as well as shed light on the importance of responsible dog ownership for dog welfare and public health.
The constant flow of dogs in and out of the shelter continues. We are currently recruiting new foster homes (tell your dog-loving Kigali friends!). While there have been lots of forever homes found, unfortunately, adoptions are still not happening as frequently as we would like and we are intaking dogs on an emergency-only basis.
Every dog in our care has a story, but we find Gentille's to be especially special and want to share. In early January we received community reports about a friendly dog who was tied to a tree in Nytaturama. When Paci went to investigate, local authorities had decided to let him free. When we went to retrieve him, we couldn't find him. A few weeks later, a different person notified us of the same dog with reports of his abuse. Paci went again, this time he found him but Gentille ran away scared and wounded. We continued searching for weeks. In early April a volunteer was contacted about a dog who showed up in her compound. When we went to investigate, we discovered it was none other than Gentille! Although very timid at intake, he has found safety at WAG and is learning to trust again. Gentille loves to play, being with other dogs and is very sweet. Gentille's story was months in the making and we're so glad he is on his way to finding a forever home to love and cherish him.
And finally, our shelter manager Paci is getting married! We're thrilled for Pacifique as he starts this next chapter and know that many of our supporters are also fans/friends of this remarkable human. Congratulations Paci!
Thanks for your continued support- it really is the only reason we can do what we do!
We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and 2022 is off to a great start. It's been several months since we launched our GlobalGiving page, and it's been a game changer for our tiny organization. Whether you made a one off donation to our initial campaign, became a reoccurring donor or are just following along on our page, we want to start our very first report with a THANK YOU! Despite a stressful last few months, we are so encouraged with continued financial support made possible through this platform. We can't say it enough, without you, there would be no WAG!
Things have been busy in Kigali! We wanted to highlight just a couple happy endings and give some quick updates:
*Through a targeted fundraiser, in December we were able to dedicate over 1000$ towards mental health and enrichment items for our dogs! Much needed collars, toys, high quality treats are on their way to Rwanda, with other items being purchased locally. Tails are wagging! These types of items are often low priority on our budget. It was a huge deal to be able invest specifically in dog-joy!
*We have had several new rescue intakes! Margot might be one of our most memorable. This puppy was found lying in a ditch ( for over a week!) after being hit by a car. At rescue, she was on the verge of death, was incredibly malnourished and weak, and had severe wounds to her front legs. We initially thought she might not make it, and if she did, she'd need her front leg amputated. However, after a couple of weeks of hospitalisation and intensive care, she was well enough to be taken for x-rays, where we discovered that the bones in her leg were already fusing and the muscle and skin around her leg was growing back. Margot is the sweetest pup and has recently been given the green light for adoption. She is waiting (while getting lots of love and enjoying life) for the perfect family.
Another special rescue was mama Zeus and her 7 newborn puppies. At the time of writing, 2 of these cuties have already been homed. Zeus is the most gentle dog (we call her mouse because she is tiny yet has massive eyes). She was living alone in a compound (heavily pregnant) when new tenants moved in. As Paci was arriving to do a behaviour assessment she started delivering her puppies! Although they all got sick soon after intake, everyone has recovered and keep us entertained with their puppy antics.They are seriously adorable.
*While adoptions have been slow, some amazing forever homes have been found. Congrats to each new forever family! Attached are just a few photos of a handful of those matches.
*We are currently at maximum capacity with every single kennel full at our pilot shelter space. We remain hopeful that despite rising COVID case counts and limited volunteers, adoptions will pick up in the new year and allow us to continue to take even more dogs into our care. We have a wait list and have been prioritizing urgent cases ( injured dogs, pregnant females and puppies) but the needs remain greater than our current capacity. Just today with 2 of Zeus' pups headed home, we were able to take in one more puppy found alone.
We will be in touch again in a few months with another update.
Until then, stay safe. We hope wherever you find yourself in these uncertain times, there is a dog nearby.
With gratitude on behalf of the WAG team, Frances Klinck
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