Help Us Transform Uganda SPCA Haven Animal Shelter

by Animal-Kind International
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Help Us Transform Uganda SPCA Haven Animal Shelter
Help Us Transform Uganda SPCA Haven Animal Shelter
Help Us Transform Uganda SPCA Haven Animal Shelter
Help Us Transform Uganda SPCA Haven Animal Shelter
Help Us Transform Uganda SPCA Haven Animal Shelter
Help Us Transform Uganda SPCA Haven Animal Shelter
Help Us Transform Uganda SPCA Haven Animal Shelter
Help Us Transform Uganda SPCA Haven Animal Shelter
Help Us Transform Uganda SPCA Haven Animal Shelter
Help Us Transform Uganda SPCA Haven Animal Shelter
Help Us Transform Uganda SPCA Haven Animal Shelter
Help Us Transform Uganda SPCA Haven Animal Shelter
Help Us Transform Uganda SPCA Haven Animal Shelter
Help Us Transform Uganda SPCA Haven Animal Shelter
Help Us Transform Uganda SPCA Haven Animal Shelter
Help Us Transform Uganda SPCA Haven Animal Shelter
Help Us Transform Uganda SPCA Haven Animal Shelter
Help Us Transform Uganda SPCA Haven Animal Shelter
Help Us Transform Uganda SPCA Haven Animal Shelter
Help Us Transform Uganda SPCA Haven Animal Shelter
Help Us Transform Uganda SPCA Haven Animal Shelter
Help Us Transform Uganda SPCA Haven Animal Shelter
Help Us Transform Uganda SPCA Haven Animal Shelter
Help Us Transform Uganda SPCA Haven Animal Shelter
Help Us Transform Uganda SPCA Haven Animal Shelter
Help Us Transform Uganda SPCA Haven Animal Shelter
Help Us Transform Uganda SPCA Haven Animal Shelter
2 acre plot: possibly the next USPCA Haven
2 acre plot: possibly the next USPCA Haven

I don't want to sound too excited, but this is the closest we've come to possibly purchasing a plot of land. As of yesterday, the title search was on and we're waiting for results. First the good news:

For those of you know Kampala/Entebbe area, the plot is readily accessible and located very close to a bridge over the expressway to Entebbe. It is accessed on all tarmac roads from Kampala through Kajjansi, except the last 200 meters are a very good murram road straight to the plot. It is 6.0 km from the expressway junction interchange circle on Entebbe road at Kajjansi

The plot is two acres, just the size we were hoping to find. It's not zoned residential, so no homes will be built next door. There are only a few large residential properties in the area and none within 100 meters of the plot.

Electricity supply is within 80 meters of the plot. City water supply is within 100 meters.

There's an area designated as permanent open space on one side. There are plenty of tracks and paths for dog walking.

There are precious few opportunities to find a piece of land within a reasonable distance from Kampala city center that fits USPCA requirements. Besides readily accessible to Kampala, the land also must be reasonably easy to find and be accessible for visitors in small cars. We have to make sure nearby residents won't object to the noise and smell. Of course, the price must be within our range.

The general asking price for land in the surrounding area, normally for much smaller plots, is about 300 million Uganda shillings per acre, rising up to about 500 million /= an acre for plots perceived to be in prime locations generally in elevated areas with a view. This plot is at the bottom of a shallow valley near- and in fact under the expressway. The location completely suits us, but thankfully not all potential buyers.

Because of this, the asking price is a little lower than current market prices. The owner wants to conclude a quick sale as it the last piece remaining from his larger land alottment. It is only available at this time because someone has recently pulled out. We don't expect it to remain on the market for long.

Now the not so good news: The price is US$140,000 plus about US$13,000 for tax and legal costs. We have raised about 50% of this amount. As you know, for more than the past five years, we have been looking for a piece of land of approximately 2 acres to re-home the USPCA. One of the people who has been very involved in the search said this about the 2 acre plot: " After viewing quite a number of plots over the years I have finally located a very viable piece of land." And after describing the site, he said, " There is never a right time, but the real time is now."

We believe he's correct and we are hoping we can work something out. Formal loans from banks in Uganda have very bad interest rates for the borrower, that is just not an option. But having put our innovative brains to work, we are thinking of loans from friends--with very good terms for the borrowers. We feel that is the only option for raising at least US$60,000 and as much as US$70,000, the amount we'd need to close the deal in the short time we have to commit and pay. (The owner wants cash now).

I know all of you are committed to seeing the USPCA grow and better manage the influx of cats and dogs and be a welcoming place for staff, volunteers, for training, and for adopters. I will keep you updated as I learn more. Feel free to get in touch with me if you want to know more before you hear from me next. 

Could this be the next USPCA Haven?
Could this be the next USPCA Haven?

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Kitty stuck in a culvert in Kololo, at The Haven
Kitty stuck in a culvert in Kololo, at The Haven

Our last GlobalGiving Progress Report was full of heartwarming dog rescues and joyful dog adoptions. I apologized for the lack of kitty stories, and I hope to make up for that lapse in this Progress Report.

At the end of November, the kitty in the picture above was rescued from a flooded culvert in Kololo and brought to The Haven where she was dried off, warmed up, and quickly recovered from that scary experience.

Also at the end of November, the gray, tan, and white kitty pictured below was attacked by dogs in Nsambya. An onlooker was able to chase them away, rescue the scared cat, and brought her to The Haven. Amazingly, she had no injuries and was just seriously shaken up. She also quickly recovered and is enjoying life at The Haven.

On November 8, the USPCA team rescued the black and white (tuxedo) kitty (2 pictures below) from the golf course in Kololo. She needed to be treated for mange. As you can see from the before and after pictures, by November 30, she was mange-free.

On October 30, someone heard a kitty crying outside Acacia Mall and called the USPCA for help. When the USPCA team arrived, they found that the screeches were coming from a sewer-the kitty had fallen in (check out the pictures)! The team worked hard to get the kitty out, and finally...success. Although the kitty kept screeching (as you can see from the picture of her in the crate).

On October 14, Shelter Manager Alex made another one of his amazing rescues from a pit latrine. This baby kitty (see picture with Alex) fell into an open pit latrine, which, like razor wire, is one of the hazards of kitty life in Africa. Alex brought the kitty back to The Haven, where she was no worse for wear.

We had a successful year, closing it out having raised over US$16,000 for the USPCA Land Fund in 2020. We are now waiting for the USPCA committee to meet to find out if they think any of the plots under consideration hold possibilities for a new Haven. Not only the dogs, who will have so much more open space, but also the kitties, who will be able to spread out a bit more, be in a spot away from the dog noise, are looking forward to a move! As we all are! 

A happy, healthy, joy-filled 2021 to our supporters-from the USPCA and AKI!

Rescued from a dog attack in Nsambya
Rescued from a dog attack in Nsambya
Nov 8, before picture-kitty with mange
Nov 8, before picture-kitty with mange
Nov 30-after picture, kitty recovered from mange
Nov 30-after picture, kitty recovered from mange
Kitty heard crying at Acacia Mall-rescued
Kitty heard crying at Acacia Mall-rescued
The kitty was in this sewer at Acacia Mall!
The kitty was in this sewer at Acacia Mall!
Rescued from a pit latrine!
Rescued from a pit latrine!
Happy Holidays from the USPCA to AKI donors!
Happy Holidays from the USPCA to AKI donors!

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2 dogs rescued from a Roko construction site
2 dogs rescued from a Roko construction site

Since last I reported:

  • The USPCA has rescued so many animals-I only have space to give you an overview of a handful of them.
  • Several cats and dogs have been adopted-but nowhere near pre-covid-19 levels, sadly. (You know what that means-The Haven shelter is getting busier and more crowded all the time.)
  • We also have some exciting news: An AKI volunteer created a beautiful video to help us raise awareness of the USPCA's plight and to help fundraise for a new Haven (go to the 2nd video on the page).
  • On the same page, you can also listen to Alex (Haven shelter manager) as he tells me how the USPCA has managed during the pandemic (1st video on that page).
  • Lastly, there's a bit of movement on the land front: With travel restricted during the pandemic, the search slowed. For a few months, it had totally halted. But now the USPCA board is more motivated than ever to find a reasonably priced piece of land (we recently heard of a 3 1/2 acre plot near the airport in Entebbe selling for $4 million - yes, that's US dollars-that is definitely unreasnable for the USPCA!).

Now onto a few of the recent rescues:

In August, the USPCA rescued 2 dogs from a Roko Construction site (see picture). The hawkers (street sellers) around the construction site "don't like the dogs and were demanding they be removed from there." For the dogs' safety, the USPCA decided to take the dogs to The Haven. 

Also in August, Police, a really sweet dog (see picture), was surrendered to The Haven by his owner, who said that he he lost his job due to covid-19 and could no longer afford to keep him. The owner didn't want to dump Police on the street and was kind enough to bring him to The Haven.

On September 11, a USPCA supporter (Alice) found a little puppy wandering all by himself and brought him to The Haven (see picture), where he is undergoing mange treatment.

On September 9, The Haven added 7 more puppies to their menagerie when Elise found them in a box left in front of her gate. She already has 8 dogs, so brought the pups to The Haven. 

And some of the recent adoptions:

For three Haven dogs, September 12 was their lucky day: Sox, Lucky/Maggot, and Ziggy were adopted to one home (see picture). 

September 7 was another three-dog day! Max, Simba, and Happy were adopted to be resident dogs at the Human Development Center. Thank you to Myra who helped with introductions and gave a lesson on how to behave around dogs. You can see from the picture that the dogs will  be getting --and giving--a lot of love!

August 17 was another multi-dog adoption day. Simba, Police, Nala, and Penny (see picture) were adopted by Moses (not pictured). Moses has a very big compound-and look at all that nice grass to roll around in. Moses adopted 2 dogs from the USPCA several years ago-he's a great dog father!

I'm very sorry to our kitty friends! We'll work on getting some good cat stories for our next update!

Thank you so much to all of you, we're so grateful to have your support during these very difficult times. We hope that you are staying safe and healthy.

Police's owner could no longer afford to keep him
Police's owner could no longer afford to keep him
Now at The Haven undergoing mange treatment
Now at The Haven undergoing mange treatment
3 dogs adopted to 1 home on Sept 12
3 dogs adopted to 1 home on Sept 12
3 dogs adopted to the Human Development Center
3 dogs adopted to the Human Development Center
Moses adopted 4 dogs!
Moses adopted 4 dogs!

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David rescued this puppy - maggot-infested wound
David rescued this puppy - maggot-infested wound

Animal-Kind International is helping Uganda Society for the Protection & Care of Animals address the new challenges they are facing. We've sent covid-19 relief funding to cover salaries, dog and cat food, and other priority needs.

When the country went into lock down, the USPCA hadn't yet been issued a special pass allowing them to move around the city. Haven Manager Alex coordinated with government and on April 13, the USPCA received the required pass that covers the Kampala metropolitan area and allows USPCA staff to continue to rescue animals-in-need! 

The Haven has remained open throughout the crisis, but working hours were reduced to 9 AM to 3 PM to allow staff to safely walk to work and back home (public transport has been discontinued). The USPCA's community programs (spay/neuter and education) and in-school Humane Ed are on hold.

Most worryingly, many expats had to leave the country (their employers required them to leave, often with little notice), and some left their pets behind, relinquished to The Haven. Also, with the departure of expats, the USPCA has lost volunteers and donors. The mistaken belief that cats and dogs can transmit covid-19 to humans has also resulted in some animals being abandoned.

The USPCA Haven is already at their limit of cats and dogs that the facility can hold. With movement curtailed, adoptions have decreased.

With stay-at-home orders in place and borders closed to people traveling for work and pleasure, businesses have suffered. The USPCA lost their most valued in-country donor, a hotel. And a cafe that sent fish to The Haven every day to feed the cats suspended their donations. 

On May 20, new guidelines were issued that somewhat relax the covid-19 safeguards:

  • Everyone will be required to use the right quality of masks all the time while in public.
  • Public transport - to be relaxed on 4 June 2020.
  • Private cars to be allowed to move on 26 May 2020.
  • Borders remain closed.

Even with all of the challenges and bad news, we've seen some heartening rescues, adoptions, and offers for help:

  • David rescued a puppy on April 22 in Lubowa. She was in pain with a wound that had gotten infested with maggots. He brought her to The Haven because he just couldn't deal with the wound and knew that the USPCA could help her. A few weeks later, David returned to The Haven to adopt her. Her name is Yuuki (see 2 pictures).
  • On May 11, Yvonne visited The Haven and adopted two kitties (see picture).
  • On April 14, with USPCA services sigificantly curtailed and realizing they could be facing a major crisis, a call went out asking for people to visit and consider adopting or fostering a pet. Six animals were adopted on that one day! (see pictures)

This crisis has made it even more critical for the USPCA to be prepared for the future with a larger shelter, owned-not rented-where the USPCA can guarantee every pet in need the care they deserve-and where they'll never have to worry about being full to the brim or being kicked off the premises.

AKI AND USPCA THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

 

David later adopted the puppy
David later adopted the puppy
Yvonne adopted 2 Haven kitties in May
Yvonne adopted 2 Haven kitties in May
Kitty adopted on April 14
Kitty adopted on April 14
Dog adopted April 14
Dog adopted April 14
Kitty #2 adopted on April 14
Kitty #2 adopted on April 14
2 dogs adopted on April 14
2 dogs adopted on April 14
Another dog adopted on April 14
Another dog adopted on April 14

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A lucky USPCA dog adopted in December
A lucky USPCA dog adopted in December

Usually December is a slow month at the Uganda Society for the Protection & Care of Animals, with so many people leaving the country on holiday, so many heading to the village to be with family. But we're happy to report that even though slow, 29 lucky cats and dogs were adopted during December (See pictures of 4 rehomed USPCA alumni).

I was in Uganda for a few weeks in December (on US Agency for International Development work) and spent my weekends at The Haven. As always when I visit there, I am overwhelmed by the wonderful cats and dogs that The Haven cares for, the number of rescues-every day, day in and day out, the dedication and hard work of the staff. And as with each of my visits, the number of dogs (more so than cats) at the shelter grew since my last visit. The Haven is bursting at the seams! 

I met with USPCA Haven staff and some of the board members and volunteers. We came up with one way to alleviate some of the pressure on the staff: enlist volunteers to do post-adoption home visits. We decided to put out a request for volunteers, organize them according to where they live in Kampala (Entebbe too), train them, give them the post-adoption home visit form, and let them go!

Post-adoption home visits are usually fun to do--although some times you get a bad surprise when you visit an adoptive home, most USPCA adopters take good care of their pets. 

Already, our post-adoption volunteer force has been busy. Check out the picture of the dog on the trampoline, one of the homes visited by a newly trained volunteer. This was obviously one of the good surprises, a well-cared for, healthy, happy dog! Another volunteer visited 2 USPCA alumni living together at the same home and found them to be happy and healthy too (see picture). 

While this takes a burden off of Haven Manager and Assistant Manager, Alex and Jackie, it doesn't relieve the burden of over-crowding. While I was in Kampala, we discussed ways to finance land purchase and people to approach who might help us find land. In the short time I had in Kampala, we weren't able to find any suitable, reasonably priced plots to visit. 

We know there's no other way-we need to find a larger plot-so we will keep at this by raising money, talking to everyone we know about the great need, imploring landowners to sell to the USPCA (or partially donate) on good terms that we can afford.

We are so grateful that you are a part of this effort!

A USPCA kitty adopted in December
A USPCA kitty adopted in December
A USPCA alumni-adopted in December
A USPCA alumni-adopted in December
Another December adoption!
Another December adoption!
Post-adoption home visit-January
Post-adoption home visit-January
Another great home:post-adoption home visit
Another great home:post-adoption home visit

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Animal-Kind International

Location: Jemez Springs, New Mexico - USA
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Jemez Springs, New Mexico United States
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