Coastal Street Dogs
How we got involved?
Back in November, 2018 we traveled to Sri Lanka. We had just arrived in Arugam Bay on the Southeast coast, location of the country's best wave known as "A-Bay".
It was low-season, no waves and no tourists, so the small fishing village was quite deserted and most businesses had been closed up for months. We found one of the few open restaurants and had a relaxing dinner next to the beach.
When we travel we always try to give any leftovers to the street dogs. It just happened that one had been curled up under our bench for the entire meal. We coaxed her out of the restaurant and found a safe place she could eat in peace. We left the food and walked across the street to our bungalow for the night.
The next morning we found her curled up sleeping outside our door and anytime she saw us walking around town she always ran to greet us with her tail wildly wagging like a helicopter.
We encountered a lot of street dogs in our travels but this time was different. She was always being attacked by all the other dogs and we knew she wouldn't last long on the streets here. We were leaving soon and wanted to find a safer place for her.
We tried contacting several different rescue organizations but no luck. We were literally driving out of town when we got a response that a shelter would take her! We turned around and arranged for a taxi to drive her the 7 hours to the shelter in Ahangama. She headed off West and we drove North 5 hours to our next destination, Sigiriya. We felt relieved that she was hopefully headed for a better life.
That night, we received a frantic call from the taxi driver that the shelter had rejected her. They had two emergency cases come in and there was no more room. She was headed back to Arugam Bay!
We weren't giving up yet! We spent the entire next day rescheduling flights, extending our car rental and contacting pet travel services...
What is the problem?
It's estimated there are more that 3 million street dogs in Sri Lanka. While most are pretty resourceful in getting leftover human food, the vast majority don't get vet care and aren't spayed/neutered. If a female dog is unspayed, and none of her offspring are spayed, this can result in 67,000 more street dogs in just 6 years!
How you can help?
Your money goes a lot further in Sri Lanka. In the USA, the average cost to spay/neuter a dog is $45-$135. In Sri Lanka, it is $5-20.
Who is helping us?
Raptor's Home for Pooches in Colombo, Sri Lanka is more than just a dog boarding facility. It’s a sanctuary for a broad range of dogs. In addition to their boarding services for man’s best friend, they also provide vet care, home cooked meals and a warm bed for dogs who’ve been abandoned by their owners and thrown out on the street along with rescuing street dogs who have been injured or abused. Their goal with rescuing dogs is to help rebuild their trust in humans and once they’re healed physically and emotionally, they can eventually get adopted out so room can be made for more street dogs to be rescued.