What is the breed of Sri Lanka

Street dogs in Sri Lanka - One year in the Dog Care Clinic

In the Dog Care Clinic in Sri Lanka it happens in quick succession. From early morning owners come with their animals for treatment, while at the same time the clinic's catchers routinely take one Street dog after the other for castration bring. The two vets and three veterinary assistants are already busy when suddenly an emergency is brought in.

A Strays was hit and simply left on the side of the road with his injuries. He must have tormented himself for days until employees of the clinic accidentally discovered him. Neither the person who caused the accident nor residents or passers-by were interested in his fate. The backbone is broken and maggots have already nested in its extensive wounds and eat their way through the skull and body. The only thing that remains for the veterinarians is the sad duty to end the suffering.

Dog Care Clinic takes care of street dogs

The gate opens again and a middle-aged man carries his dog to the clinic with a worried expression. He's wrapped it in a dark cloth. When the vet carefully removes the fabric, I catch my breath. Almost the poor animal's entire back is burned. A neighbor doused him with hot water after an argument. Blacky is given pain medication straight away and will have to stay in the clinic as an intensive care patient for a few weeks for treatment. Burn injuries are not only extremely painful, but also life-threatening given this large area.

On this day, one of my first in the clinic, I learn that in the midst of atrocities you can only maintain a healthy psyche with a little distance, because the excessive ignorance of animals is almost unbearable. I spend a year in the Dog Care Clinic and during this time I learn a lot about animal welfare, Sri Lanka and myself.

The clinic was founded by Marina Möbius. The German spent her vacation in Sri Lanka more than ten years ago and was appalled by that bad situation of the street dogsbecause that Paradise under palm trees is for dogs mostly hell on earth. The misery could be seen everywhere. Emaciated, sick, injured and abused dogs. She met paralyzed strays who dragged their bloody limbs behind them, puppies who were pushed to the side of the road after accidents and dogs who were attacked with stones or knives. As a great animal lover, Marina could not stand idly by and decided to do something about the suffering of the animals. She bought a piece of land, received a medical training and opened the in 2007 Dog Care Clinic in Mihiripenna In the south of the country.

Castration, vaccination and treatment of animals

Since then she has been working tirelessly. With a consistent Castration program will the uncontrolled proliferation of street dogs curbed, Mass vaccinations protect animals and people from deadly contagious diseases and the professionally equipped clinic can treat strays as well as owner dogs and other small animals. These treatments are free for the poor.

Abandoned puppies are lovingly nursed up and then given to local families. Sick, disabled and old dogs can live a life in dignity on the 16,000 m² site.

I only become aware of the actual extent of the project and its huge influence in the area over time, when I can also accompany the work outside the clinic premises.

Food for street dogs in Sri Lanka

Every day one of the typical three-wheeled tuktuks is packed with over 30 kilograms of dry food, several large pots of rice and soup as well as a large plastic tub full of sausages and a bag with emergency medication. Nilan and Saman, two of the more than 40 local employees, provide food and medicine for strays and dogs from poor owners on their tour. It starts at 12 o'clock sharp. The team drives the same route every day. So the dogs know exactly when and where to eat something tasty. The hungry mouths are already waiting at the assembly points.

They bark full of anticipation and wag their tails around the tuktuk. Saman distributes the bowls, also checks the health of the individual animals and pulls a few ticks out of the fur here and there. Then it goes on. There are a few particularly clever fur noseswho think it would not be noticed if they put their snout back into the tuktuk at the next station, but Saman knows every single one of the around 300 dogs that are fed on this tour.

Our Ausfug is not only there to To provide food for dogsbut allows one large area to keep the clinic under control. Sick and new dogs can be identified immediately and brought to the clinic for treatment or neutering. In addition, the presence in the surrounding villages is also important, as is contact with the owners.

Educational work

Most of the Sinhalese still see the neutering of their dog as an intervention that contradicts their Buddhist principles. Educational work is required, which leads to success again and again - even if a deal sometimes has to be made: the clinic feeds the dog on the tour, but it can be neutered. This is how the DCC works its way forward step by step.
It is shortly before sunset when we return to the clinic with empty pots and bowls. After the tuktuk has been cleaned, we are off work. The late shift will take care of the dogs on the premises and take in new patients until 9 p.m. There is also an on-call service for serious emergencies until midnight.

When I walk into the clinic in the morning, I never know what to expect. Today I meet the first surprise in front of the gate. A small white head peeks out from behind a bush and a pair of fearful eyes look at me. I approach the puppy cautiously and bring him to safety. It is obviously an abandoned owner dog. I baptize her with the name Milky.

My new friend Milky was lucky because her health is good. Most of the time, the small bodies of the puppies are already marked by the traces of the hard life on the street. Almost all of them have fleas, ticks, distended bellies from worms, and infected wounds from mange. Some sustained injuries because they were simply thrown from the moving tuktuk in front of the clinic or they were abused by animal abusers. There are weeks when the Dog Care Clinic has to deal with dozens of new puppies all at once, who are raised with a lot of care, love and attention until they can be placed through the ReHome program.

No placement of street dogs abroad

Although puppies are abandoned in front of the clinic almost every day, the Dog Care Clinic does not export the problems abroad. The dogs are only given to people in the south of Sri Lanka. It is important for Marina to be able to continue to guarantee medical care. At the age of eight months, the ReHome dogs are picked up from home for neutering - a good opportunity to check the keeping conditions.

Unfortunately, there are not enough interested parties and so there are continuously puppies who cannot find a home. It is especially difficult for females and brown dogs. They are not beautiful, useless and worthless in the eyes of the Sinhalese. The number of animals on the site is increasing continuously, as adult dogs are also tied up in night and foggy actions in front of the clinic, owners "forget" to pick up their dogs after successful treatment or sick strays are taken in because they are unable to survive on the street . One is happy about every life saved, but with every success the next box is already in front of the clinic. It is the proverbial bottomless pit - even though more than 50,000 dogs have already been neutered.

Marina is not only concerned with the animals, but also with the people - especially the poor and elderly of the population. So she came up with a brilliant idea to combine animal welfare with help for people in need. In addition to the normal Rehome program there is the so-called DCC 50+.

Elderly locals take care of dogs for a small pension

Here, adult dogs are passed on to poor elderly locals who take care of the animals and in return receive a monthly pension of 35 euros. For the clinic itself there are costs of around 70 euros per dog per month. The program is a huge success. Over 100 dogs have already been placed in this way and they are all ambassadors for a good relationship between humans and animals.

The Dog Care Clinic works very transparently and I am therefore able to accompany the control visits. Again it goes with the tuktuk through rice fields and over winding narrow jungle paths past palm trees and banana trees deep into the inland and the poor villages. We visit many 50+ seniors and my head is already spinning from the numerous impressions when we come to the last family for today.

We stop in front of a wooden shack, out of the darkness of which an older, slightly hunched gentleman with a friendly face emerges. His right eye is covered with a plaster because he had to undergo cataract surgery a few days earlier. The clinic also paid for this. A somewhat shy white-brown dog follows him cautiously. Two more dogs are lying in front of the house, resting in the shade of the trees. Kumara, the employee I'm on the road with today, introduces me to the man. He is called "Lottery uncle" by friends because he used to sell lottery tickets by bicycle.

With his now 70 years and somewhat crooked legs, he is no longer able to work. He does not get a pension. Since his wife cannot work either and her son has been severely disabled since a bomb explosion in the civil war in Sri Lanka, financial resources are very limited. You have been a participant in the 50+ program. First they got Sidney, the shy brown-and-white male, followed shortly after by Iron and finally Perle as well, because the couple were right Dog lovers has been. Kumara asks how the operation is going and gives Sidney his vaccination booster. At the end, each of the three dogs gets a sausage. Then we make our way back to the clinic.

While the wind rushes around my head, I process the impressions of the day. I am very touched and realize how important this clinic in Sri Lanka has become - and not only for the dogs, but also for the people. With this well thought-out, holistic and astonishingly professional concept as well as her sheer endless commitment, Marina Möbius shows me that you can actually make a difference as an individual.

Donations welcome

However, there are also many victims associated with it, because a project like that Dog Care Clinic cannot be led by the way. Just as the clinic is open from early in the morning until late at night, 365 days a year, Marina is also on duty non-stop. There is a heavy burden of responsibility on Marina's shoulders. It is a responsibility to the dogs, the staff and all those pet owners who receive support from the clinic and benefit from the unique work it does. More than 80 percent of the project is still financed by her alone. She does not receive any support from the Sri Lankan government. She is therefore urgently dependent on the help of people who love animals, so that dogs like Blacky, Milky and Sidney as well as people like the lottery uncle can continue to be helped.

The clinic can be supported with sponsorships, monetary donations, donations in kind, through free partner programs or as a flight courier. All information for this and even more impressions can be found at www.dogcare-clinic.eu. The clinic provides daily updates on special events via Facebook.

The authorBettina Schlueter is 30 years old and kcomes from Munich. She spent several months in Sri Lanka for research as part of her master's degree in social anthropology, where she also got to know the work of the Dog Care Clinic. After completing her studies, she decided to go back to Sri Lanka for a longer period and work for the clinic. Her tasks included administrative activities, feeding the dogs, checking the cleanliness on the premises, photographing the dogs and displaying clinical processes for Facebook and the homepage, as well as giving guided tours for interested visitors.