A Year of Resilience and Achievements

Lamu Animal Welfare Clinic, LAWC, has been performing TNR on the stray dogs and cats of the island of Lamu for 18 years!

They successfully applied to SNIPi for additional cat TNR equipment at the end of 2020 and after lengthy delays due to Brexit, the pandemic and a turbulent journey through Kenyan customs, the donated equipment eventually reached Lamu in May 2022!

Unfortunately, as Lamu is perceived as remote, backward and at times dangerous because of the Jihadist terrorist group Al Shabaab in the region, it is difficult to recruit vets willing to work under these difficult circumstances. Despite these odds LAWC have managed to neuter an additional 495 cats and 70 dogs in the past year, which includes both stray and owned animals. This brings the cat neuter total to 11,833 which is especially noticeable in the many ear-tipped cats seen on the island.

There is still a lot of work to do and LAWC are hoping to take on a second vet to expand their TNR activities on the other islands of the Lamu archipelago. We wish them well with all the good work they are doing!

‘The cats are patiently baited with fresh fish into specialized trapping cages then taken to our vet clinic for neutering, vaccination and given a meal before being released at the location they were caught from.’ Above: Cats recovering from their anaesthetic.

We are thrilled to share with you an inspiring update from Richarde Traeger, Trustee founder of the Lamu Animal Welfare Clinic (LAWC). This reflection on the past year illustrates not only the meaningful achievements made possible by our partnership but the resilience of a community navigating post-Covid challenges, conflicts, and climate change in the Horn of Africa.

Unleashing Potential: The Gift of Essential Equipment

Thanks to your generous support, SNIP International was able to replace LAWC’s worn-out trapping equipment with ten new trapping, carriers, and restraint cages. This contribution has been vital in enhancing LAWC’s capabilities to care for animals in the region.

Numbers Tell the Story: A Year of Compassionate Care

The passion and commitment of the LAWC team has led to:
– 2,375 animals treated, vaccinated, and neutered.
– 41 mobile clinics spanning six diverse locations.
– 15 educational sessions fostering responsible animal ownership across eight schools, as part of the School Children Animal Welfare Awareness Programme (SCAWA).

Dr Peterson on a SCAWA session at Wiyoni Primary School – Feb. 2023

Dr Peterson on a SCAWA session at Wiyoni Primary School – Feb. 2023

New Initiatives and Emergency Responses

In addition to these achievements, LAWC has been agile in responding to the community’s needs:

-Opening a new field clinic in Swafaa: Addressing a gap in service for a neighbourhood where locals were hesitant to seek veterinary care.

-Rabies vaccination campaign: In collaboration with the County Veterinary Office, LAWC played a crucial role in vaccinating hundreds of animals when five suspected cases of rabies were confirmed.

June 2022 mass rabies vaccination campaign – at the vet clinic

June 2022 mass rabies vaccination campaign – at the vet clinic

June 2022 mass rabies vaccination campaign – in the field

June 2022 mass rabies vaccination campaign – in the field

Weathering the Storm

The LAWC team’s work has not been without challenges. From the quiet month of Ramadan to working through heavy rain seasons that flood houses and clog narrow streets, the team has displayed remarkable resilience.

We take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank the LAWC staff for their unwavering commitment, even in the hotter and more demanding months of the year.

Thank You

Richarde’s update is a testimony to what we can achieve together. Your unwavering support of SNIP International has not only contributed to tangible successes but has also nurtured a sense of hope and community in Lamu.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Richarde Traeger, the LAWC team, and all our friends and supporters. Together, we are making a difference in the lives of both animals and people in the Horn of Africa.

Zoe and Janet

Zoe and Janet

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Currently, SNIP International donates humane catching and holding equipment only through the International Companion Animal Welfare Conference (ICAWC) and the International Training Programme. For more information about these events, please contact DogsTrust Worldwide. Link to DogsTrust Worldwide.