Humane Aware Blog

Becoming Humane Aware

September 1st 2019

It all started with a rescue dog named Willow. We adopted her in August 2015, an 18 month old rescue from Ireland with no name, an uncertain history and a long list of health concerns. It took a year of TLC and multiple vet visits, but Willow became fit, strong and healthy - and the best dog ever! (We know, every dog is the best dog!)

On our frequent muddy walks and park visits, we met lots of other rescue dogs, not just from across the UK and Ireland, but from all over the world - Romania, Greece, Bosnia, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Africa... We were already aware of the huge global problem of abandoned, unwanted and abused street dogs, but meeting all of these dogs made us even more sensitive to the scale of the problem and the depth of their suffering. We started following the stories of other dogs who had experienced really tragic starts in life and the more we read, the more we felt compelled to do something.

But, the more research we did, the more we realised how complex and intractable these issues can be. Why do some municipalities continue to advocate the poisoning and inhumane killing of free roaming dogs when evidence suggests that catch-neuter-release programs are the most effective, safest and humane means of dog population management (WHO)? What is the relationship between the development status of a country and the intensity of the free roaming dog problem (OIE)? How can attitudes to dog ownership and behaviour towards street dogs be changed at the systemic level? And who is responsible for implementing change?

We do not have all the answers, but Humane Aware is our attempt to bring the complexities around animal welfare issues to light; to help people make well-informed and humane decisions; and to support rescue centres, particularly small, local initiatives, to campaign for changes that improve animal welfare. Sadly, it is not just street dogs that suffer on a daily basis - other street animals, working animals, animals used in entertainment and tourism, wildlife, livestock and many more all suffer at the hands of human cruelty, exploitation and indifference. Isn't it time we all became more Humane Aware?

Thanks for reading our blog and please contact us to share your thoughts.

- Robert and Catherine

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