About Giving A Future
We are a small NGO working to improve living conditions for stray and companion animals in Myanmar. We focus on giving direct aid to the animals on the street following ABC/ARV programs. We run local sterilization events, give rabies vaccinations and focus on spreading important information about animal welfare.
We work with several private initiatives in Yangon and Mandalay. All our veterinarians and specialists are locals paid by our organization.
Following you will find information regarding our organization profile where we have divided our goals into 3 categories:
– Direct aid
Our main object is the health and care of stray animals, mainly dogs and cats. By this we mean long-term benefits such as rabies-control and population-management through sterilization programs, as well as direct aid to sick or injured animals.
The overall objective for our organization is to ensure that the funds we raise goes to helping the animals directly. All our administrational work is done on a volunteer basis, and our only employees are local veterinarians we hire per project.
We implement direct aid the following ways;
– Population control though neuter-spay-release programs. (ABC)
– Rabies vaccinations (ARV)
– Curing cat flu and the skin disease (Mange).
– Helping paralyzed and wounded animals to a secure home/shelter.
We focus on population control at the monasteries. This is where many dogs find a home as they are allowed to live in peace without disturbance from the monks. Their territories are small and it is easy to locate the dogs and release them at the same place after surgery. We also due this because we work in one of Asia´s poorest and most rural countries where the lack of veterinary facilities is ever present. Although our team of veterinarians are highly qualified they dont have access to large clinics where one can keep the animals after treatment. This being said, the safety of the animals always comes first and is our number one priority before we start any project.
Working with rabies we also seek out dogs and cats in their natural living environment. This benefit both animals and humans as they often live in close relation to one another. Vaccinating the dogs is a precaution for human rabies as many can not afford the medication if they get bitten by an infected animal.
Our third area of focus is general parasitic infections and diseases. Many tourists believe that the dogs they see are malnourished when in fact their poor health is caused by parasites living of their host dog/cat. Many of the strays are badly infected with Mange – a skin disease resulting in crusted skin, where new parasites find home in large wounds. Other diseases such as heartworm, cat flu and gastrointestinal parasites all weakens the animal.
The last on sight project we have is helping special cases such as paralyzed and wounded animals. Many dogs are paralyzed in traffic accidents where the locals either dont know where to find help, or can not afford it. It is important to remember that Myanmar in general is a very poor country where 1/3 of the population lives under the UN poverty line, many are domestic refugees or live in areas with civil conflict. Thus the locals can not afford to help these dogs and cats. Internet is also new in the coutry, and veterinary clinic only exists in the largest urban cities.
We are not able to cater for a stabile or permanent program for the animals in need due to lack of funding. Our future goal is to run a mobile clinic as well as establish a permanent shelter for sick and paralyzed dogs, but need significantly higher donations to start this. Please read more about our future goals here.
We currently work on-site with projects varying in timeframe, but can not pay our local team to continue the work all year round. Our local veterinarians cure Mange on missions paid by us, and we wish to open a clinic where we have a team working continously. As we are the only international animal organization working with this in Myanmar at the time being we don’t have any international partners locally.
Our campaigns range from local activities where we raise money and spread information, to global petitions giving a voice for animal rights.
With background in research and studies of current affairs in Myanmar, we early on decided to avoid these sensitive topics if we were to work with stray animals in the country. In reality it’s not that simple. Our goal has been to start up a neuter-spay-release program for stray dogs, but after daily meetings hearing about how dogs in Yangon are killed by a stunning number of 3500-4000 each month (2014, 1-3000 a month in 2015) we quickly realized that fostering healthy, sterilized dogs will all be in vain if they soon after are poisoned to death by the authority. Local animal activists feel powerless in this situation as many have received warnings to stay away from interfering with the policy making. The situation of the military still having a strong power position in politics scares many locals from raising their voice also in affairs considering animal rights.
As the only international organization working for street animals rights outside of Myanmar, we have a unique position as we can speak freely about the knowledge we possess. Our friends don’t have this opportunity, although just as devoted. We want to give a voice to the dogs who are mass-slaughtered in the streets, and can only hope the international community will act with the knowledge of these horrible executions.
Our current animal welfare cases in Myanmar are:
– Stopping the municipals´ dog culling in Yangon, with a goal of slaying 6000 a month, which has now (2015) also spread to Mandalay.
– Put focus on hidden cruel activities in the country such as the many Puppy Mills, butchering of dogs for game, and the illegal meat trade (sale of dogs) to China. This last case is a growing problem alongside the border in Myanmar because Chinese traders pay as much as 10 USD per dog, a large amount for people with a low income.
We have purposely avoided putting out the strongest picture material we possess, as many react negatively when confronted with torture. We don´t want people to shut down our page and stop reading due to horrifying images. If in need for evidencial pictures please contact us.
Our main focus will always be directed on animal welfare, and with time we hope improvements will make it possible to avoid politics as much as possible. Please follow our online campaigns which will be addressed on the main page when active.
Information can be divided in two parts;
– Information aimed towards the local society on animal welfare and changes, which can be made to improve life quality of strays.
– Information aimed towards the global audience on the current status of animal treatment in the country, as well as listing activities and establishments for animal welfare.
For the later please read HERE for the current status of stray animals and living conditions in Myanmar.
Animal rights is the idea that all nonhumans are entitled to the possession of their own lives, and that their most basic interests – such as an interest in not suffering – should be afforded the same consideration as the similar interests of human beings.
This is the objective we have in mind when working locally within the Burmese society to influence policy making on the general treatment of animals. It follows the same lines as Buddhist thoughts, which is the throughout most followed religion in Myanmar. Most Burmese are sincere and devoted Buddhists, and treat all living creatures very kindly. The paradox is that most vets will not put down suffering, or almost dead animals because it is against their religion to take a life. There is no such thing as euthanasia. This is of course a sensitive subject as it deeply involves culture and old traditions. Our goal is not to change the old ways, but to give a new perspective of how animals suffer less if you help them.
Other informational goals include;
– Organize events at schools and monasteries approaching more humane ways of helping animals.
– Be a useful portal for volunteers on where to go for field work in Myanmar.
– Suggestions on how tourists can help animals in simple ways and be a responsible traveller. (contact us)
Animal welfare consists of animal rights as well as animal ethics, and we also want to focus on how animal rights vary in different parts of the world, legal matters, and how one can help either by volunteering or by engaging in political lobby activities. We want to bring attention to important issues such as animal cruelty in general, mainly focusing on the torture and illegal trade of cats and dogs in East Asia. Our main portal for this information will be our social media platform. (Facebook and Pinterest)