Trading a Puppy for Food: IFAW Steps InPublished May 23, 2011
The Johannesburg-based pet rescue team of the International Fund for the Welfare of Animals (IFAW) recently came across a heart-wrenching situation: a starving, impoverished mother arrived at the AIDS hospice located near the IFAW veterinary clinic, carrying Mixer, her family's beloved puppy, hoping to trade the puppy for food.
The hospice immediately stepped in to give the woman the assistance she so desperately needed. And they did agree to take in Mixer, not in trade for food, but to lighten the financial drain on the family. This, according to IFAW's website, is when the pet rescue team was contacted. The IFAW veterinary clinic took Mixer into its care.
IFAW's mission "to improve the welfare of wild and domestic animals throughout the world by reducing commercial exploitation of animals, protecting wildlife habitats, and assisting animals in distress” is repeatedly met with such relentless and tireless work. And while I am aware that IFAW’s pet rescue teams have helped thousands of animals suffering in a wide variety of heartbreaking conditions, this one was particularly touching. In Africa, the AIDS epidemic has affected one of the greatest populations of humans. Many children are left orphaned when their parents die of this dreadful disease and many families struggle financially to even be able to feed their children and sometimes, pets. Mixer is now described by clinic staff as a very sweet puppy. He has happily fallen in love with a litter of kittens at the clinic and goes to sleep curling up with them. But while his plight has been alleviated through the efforts of the caring staff at the IFAW, many people living in Africa continue to struggle daily when dealing with AIDS. Funding for the AIDS hospice and other charities providing assistance for suffering people is greatly needed.
Pets belonging to people living in these communities are also in need of help. IFAW is asking folks wishing to get involved to consider making a donation, no matter how small, since every bit helps. For more information about taking part in this fund raising endeavor, please visit their secure site at IFAW.org. I cannot imagine the pain that folks in this situation must feel having to make a decision to give up their beloved pets in order to survive, can you? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.