THE ROAD-SIDE PUPPY-PEDDLING PHENOMENON OF LILONGWE
Driving through Lilongwe can be a lot of things; you may feel glad that the people are generally warm and helpful if you need directions for instance. You also may feel a sense of slight annoyance with the drivers and traffic especially if patience is not exactly your strong suit. If you love animals, well, then you will feel a vast range of emotions, ranging from the excitement and thrill of a surprise sighting of a hyena perhaps, especially during the night if you drive around City-centre, to anger which could escalate to rage at the sight of the “Road-side Puppy Peddlers” who are strewn all across Lilongwe.
|Image of Lilongwe taken from the internet|
You just can’t drive through Lilongwe and not be faced with the sheer cruelty of people dangling dehydrated little puppies and kittens on so many junctions and corners of the city. What is even worse is the smug attitude that the sellers have as many of them have been in and out of jail on numerous occasions and know that they will still come out of jail to continue their trade when they get rounded up by animal welfare organizations in collaboration with police.
|Image of police dropping off puppies confiscated from the road-side sellers|
This has been one of ALL CREATURES’ biggest battles since the commencement of our operations in 2016; the fight to clear Lilongwe’s streets of these puppy-sellers. The puppies and kittens are left in the sun with little to no water all day, they are held up by the trunk and thrust into the view of any approaching car and whether or not they are given food is a question to be answered. Lilongwe is an extremely dusty city and so the puppies and kittens breathe in the dust thrown up by the cars that pass-by making them susceptible to respiratory disease.
When people buy these puppies and kittens, what they are doing is ignoring the fact that their doing so encourages this despicable act and permits these sellers to continue plying their trade. Also, when people buy from these sellers, there are many things that they have no guarantee of; there is no proof of the puppy or kitten’s health record or the health record of its parents meaning that the risk of disease is high. There is also no proof of vaccination and as is usually the case, they have not been vaccinated against any threats which include threats to human health such as rabies.
ALL CREATURES has vigorously engaged the participation of the police in arresting these sellers in hopes of deterring the act. But ALL CREATURES is faced with a challenge, and that is the rate at which the animals are rescued from these unscrupulous traders is not matched by the rate at which the animals are adopted. This has impeded our work in this area, we are faced with the challenge of feeding the dogs and cats that we bring in and also the task of sheltering them has been enormous. ALL CREATURES is always grateful for the various supporters who bring in food donations to help us care for the animals, but we need more assistance. We need people to adopt and provide these rescued animals with safe and caring homes.
When people adopt from us, they display a sense of responsibility as the dogs or cats that they adopt are spayed or neutered, which means they are playing a role in controlling the dog and cat population in Lilongwe. They are also assured of the vaccination history of the pets as all the cats and dogs in our care a fully vaccinated with the proof of their medical records. It is therefore ALL CREATURES’ sincere hope that the citizens of Lilongwe will help us fight this malpractice by desisting from buying puppies and kittens from the roadside and also by adopting from ALL CREATURES.