Nearly 4,000 dogs helped by Embark Sri Lanka

Embark, ODEL CEO Otara Gunewardene's personal community project aimed at
eliminating cruelty to animals with an emphasis on stray dogs, has to date
benefited more than 3,800 community dogs.

Thirteen campaigns conducted in Colombo and suburbs have resulted in 2,300
sterilizations, 387 vaccinations and 43 special treatments while the lives
of eight dogs have been saved under the project's 'Saving the Injured'
campaign. Another 48 animals are currently undergoing treatment under this

Additionally, more than 150 puppies rehabilitated off the streets have been
found homes under the 'Adopt a Street Pooch' campaign.

"Embark is clearly having a tangible effect on the welfare of community dogs
in the city," Ms Gunewardene said. "Sterilization, treating the injured, and
re-homing the animals are an urgent need of the hour as there are numerous
concerns that arise from roaming dogs."

Embark's sterilization campaign focuses on the safe neutering of strays and
pets to reduce their population while also educating the public on the
benefits of doing so. Campaigns are held every month over a period of four
to six days during which a team from the Embark funded group "Blue Paw
Trust" will go to different suburbs in Colombo. Embark has spent Rs. 4.3
million to date, on the 13 campaigns implemented.

The Adopt a Street Pooch Campaign works on re-homing strays with loving
families. All adoptions are followed up on in order to ensure they are
successful and that the strays are not abandoned. Puppies older than seven
months that need to be re-homed can be advertised on the Embark Website.

The 'Saving the Injured' Campaign is executed by a team of dedicated Embark
members - the Emergency Care Unit - which is on call to search, rescue and
treat injured animals.

Embark's 'Education and Awareness' campaigns aim at educating the public and
addressing their fears and ignorance regarding animal welfare. This is done
through street dramas, seminars, discussions and information distribution.

For its education campaigns, Embark has partnered with the Blue Paw Trust
and has been able to successfully conduct a number of Street Dramas
throughout Colombo. These dramas have proved extremely fruitful in a number
of areas as they have encouraged public participation while depicting how it
is possible to create a safe and hospitable environment for humans and
animals to co-exist together.

Currently, ODEL and Embark have established relationships with corporations
and animal welfare organizations and groups in several countries in the hope
of joining with them to create a strong force that will further animal
welfare awareness and bring together a global community of animal activists
to work towards a safer environment and a more loving and respectful
attitude for animals.

As a future initiative, Embark hopes to set up transit shelter for the
injured dogs that are rescued and saved through its 'Saving the Injured'
Campaigns, Ms. Gunewardene said. It is hoped that the 'Transit Shelter'
will provide a safe haven for them to recover and receive further treatment
until they are ready to be re-homed.

More info -


Ishan Fernando

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