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    Posted September 23, 2011 by
    Kandy, Sri Lanka
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Boot camp: Headline writing & story building

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    Part One --- Boot Camp Headline writing,and story building











    Continued in Part 2



    In the above video is the Interview I had with Mrs.Hemanthika Jayatilleke and Ms.Shiona Weerasekera, Secretary of AWPA, and the Children of St.Thomas College handing over their donation to the President of the AWPA and last but not least on behalf of my fellow iReporter Ms.Jutka T.Emoke Barabas who wanted me to hand over a kind and generous donation to the Animal Shelter and the President Mrs.Jayatilleke receiving same.


    The Animals' Welfare and Protection Association both at Kahathudawa and Dehiwala are at present manned by the President Mrs.Hemanthika Jayatilleke, and Shiona Weerasekera Secretary, and Mrs.M.Dias the Treasurer, AND Dr.S.S.B. Dissanayake, the Veterinary Surgeon.  The AWPA has been in existence since 1963 and it is a non commercial Org. that provides shelter and care for homeless, lost and abandoned dogs and cats.  The most important feature of this shelter is that it is "No Kill Shelter" .  Sterlization, neuter and vaccinations and other medical facilities of these animals are attened to at these two locations.  The animals if not adopted live until their old age and are never ever put down.  They are free to roam the vast grounds at the two Shelters and are never caged, unless sick.  So I would say they are Born Free and Live Free!! at these two 'No Kill Shelters'.


    Funds are given by well wishers and animal lovers, who are kind enough to donate in kind and cash.  While I was there ... Several school Children from St.Thomas' College, visited the Shelter and made a donation towards the welfare of these animals, these children I was told made it a point to do various jobs and collect money for the street animals.  They loved doing this type of work and this was their second effort of doing odd jobs and collecting funds for the animals welfare.  Medical supplies and monthly alms givings are given by the people and the Committe members, I was told by the President of the AWPA and she said the upkeep of the premises and the animals food and medicines cost them a princely sum of Rs.300,000/= per month.  Since its a no kill shelter the number of animals increase day by day and over crowding was their biggest challenge.  There are six workers for both these two shelters.




    While visitng an adopted dog from one of the Shelters Mr.Robert Devanesan who adopted this dog when he was a puppy,  told me that more people should adopt street animals and give them a home, since they are abandoned and homeless it is best he said that if people could show them some love and  care for them, by adopting these animals rather than buy expensive top breed dogs, he says that top breed dogs always and somehow get cared for, while the strays are left to fend for themselves.  Blackie as he was known in the Shelter now lived  a life of luxury in Mr.Devanesan's home happy and content, as you would see from the above video.  Pattiya had his own chair and bed at the Devanesan family home and lived from Street pup, to Shelter and Shelter to Home Sweet Home in the Devanesan Home.  It was so evident that Pattiya enjoyed all the attention that he received from this family and others to pet him. (the video for this story is in part two)




    My master lived alone with me after his wife passed away.  He was an active member of the AWPA, sometimes he would take me along as well to visit the dogs at the AWPA, may be he wanted me to make friends with them in case something were to happen to him, since he had already lost his beloved wife.  I got used to going out with my Master and very soon I had made a dozen friends at the Shelter at Kahathudawa, and I was very fond of the people who looked after the rest of the pack especially Mrs.H.Jayatilleke, and Miss Shiona.


    Then one day out of the blue that dreaded day came when my belvoed Master fell down the steps and broke his leg.  My Master was getting old and feeble and now he could no longer look after me.  His heart broke in two... when he knew the tme had come to take me to the Shelter down the lane... I was sad to part from my Master I did not want to leave him all alone in that large house, but I had no choice.  I was glad though that I had made a lot of friends at the doggies home... and when they came to take me, I gave my Master one last lick on the face before he bent his feeble body down to hug me a last good bye. it was heart wrenching to leave him there.


    I was home sick for a couple of weeks though my friends tried cheering me up.  The 'Humans'  at the home were kind and nice to me.  They kept petting and talking to me in a kind manner... especially the Head and neck of the Institution!!! I liked them very much and pretty soon I got used to my new surroundings, and was elected as the pack leader of the dog family.  I was the Guardian Angel of the little pups that were brought or thrown into the compound gardens.  I took care of them all.


    I have now been here for almost five years and I am enjoying life as a pack leader and guard dog to the lost ones.  Sometimes I dream about my Master and long to see him...  My best freind is Rover who was one day knocked down by a hit and run vehicle, when they brought him in he was in a very bad condition,  whimpering in pain, his back was injured and they had to call Emergency and he had to undergo surgery.  Today he can only crawl and I took him under my wing and I am very protective towards him.  He is quite happy here for if not for the kind hearted rescue family of this shelter he would have surely  been long doggone in doggy heaven.  (This video is also in Part two)



    It was evident that these people who looked after these animals were very compassionate and kind hearted people... Shiona was the most extraordinary and the sweetest person that I had ever met... her kindness excuded from her like a glowing light and beacon to these animals, the way she spent her time playng with them... and I was thinking she was a kind of a Pipe Pipper of Hamlinton  or Sri Lanka to imagine the way she lured the  dogs off the streets of Colombo to her and then took them off to the Veterinary Surgeon for their medical treatment and then brought them back again and relocated them at the same place that they were taken from, this is done in their numerous sterlization projects and campaigns conducted regularly.   She told me that when you show kindness to an animal, they know that that person loved animals, but if you showed them crulty, they know that this person was not an animal lover.  Dogs are very sensitive creatures.


    Another most extraordinary person that I met was Mrs.Dias the Treasurer of the Animals Welfare and Protection Society who made it a point to sit down with these animals everyday, and have  a pow wow,!! or bow wow!! with them as if they were human.... she patted their heads and looked for any fleas on them while all the while she kept whispering sweet nothings to their ears!! which was music to them.... the dogs loved it... and crowded close to her, as seen in the picture above,  if she noticed any dogs that were depressed she was the first to see to the welfare of the animal, and inform the Vet. accordingly.


    Ah... Enter Dr.James Herriot!!! (The famous James Herriot vet.stories) of course, I am speaking of  our local Veterinary Surgeon, non other than the hardworking and dedicated Veterinary Surgeon, who makes the daily trek to one of these shelters armed with  pkts of biscuits for the dogs.  this doctor told me that everytime that he visited  the Shelter he did not forget to buy some biscuits for them,  and the animals simply adored him... and here again we see the animals barking  whinning and whimpering in delight as he entered the premises, they simply go mad when they see him,and adored the kind and compassionate doctor from top to bottom.  The Vet told me that all animals loved him and knew instinctively  that here there was nothing to fear from this gentle giant of a human being.  He said that treating them was quite easy he had never had problems with them, as they easily got friendly with him.......Ahhh... a true Vet. with a heart for the hapless critters of the street.


    So there is something very speical about all these street animals,and adopting an animal from a Shelter is the greatest thing a person can do for them. "  Give them a home, lots of love and they will give you in return unconditonal love for both Master and Mistress....as stated by Mr.Devanesan's story above.


    "   All things bright and beautiful,

          All creatures great and small,

          All things wise and wonderful,

          The Lord God made them all '


                                        Cecil Frances Alexander 1818-1895....


    • I like to take this opportunity of thanking ecotraveller and Pixel for their support, kind tips and advice on my Boot camp journey.
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