Whilst on a family trip travelling around Sri Lanka, Rob Baylis came across large numbers of stray “street dogs”.
Rob had no plans of rehoming one of these – after all there are 100’s of dogs needing good homes down at the dogpound in Birkenhead !
However, one dog appeared on the beach close by on 3 occasions and it was clear that it had a serious injury to it’s hindleg, almost certainly from a road traffic accident – quite probably with a “TukTuk” – the local 3 wheeler motorised taxis.
After studying the injury, Rob was concerned whether this animal would survive living on the beach and streets and so contacted a Veterinary Surgery in the capital Colombo , who arranged to meet after Rob secured the dog so he could be taken for treatment.
After a long period of treatment, “Colombo” as he was now aptly called was reported as being quite a sociable chap and his injuries were improving.
Emails were exchanged and in September 2013 , “Colombo” arrived in Heathrow and now lives on the Wirral !
As with any rescue dog, there has been a period of “settling in” but considering his feral background, is doing well.
“Colombo” has had one final surgery since arriving to help his injury to his hindleg and has recovered and is exercising well.
Sri Lanka’s Street Dogs
Sri Lankas’ dogs are plentiful but unfortunately live in poor conditions and many die of malnutrition or as the result of traffic accidents or untreated diseases.
In a developing country were the local people are extremely poor, this is unlikely to change.
One of the biggest issues is Rabies both to the dog and human population.
There are a number of schemes in operation run by local Charities to attempt to control the problem.
Subsequent to the tsunami of December 2004, one local charity Blue Paw Trust (BPT), in collaboration with the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), operated two mobile veterinary clinics to sterilize and vaccinate dogs .
Due to the success of this 2 year project, in 2007 WSPA invited BPT to carry out a 5 year dog population management and rabies control program within the city of Colombo. The Colombo city project has resulted in a drop of dog rabies from an average of 35 cases in 2007 to four cases in 2013.