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ANAW Celebrates World Animal Day

World Animal Day is celebrated on 4th October every year. However, the Africa Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW) and her network partners celebrated the day on Friday October 2, 2015. The celebration was marked through anti-rabies vaccinations, deworming, animal grooming and humane education in two venues: Kawangware market grounds and at the Dagoretti Commissioner’s grounds. These venues are located in low income peri-urban settlement about 20km from Nairobi city. A total of 174 animals (126 dogs and 48 cats) were attended to.

Despite the scorching sun, the up-beat animal owners streamed into the aforementioned two venues in droves with their animals to have them vaccinated against rabies, de-wormed, groomed, and to receive more information on how to care for their welfare. Indeed, there was occasional barking and wagging of tails as jovial residents strolled with their animals alongside them in the dusty streets of the ever busy market ground. One could unmistakably hear meowing of cats as they were brought in mostly in covered boxes.

ANAW and her partners had chosen the day’s theme as: ‘Be Kind To Animals; Vaccinate.’ The theme was informed by the current worrying statistics by World Animal Protection, which estimated that approximately 2,000 people die annually from rabies in Kenya. Through the vaccination drive; the community was educated about this zoonotic disease and the available interventions in the event of exposure.

One happy owner, Mr. Chris Omondi who brought in 2 dogs and 2 cats to the Kawangware Market grounds had this to say, “I am very excited for what you have done for us today. I have been postponing vaccinating my dogs and cats due to financial constraints but today my prayer has been answered.”

In their remarks, the Kawangware Ward Administrator Mr. Joshua Kimeu and the Dagoretti District Veterinary Officer, Dr. Simon Mburu said that the area had about 4,000 dogs and there existed a high need for this intervention and information. They thanked ANAW and partners for organizing the vaccination drive saying that the people would love to have their pets and especially the dogs, vaccinated against rabies, but they could not because they cannot afford it. They added that by ANAW and partners offering this service to the animals, a difference was made in their lives.

Mr. Benson Wachira, the CEO for Pan African Animal Welfare Alliance (PAAWA), who also represented ANAW’s Executive Director Mr. Josphat Ngonyo also thanked the ANAW representatives, veterinary officers and partners for their dedication and commitment to the welfare of the animals and thereby impacting on the lives of the residents living with the animals.

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