Mbwa Wa Africa was founded by Sandra Kliegelhoefer with the support her husband, Jens Fissenebert.
In 2002, Sandra, Jens, and the couple’s ten year old dog, Luca, loaded their old Land Rover and began a journey that would eventually lead them to Africa. Along the way, they stopped to care for several lost, abandoned, and injured dogs, ultimately adopting eight before they reached their current home in Usa River, Arusha, Tanzania. After realizing the growing demand to care for dogs in their community, Sandra and Jens established Mbwa Wa Africa, a no-kill animal rescue shelter that focused on caring for animals and finding them adoptive homes. Further demand by residents of the region led Sandra and Jens to also establish a boarding kennel to care for animals while their owners we away.
In 2015 the project was extended by rabies vaccination campaigns, spay / neuter clinics and the first animal welfare class was held at a local primary school.
MWA focuses on providing animal welfare services for domestic dogs in Tanzania. We aim to:
- Aid in the reduction of disease, especially rabies amongst dogs and control reproductive numbers.
- Ensure that any animal that is abused, injured or in danger to itself or others is rescued with the intent on improving its health and well being.
- Ensure that once a dog has been rehabilitated and in good health that it is re-homed where it will receive continual care and rehabilitation.
- Raise the level of community awareness regarding animal rights and welfare of domestic dogs and other animals.
MWA’s vision is to realize a fundamental change in the mentality and understanding of animal welfare and rights within the local community, and through this to enable all animals, domestic or otherwise, to be treated in a fair and reasonable manner.
To reach this goal we also want to provide the first Animal Welfare Training Centre in the Arusha Region.
Our strategy involves three strands:
SPAY AND NEUTER
Spay / neutering is the only sustainable way to reduce the ever growing dog population. (World Organisation for Animal Health, Terrestrial Code, Chapter 7.7)
Due to lack of funding we cannot run our spay and neuter program on a regular base, however, it is our goal to further develop and expand our current program to a bi-monthly clinic. With the support of the Worldwide Veterinary Service we started to reduce the rapidly growing animal population in Tanzania. Our hope is to raise funds in order to create a Mobile Clinic project that will provide and administer medical care to animals across the region.
RABIES VACCINATION PROGRAM
The World Health Organisation and OIE World Organisation for Animal Health advocate a ‘One Health’ approach to rabies control – vaccination of at least 70% of the dog population in a rabies-endemic area prevents the spread of rabies between dogs and its transmission to people.
Our yearly Mission Rabies vaccination campaigns are following this recommendation which helps to prevent future cases in our area and plays an important part in the reduction of this deadly disease.
The Campaigns are going hand in hand with education in schools on how to approach and treat dogs in a safe manner to prevent dogs bites and how to treat wounds to prevent a rabies infection.
The educational program of Mbwa Wa Africa is aimed at enhancing the point of view of children to dogs so that subsequent generations will view canines in a more positive manner. By building the knowledge of primary school children so that they feel more comfortable around dogs, it is hoped that the animals will be treated in a more humane way. Topics include proper care of animals, medical needs of dogs, constructive human behaviors around dogs, and reading the body language of dogs. This program will be paired with instruction in English in order to build the oral and written expressive skills of the children. Puppies will be visiting the classrooms regularly so that the children can become used to their presence and be happy to have the animals in the room. Our English/Animal Welfare curriculum is an intensive three-month program in order to build a depth of understanding.
In Tanzania, like in many other countries in this world, companion animals are mostly not kept as pets. The majority of them are guard dogs and sick or unwanted dogs are either killed, dumped on the streets or left wandering around to survive.
Many of our rescues are found on the side of the road often near death from starvation or injury. Since many of these animals have endured inhumane conditions and sustained abusive treatment at the hands of their owners, they are approached with great care and patience. Once the animals recognize that they are in a safe, nurturing, and loving environment, their aggressive behaviors dissipate and they can begin the process of rehabilitation and recovery.
All rescues receive the highest affordable quality of care by our staff in order to promote recovery, health, and well-being. Medical treatment is administered for injured animals and all are monitored throughout the healing process. Severely injured and special needs animals are cared for around the clock by night staff that monitor their condition.
Animals are fed twice daily however puppies, kittens, elderly, or infirm animals receive meals as needed to promote health. Ideally, animals who are healthy enough for exercise are walked twice a day regardless of weather conditions.
We make sure that all our animals are re-homed with appropriate owners where they can have a happy life.